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Plos One

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Interferometry, Glaciers -- Speed -- Measurement -- McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica), Rock glaciers -- Measurement -- McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica)


As in many parts of the world, the management of environmental science research in Antarctica relies on cost-benefit analysis of negative environmental impact versus positive scientific gain. Several studies have examined the environmental impact of Antarctic field camps, but very little work looks at how the placement of these camps influences scientific research. In this study, we integrate bibliometrics, geospatial analysis, and historical research to understand the relationship between field camp placement and scientific production in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of East Antarctica. Our analysis of the scientific corpus from 1907–2016 shows that, on average, research sites have become less dispersed and closer to field camps over time. Scientific output does not necessarily correspond to the number of field camps, and constructing a field camp does not always lead to a subsequent increase in research in the local area. Our results underscore the need to consider the complex historical and spatial relationships between field camps and research sites in environmental management decision-making in Antarctica and other protected areas.


Copyright: © 2021 Chignell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.