McMurdo LTER Sustainability Committee

Less emissions.  Less waste.  More science.

The McMurdo LTER Sustainability Committee was created to expand awareness of the impacts of our research activities on the Antarctic and global environment. We recognize that it is not enough to simply study the science of climate change, but it is also necessary to evaluate our own contributions to carbon emissions and how we can model environmental solutions through our own actions. In 2022, a group of technicians, students, and principle investigators affiliated with the McMurdo LTER formed a Sustainability Committee to address how to make our research more sustainable, primarily by addressing our own carbon emissions and seeking ways to reduce direct environmental impacts and resource consumption related to our research activities in Antarctica. The goals of the group are to:

  • Empower our researchers to take personal action on climate change and sustainability
  • Estimate the environmental impacts associated with our research activities (e.g. emissions and resource usage)
  • Collectively develop strategies for reducing or mitigating our environmental impacts (e.g., disturbance, emissions, waste)

Since our first meeting in March 2022, we have accomplished a lot, including:

  • Formed our grassroots group of 15 MCM LTER scientists
  • Wrote the Sustainability Committee into the MCM6 proposal
  • Had our first season of carbon neutral travel to Antarctica in 2021/22 by donating to carbon sequestration projects
  • Connected with other universities and groups across disciplines to share ideas
  • Estimated our emissions related to plane travel, helicopters, and Lake Hoare camp 
  • Presented at the CSU Antarctic Lecture Series
  • Presented at the Queens University Northern Research Symposium, invited keynote speaker
  • Presented at the SCAR 2022 Virtual Conference
  • Attended and presented at the Comparative Antarctic Conservation Workshop (SCAR AntICON) in Cambridge
  • Presented a poster at the 2022 LTER All Scientists Meeting Conference (see poster below)

Are you a polar scientist who is also interested in how to make research more sustainable? Reach out to us!

Committee chairs: Krista Myers and Jeb Barrett

Committee members: Abby Jackson, Abigail Borgmeier, Adrian Howkins, Anna Wright, David Robinson, Emily Reynebeau, Jade Lawrence, Kathy Welch,

Katie McNulty, Mark Salvatore, Michael Stone, Rachel Seddon, and Sarah Power

Poster submitted by the Sustainability Committee at the 2022 LTER All Scientists Meeting