New! Science Speakers Webinar Series

This presentation has been recorded and is available here.

PGC In light of the Arctic and Antarctic field seasons cancellations and changes, the PGC is taking this opportunity to showcase some of our users’ remote sensing based techniques and research that may inspire or supplement any project changes others have experienced.

This summer and fall, we have invited some of our users to be guest Science Speakers. Join us to learn about the different efforts to utilize remote sensing in polar science.

Our first guest speaker is Dr. Mark Salvatore at Northern Arizona University presenting “From Microbes to Exoplanets: Ecological Remote Sensing of the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica and Beyond.”

Abstract: The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are some of the coldest and driest ice-free areas on Earth. However, ephemeral glacial melt streams host a variety of photosynthetic extremophile communities that are adapted to these harsh environmental conditions. Composed primarily of microbial colonies, mosses, and the less common microinvertebrates, these communities find ways to lay dormant during the frozen Antarctic winter and reanimate during the short thawing season in the austral summer. While the McMurdo Long-Term Ecological Research (MCM LTER) Program has studied these communities for nearly three decades, these studies are limited in both space and time by the vast geographic scales and logistical difficulties of Antarctic field work. In this presentation, I will describe our recent efforts to utilize remote sensing data to monitor these ecological systems, model their activity, and make landscape-scale predictions regarding the biomass and productivity of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The simplicity of these communities and their ability to survive under extreme environmental conditions also make these ecosystems an intriguing astrobiological analog. Their adaptability and hardiness have long intrigued researchers as potential analogs to martian microbial life. This presentation will conclude with some wild extrapolations regarding the detectability of simple photosynthetic communities elsewhere within our solar system and beyond, with particular emphasis on the remote investigation of exoplanets.

Registration is open to the public.

The webinar will include an interactive Q&A session with our guest speaker and PGC staff, and a recording will be available on our website. We hope you take the opportunity to attend and ask questions you may want answered.

Webinar Details:

SPEAKER: Dr. Mark salvatore
TITLE: From Microbes to Exoplanets: Ecological Remote Sensing of the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica and Beyond
Date: wednesday, July 29, 2020
time: 12-1 pm central

If you are a PGC User, use remote sensing techniques in your polar research and would like to become a guest science speaker, please contact for more information.

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