Portrait of Kathy Welch
Project Manager, MCM-LTERSenior Professional Research Assistant
• McMurdo Dry Valleys • Antarctica • Geochemistry

Prounouns: she, her
Office: SEEC S200
Lab: SEEL 158

Visit McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER


I work in Antarctic as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research project (MCM-LTER) with a research focus on the aquatic geochemistry of the glaciers, streams and lakes.

The dry valleys are a fascinating place to work and the waters span the range of composition and salinity of natural waters found on Earth.

I have a life-long love of water, ice and cold places.  I grew up in New Hampshire and attended the University of New Hampshire.  As a graduate student, my master’s thesis research focused on the Newall Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica.  In 1993, I was offered a technician position with the MCM-LTER in its first year and I've travelled to Antarctica with this research team every austral summer since then.

My expertise is in aquatic geochemistry and analytical chemistry.  As part of the MCM-LTER research team, I've developed skills and experience with managing a large-scale interdisciplinary environmental research project. The best part of this job is to work with and train students and to help them to implement their research plan.

I've been known to travel to Antarctica with one handmade sweater and 4 knitting projects in my luggage.  I've spent about 100 months in the polar regions and made 3 trips to Greenland and 27 trips to Antarctica so far.

Aside from my work in Antarctica, I am interested in sustainability, human impacts on the environment, urban geochemistry, environmental justice.


  • B.S.: University of New Hampshire, 1985
  • M.S.: University of New Hampshire, 1993