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Current Time and Temperature at Palmer Station
Current time and temperature at Palmer Station


Headline: The Project

Glossary words on this page (glossary words are shown in red):

ecosystem: a community of organisms and its environment

hypothesis: a possible explanation to be tested

picoplankton: very small organisms between the sizes of 0.2 micrometers - 2.0 micrometers

Persistent: existing for a long time

Organic: based on carbon, an element in living organisms

Pollutants: potentially harmful chemicals that are produced or released by human activity.

This project is a good example of the ways in which scientists work together to answer questions. Scientists become experts in a part of the natural world and its processes. In this case, Rebecca Dickhut is an expert in Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the ways in which they move around the world. Hugh Ducklow is an expert in picoplankton and in the Antarctic coastal ecosystem. Together, Rebecca and Hugh are trying to answer two questions:

  • How do (and how much) POPs get into the ecosystem of the Antarctic coastal seas?

  • What happens to these POPs once they get into this ecosystem?

In their words, these scientists are looking at

The transport (how they get there)
and the fate (what happens to them)
of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
in Antarctic coastal seas

In order to understand this project, we need to know about

Next page: Persistent Organic Pollutants