Paul Smiths, NY (October 20, 2022) – The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute recently announced that Lija Treibergs, research associate for the AWI, will be deployed to Antarctica for 3 months starting in late November to support the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research project.
During her deployment, which will be her second on Antarctica, Treibergs will be conducting field-based research on lakes in the dry valleys and participating in laboratory analysis at McMurdo Station.
The McMurdo Dry Valleys form the largest relatively ice-free area of the Antarctic continent. Funded by the National Science Foundation and collaboratively run by researchers worldwide, the McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research project began in 1992 to study the dry valley ecosystems. It is one of 28 LTER sites around the world where researchers are learning how different ecological systems function and change through time. With low temperatures and precipitation and lack of higher-order plants and animals, the Dry Valleys is a unique site in this network.
“I am looking forward to returning to Antarctica and to be involved in the important work and connecting it with the Adirondacks,” said Treibergs. “Lakes of the dry valleys are extremely sensitive to climate change and what we learn from research there has connections and implications for our lakes here in the Adirondacks.”
Treibergs was hired at AWI in March 2020 to help understand how threats, like climate change, impact freshwater systems in the Adirondacks. The project in Antarctica will parallel her work in the Adirondacks and will broaden AWI’s understanding of global lake ecosystems.
“The Adirondack landscape doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” said Brendan Wiltse, senior research scientist at AWI. “What we learn here can help others outside our region conserve and protect their critical water resources. Likewise, the research conducted in Antarctica will help us better understand climate change here in the Adirondacks.”
While in Antarctica Treibergs will be sharing her experiences and how they connect to the Adirondacks on AWI’s social media channels.
“I feel very lucky to be able to experience one of the most unique environments on the planet, and it’s important to me to be able to share that with other people,” said Treibergs. “I want to the public to gain an insight into the science being done in Antarctica and the humans behind that science. Here in the Adirondacks it’s easy to break down that barrier and make our science visible. I’m hoping to create a similar personal connection to this work, even though it’s happening thousands of miles away.”
The AWI is making a concerted effort to connect with Paul Smith’s College students and encourage them to follow Treibergs’ posts. Treibergs is hoping her work will help students see the application of techniques and concepts that they learn in their classes in what appears at first glance a completely different environment from the Adirondacks.
The public is invited to learn about polar research with Treibergs at an in-presentation on Wednesday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adirondack Room at the Joan Weill Adirondack Library on the Paul Smith’s College campus. The presentation will also be broadcast on Zoom. You can learn more at adkwatershed.org.
The mission of the Adirondack Watershed Institute is to protect clean water, conserve habitat, and support the health and well-being of the people in the Adirondacks through scientific inquiry, stewardship, and real-world experiences, adkwatershed.org.
Photo at top: AWI Research Associate, Lija Treibergs, will be presenting about polar research and her upcoming deployment to Antarctica on Wednesday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adirondack Room at the Joan Weill Adirondack Library on the Paul Smith’s College campus; the presentation will also be broadcast on Zoom. Photo credit: Anna Bergstrom. Photo provided by Zoë Smith, Adirondack Watershed Institute Deputy Director.