Sunday, March 29, 2009

Arctic Scenery

Things are going well here on the tundra. My photochemistry experiments are cooking away in the bright, bright sunlight we've been having (see the pic below of me "tending" my experiment). The weather has been nothing but sun (and a little wind here and there) for almost two weeks now. I'm just waiting for the next blizzard to blow in, because it certainly can't stay this nice for much longer! The only bad thing that I have to report is that a fox peed on my radiometer the other day! The nerve!!! :)

I've made it out a couple times this week to do snow sampling. Usually this is a task that belongs to Alexis ... but she took a short hiatus from the field to travel to Boston for the NCAA basketball tournament. She must have been a good luck charm, because not only did Nova win the Sweet 16 game, but they also won the Elite 8 game against #1 Pitt. Now we're on to the Final Four!!! Alas, Alexis will be back in Barrow when that game is played, so she'll have to suffer through watching it on TV instead. Oh the trials and tribulations of a grad student. ;)

Meanwhile, I've put together photos taken during our 2008 and 2009 fieldwork ... check out the video below. You will notice at the end a dedication to Arnold Brower, Sr. Arnold was a highly regarded elder in the Barrow community here and was the oldest active whaling captain (86 years old) here as far as I understand. We got to meet him last year and talk with him about his hunting activities, his involvement in the community, his thoughts on climate change, etc. He was a fascinating man. Very sadly, he died last fall while out on a hunting trip. His snowmachine went through thin river ice and, although he was able to get out, he wasn't able to make it to shelter in time, and passed away. It was a great loss to the Barrow community. He was a great man and I feel very privileged to have had a chance (if just for a short time) to get to hear some of his stories. His son, Lewis Brower, is actually the station manager here at the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (the organization that handles the logistics of those doing fieldwork here in Barrow).


cammyeg said...

Thank you for the beautiful pictures. There is something about that part of the world. Absolutely breathtaking! I wish I was there in person to see it.

Dr G said...

Thanks for the comment. It is a beautiful place, that is certain. The beauty comes in many forms too ... from the multitude of colors of a sunrise or sunset, to the eerie glow of the northern lights, to the stark vast whiteness of the snow covered tundra. I just wish more people could experience it firsthand ... and realize the Arctic isn't just some vast icy wasteland ...