The Antarctic summer research effort is in full swing. This year, there are two joint National Science Foundation projects underway which are called SWARM and the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research (LTER). SWARM is studying how physical circulation structures the ecology of the penguins living in vicinity of the Palmer Station. In this region there are a several species of penguins (Adelie [polar penguin], as well as Gentoos & Chinstrap [subpolar]). SWARM will use a wide array of cutting technology ranging from underwater robotic gliders, shore based radars and moorings. This large effort involves researchers from Rutgers, University of Delaware, University of Alaska, Polar Oceans Research Group, Old Dominion University, NOAA’s Applied Marine Research Lab and Oregon State University.
SWARM is complemented by the Palmer LTER program that is conducting its 30th year tracking how long term change is leading to wholesale changes in the ecosystem, from microscopic algae to whales.