McMurdo Environmental Management Workshop

Network News Fall 1995, Vol. 18 No. 1
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A workshop entitled “Environmental Management of the McMurdo Dry Valleys” was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during March 14-17, 1995. Warwick Vincent of Laval University, Quebec City, Canada served as chair of the workshop, which was attended by 35 participants from around the world including the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and South America. The major objectives were to develop:

  1. An ecosystem-based approach to managing the conduct of scientific activities in the McMurdo Dry Valleys
  2. A code of environmental conduct for scientists working in the field
  3. Recommendations for an environmental monitoring program— including suitable indicators—that can address project specific and cumulative impacts
  4. Recommendations for management plans for regions within the dry valleys

Key questions addressed included:

  • Given that the Environmental Protocol affirms the importance of environmental protection of Antarctica as well as the value of the area for conducting scientific research, what are the interrelationships and possible conflicts between these two objectives?
  • What are the critical parameters to be monitored to assess the impact of human activities of the long range transport of contaminants?
  • What other research methodologies could be used to minimize human impact (e.g., remote sensing, remotely operated instrumentation)?

In addition, John Calkins of ESRI gave a demonstration on “The McMurdo GIS,” and participants visited the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge LTER site. A workshop report will be available.

For more information: McMurdo LTER Project Office, 702/673-7425,