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LARISSA Initiative Announced with New Web Site

By Vige Barrie  |  Contact Vige Barrie 315-859-4623
Posted May 12, 2008
Tags Biology Environmental Studies Eugene Domack LARISSA Michael McCormick
Hamilton College is participating in the International Polar Year (IPY) via Larsen Ice Shelf System – Antarctica (LARISSA), a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded and Hamilton College supported initiative. The program has been launched and has established a Web presence. LARISSA brings an international, interdisciplinary team together to address a significant regional problem with global change implications. The new Web site is organized in three major research areas:
• marine and quaternary geosciences,
• cryosphere and oceans and
• marine ecosystems.
Research news and investigator and collaborator contact information can also be found at the site.

As part of the LARISSA initiative, Hamilton College has been awarded two related NSF grants for work directed by Eugene Domack, the Joel W. Johnson Professor of Environmental Studies and Assistant Professor of Biology Michael McCormick. "Collaborative Research in IPY: Abrupt Environmental Change in the Larsen Ice Shelf System, a Multidisciplinary Approach - Marine and Quaternary Geosciences," a $561,715 NSF award, will allow Domack and a team of fellow researchers from Colgate University, University of Houston, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Montclair State University to address the changes occurring in the Antarctic Peninsula region as a consequence of the abrupt collapse of the Larsen Ice Shelf System. 

"Collaborative Research in IPY: Abrupt Environmental Change in the Larsen Ice Shelf System, a Multidisciplinary Approach - Marine Ecosystems" a $113,000 NSF award will allow McCormick and his collaborators from Scripps Oceanographic Institute, Duke University and the University of Hawaii to investigate the profound transformation currently occurring within the marine ecosystem once covered by the Larsen B Ice Shelf. In 2005 a group led by Domack that included students from Hamilton College discovered a chemotrophic ecosystem (a cold seep) on the ocean floor in that area, which has undergone significant change since that time.

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