Polar Oceans Research Group

Understanding climate change with help from migratory penguins.

Dedication to a Cause

Since 1974, Dr. William R. Fraser has researched the Western Antarctic Peninsula – one of the most rapidly warming areas of Earth – and its inhabitants. In the late 1980s, his research provided the first evidence of observable ecological changes linked to climate change. Now, his continued work with the Polar Oceans Research Group involves tracking and collecting data from penguins to monitor climate change and its effect on local wildlife.

Penguin Helpers

The Polar Oceans Research Group collects data from Adélie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins due to their migratory lifestyles and high sensitivity to variations in the ecosystem. By tracking the population and noting biophysical drivers that control the demography, the Polar Oceans Research Group can monitor the overall health of the region.

Mitigating Future Damage

The Holtzman Wildlife Foundation helped replace and upgrade the satellite-linked tags that track the penguins’ histories at sea, ensuring the Polar Oceans Research Group has the latest technology available for the most up-to-date data. This allows researchers to better monitor and identify the impact of global warming in the area, as well as mitigate future damage to the ecosystem. Click here to see how better ocean data helps mitigate climate change.

Project Recognition

Member of the National Science Foundation LTER Network