Friday, February 13, 2009

Welcome to Barrow!

We have made it to Barrow after a delayed flight in Fairbanks. We arrived late on Wednesday night (2/11/09) and made the trip to BASC (Barrow Arctic Science Consortium) - our new home for the next couple months. On the way to BASC, however, we had a great surprise ... FIREWORKS!

Yes, they really rolled out the red carpet for us!

Actually, right now there is a festival happening in Barrow called Kivgiq, a festival of song and dance. Dancers from all over the North Slope of Alaska (and beyond) are in Barrow to perform. Last night we went to the festival and enjoyed watching a group from Wainwright, and another from Savoonga (on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea). If you are interested in more of the story behind the history of Kivgiq, read this:

Here is a video from the festival last night.

Although we are feeling very welcomed here - we can't really say it has been a WARM welcome. The temp was -40F when we arrived with a wind chill of about -65F or so. Yesterday we came to the lab around 8:30 am and it was -47F (with who knows how low a wind chill!?!). Today it is a balmy -16F, but the windchill is still about -40F with blowing snow. What really struck us was thinking about the fact that back home when we left, temps were in the 60s ... so we went through a 100 degree temperature drop coming here to Barrow.



Anonymous said...


Glad to hear that you guys made it ok to Barrow. Speaking of which, I just watched 30 days of night again over the weekend (it was useful to fill in the gap between more entertaining television programming) and I thought I recognized the town's name. I can't say I'd want to be stuck there for 30 days of light (or night), let alone 2 months - but I hope your work yields some interesting and important results.

Dr G said...

Thank Cian! Right now we are just hanging out watching the wind blow and the temps drop. In the middle of a blizzard and things are pretty much at a stand still...