umans have occupied the McMurdo Sound for over a hundred years. Early visitors had little impact on the region, but starting in the late 1950’s year-round, permanent buildings were established at McMurdo Station. Over the years thousands of humans have visited this area and have changed the landscape. Under its obligations to the Antarctic Treaty, the United States maintains a long-term monitoring program designed to track the environmental conditions in and around the station.
Each year, the research team conducts environmental monitoring and chemical, physical, and biological sampling in and around McMurdo Station. They collect samples from both marine and terrestrial habitats as measures of human impact. They take the samples back to the lab to look for contaminants.
The results of this research help document and minimize the impacts of future science and support operations in Antarctica. This information can be used to inform management decisions in and around McMurdo Station to help preserve the unique Antarctic environment.
Learn more about this project by visiting the official project website: Island to Ice.