Core LTER Limnology Data, Metadata and Methods

Under the auspices of the MCM LTER, the Priscu Research Group monitors a suite of physical, chemical and biological parameters to address specific limnological hypotheses of MCM IV, and core areas of research, distinctive to all NSF LTER projects. Please visit the McMurdo LTER website if you are interested in limnological data (including metadata for each parameter) from the McMurdo Dry Valley lakes. Also feel free to download our Limnological Methods Manual:

Core Limnological Parameters Measured Include:


  • Chlorophyll-a Concentration
  • Primary Production (14C uptake)
  • Phytoplankton Density 
  • Bacterial Production (3H-thymidine uptake)
  • Bacterial Enumeration


  • Particulate Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Concentration
  • Dissolved Organic Carbon Concentration
  • Dissolved Inorganic Carbon Concentration
  • Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen Concentration
  • Macronutrient (NH4 - NO3 - NO2 - SRP) Concentration
  • Ion Concentration
  • PH
  • Dissolved Oxygen Concentration (Winkler Titration (Method)


  • Lake Ice Thickness
  • Photosynthetically Available Radiation (PAR) Logged during Primary Production Experiments
  • Photosynthetically Available Radiation (PAR) Profiles
  • Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD) Profiles

Data from Other Projects

Endurance (Environmentally Non-Disturbing Under-ice Robotic ANtarctic Explorer)

Funded by NASA, Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets Program. 

International Polar Year 2007-2008: Polar Night Project

Funded by National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs.

Biological ice nucleation initiates hailstone formation

Final Project Reports

Paleo Records of Biotic and Abiotic Particles in Polar Ice. 2005-2008

Funded by National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs, Award ID 0440943.
J.C. Priscu and C. M. Foreman, 2005-2008.

Final Workshop Reports

Year-Round Access to the McMurdo Region: Opportunities for Science and Education.
Report of a National Science Foundation Workshop, Arlington, VA, 8-10 September 1999.
John C. Priscu, Editor.

Winter Workshop Photo Crop


Winter Workshop 1999 Cover Crop


  1. Identify scientific questions that can be addressed only by winter research.
  2. Identify alternatives (e.g., remote sensing, ASA support) to winter deployment.
  3. Define the additional logistic and scientific support that will accompany a winter program.
  4. Describe the educational possibilities that higher level winter deployment would offer, particularly as it relates to the role of the Crary laboratory.
  5. Describe any environmental impacts that an elevated winter effort may cause.
  6. Define the safety issues surrounding winter research in the McMurdo region as far away as the dry valleys.
  7. Recommend strategies for funding winter projects.
Winter Workshop Group Photo

Group photo from 1999 Winter Workshop.


Environmental Assessment of the McMurdo Dry Valleys: Witness to the Past and Guide to the Future.
Report of a National Science Foundation Workshop, Colorado State Univ., 2-3 May 2016.
John C. Priscu and Adrian Howkins, Editors.


Env Report 2016 Cover
  1. Outline documented and potential human impacts (including level of severity) from various research activities in the MDV.
  2. Determine the efficacy of the present management strategies in the MDV (e.g., ASMA’s, ASPA’s, Management Zones) and discuss potential changes with respect to environmental protection and implementation. 
  3. Develop recommendations for management of future research and tourist activities in the area with an emphasis on the logistical requirements needed to implement these recommendations. 
Env Report 2016 Group Photo

Group photo from 2016 Environmental Workshop.



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