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ANTOS Expert Group Report 2020

Antarctic Near-shore and Terrestrial Observation System (ANTOS) 2018-2020 Report

Expert Group of the Life Sciences, Geosciences and Physical Sciences Groups

Report Authors: Craig Cary & Vonda Cummings (NZ)

 

Summary of activities from 2018-20

Major activities/achievements:

  1. SCAR Integrated Science for the Sub Antarctic (ISSA) Workshop, October 2018 (Great Barrier Island, NZ). Convened by Gary Wilson and Justine Shaw, representatives of most National Programmes with jurisdiction/management in the Subantarctic attended. ANTOS was presented at the meeting to make the sub-Antarctic island community aware of ANTOS and to solicit participation in the expansion of the ANTOS network to the Subantarctic (Sub-ANTOS). This effort has already proved valuable in that the French attendees have sought support to establish 2-3 Tier 1 ANTOS towers in the Kerguelen Islands.
  2. Progressed development of ANTOS baseline survey protocols, to assist new participants in obtaining the critical baseline data needed prior to the installation of a Tier 1-3 system. A trans-Tasman workshop held in August 2019, with partial support from ANTOS, facilitated protocol development. Major funding was obtained through an internal grant to Sharon Robinson (ANTOS Committee Member; (~$28K from University of Wollongong).
  3. The Italian National Antarctic Programme supported installation of new ANTOS Tier 1 systems in four Terra Nova Bay locations during 2019/20. These integrate several new sensors to measure the bioactivity of known endolithic communities. Data are being live streamed to the database, bringing the total number of on-line terrestrial ANTOS systems to eight.
  4. A Canadian vendor experienced in integrating marine sensor systems in polar environments have agreed to develop a prototype telemetered (iridium) system for the near-shore component of ANTOS. Potential for their direct involvement in ANTOS to assist development of a QA/QC sensor tracking system (as they developed in the Arctic).
  5. The ANTOS community was updated on the activities and progress made in 2018 at the Genoa workshop and subsequent ANTOS meeting in Leuven, via a report published on the website in late 2019 (see https://www.scar.org/science/antos/antos-resources/).
  6. ANTOS Survey II was designed and was launched in April 2020. It targets participants of the Survey I to gain more detailed information on the data stream available (incl. frequency and duration of measurements, observed environmental/ ecological responses) and participants views on the uniqueness/value of the sites. This will augment and enhance information obtained from Survey I, enabling prioritisation of the ANTOS Sentinel Sites.