Two related grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support the work of Eugene Domack, the Joel W. Johnson Family Professor of Geosciences, and Assistant Professor of Biology Mike McCormick. Both grants help fund a series of research expeditions to Antarctica for which Domack serves as chief scientist as part of the NSF International Polar Year program. Domack's international, multiyear project, "Collaborative Research in IPY: Abrupt Environmental Change in the Larsen Ice Shelf System, a Multidisciplinary Approach — Marine and Quaternary Geosciences," received a $561,715 award that will allow him and a team of fellow researchers to address the changes occurring in the Antarctic Peninsula region as a consequence of the abrupt collapse of the Larsen Ice Shelf system.
"This is the first time that an international, interdisciplinary team will work together to address a significant regional problem with global change implications," Domack says. "This breaks the traditional mold of discipline-specific research. We will benefit from gathering observations from several different areas of research."
The project for which McCormick received funding is titled "Collaborative Research in IPY: Abrupt Environmental Change in the Larsen Ice Shelf System, a Multidisciplinary Approach — Marine Ecosystems." The award to Hamilton is $113,000. McCormick and his collaborators will investigate the profound transformation occurring within the marine ecosystem once covered by the ice shelf.
The projects will involve five expeditions from 2008 through 2013. Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to participate in some of these. "This is another chance for us to continue the Antarctic research tradition at Hamilton. It is a great testimony to the program that we have received this funding," said Domack, who has been making regular research trips to Antarctica since 1987 and has received continuous funding from the NSF.