Click here to go to UAB Front Door Click here to go to Wow! Front Door Click here to go to Wow! News & Promotions At this point, it is impossible to go to Wow! Search
Click here to go to questions and comments area of the site
At this point, it is impossible to view All articles At this point, it is impossible to view the list of current Wow! Events At this point, it is impossible to view past Wow! Events
At this point, it is impossible to view this page in a printer-friendly format
At this point, it is impossible to disable event rotation
Click here to read the expedition overview Click here to find out more about members of the expedition Click here to find out more about history of Antarctica Click here to see and hear Antarctica
Chuck Amsler
UAB Biologist

When Chuck Amsler arrives in Palmer Station, he’ll be going back to a place with many fond memories. Amsler, 41, is a marine algal ecophysiologist – meaning he’s a biologist who studies, among other things, algae, including macroalgae, known as various seaweeds. He made his first trip to Palmer from December 1985 to March 1986 as a volunteer field assistant with a team of researchers from the University of California-Santa Barbara. That team included Amsler’s wife, Maggie, a biologist who was then making her fourth trip to Antarctica.
Click here to zoom in

“I wanted to find out why my wife kept leaving me for three months a year,” Amsler said. Besides giving him a common ground with his wife, Antarctica grabbed the young researcher’s imagination. “I became excited about the scientific opportunities there on that trip and immediately began trying to get back to do my own work.” Since that time he has made two more trips to McMurdo to study the chemical ecology of invertebrates, algae and bacteria.

He returned to Palmer in 1989 at the behest of the National Science Foundation to assess the damage caused by a shipwreck and oil spill off the coast. Although he hasn’t revisited Palmer in more than 10 years, Amsler has also explored McMurdo Station to study physiological response of microalgae that live in sea ice. He took that trip right after coming to work at UAB.

He looks forward to the trip back to Palmer, which with about 35 researchers in residence is “another world from McMurdo,” a station that sometimes has as many as 1,000 people living there. The sea bottom near Palmer is dominated by macroalgae.

“There are almost no macroalgae at McMurdo, where I've been working recently. This coupled with some of the unique oceanographic characteristics of coastal Antarctica allow us to pose important new scientific questions that could not be examined anywhere else, including at McMurdo,” he said.
  Photo by James McClintock. Kerguelen Island. Rock Hopper penguins are adept at scrambling around on rocks and will leap off the sides of rocky bluffs into the water below.
Click here to zoom in

“In terms of terrestrial natural history, Palmer has many, many more species of birds and seals. And although we could go the whole trip without seeing a whale, whales can be quite common in the area around the station.”

Student Journal: Farewell to a Cold Beauty
Chuck's Journal: Going Home
Jim's Journal: Homeward Bound
Katrin's Journal: Fish Assays
Well-Dressed Explorer
Why Go To Palmer Station?
Amsler Research

McClintock / Baker / Amsler NSF Award

  © 2000 University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  All rights reserved. About this site.
  Powered by Estrada (Patent Pending).