July 14, 2012 Science Tech Tour, Adventure learning and Panoramas
After the 8am morning meeting the students headed out with the science techs to complete the days standard experiments. Two science techs walk to various small stations around the "Big House" that are taking measurements and must be recorded at least once per day. Students donned clean suits to enter the clean sector, took snow surface and frost samples, and measured the weather.
In the afternoon the students worked with the University of Idaho's ICECAPS experiments and the Adventure Learning program. Students conducted experiments and then are sharing the results with colleagues in Idaho.
During the afternoon Aggu Broberg took a pamorama picture of the station. We hope to take pictures of the sun each hour at the same location and then combine the photos to show the path of the sun throughout the day since it never sets here. The panorama is below.
Again, there will be more updates when we return from Summit and NEEM. Bandwidth is even more limited and I can't upload their videos at this time.
Marisa LaRouche, Denver, Colorado
Hi! My name is Marisa LaRouche, and I am going to be a freshman at the Colorado School of Mines in the fall. I enjoy studying weather and technology, and also love to dance and read in my free time. I am from Denver, Colorado, and am thrilled to be a part of the JSEP expedition to Summit Station! Today was our first full day at Summit Station. It was about 25 degrees Fahrenheit today (about -4 degrees Celsius, and we woke to frost poking out from the outsides of our tents. We began the day following some of the scientists here at Summit as they checked on their instruments. Summit Station is divided into zones--there are sections that extend outward that are "Clean Zones," which mean that they are to be preserved from human footprints and pollution. The instruments we checked on today were located in this Clean Zone. We collected frost samples, examined weather instruments mounted to a 50 meter tower, and tested for new snow accumulation (there was none). Then, we visited the TAWO station, which monitors atmospheric chemistry. We then donned clean suits, and took surface snow samples in the Clean Zone. After lunch, we had a lesson with Chris Cox and the team from the University of Idaho. They have been studying the clouds that form over the ice sheet since there is limited data on this subject. To form, clouds require water vapor, changes in temperature and pressure, relative humidity (the relationship between water and the surrounding temperature), and cloud condensation nuclei (a particulate that the water can condense around to form a cloud. We used several instruments during this lesson--among them an infrared thermometer, a handheld meteorology device, and a laser rangefinder. With these instruments, we could detect the temperature of a surface, tell the wind speed at a particular site, and find the distance from the laser rangefinder to an object. We used this equipment to learn more about the temperature and location of clouds in the atmosphere. We then shared our findings through a Skype discussion with a field school in Moscow, Idaho, where they have been doing similar experiments with the same instruments we used today. It was so much fun to connect with these other students! This evening, we listened to a presentation from Murray Hamilton from the University of Adelaide in South Australia. He has been developing an instrument using polarsondes that might someday be able to predict the presence of super-cooled liquid water in clouds. Super-cooled liquid water is water that is cooled to freezing temperature but remains liquid because of latent heat (the transition from liquid to solid or from vapor to liquid produces heat, which prevents the water from freezing). This instrument would be helpful, for example, for pilots of planes because the planes can ice too much if they encounter super-cooled liquid water in the clouds. This new equipment could help them avoid places where the plane might be in danger of icing. He also brought along some Australian chocolates, which were delicious. We are all very tired after such a long day, but we have been having a blast here at 10,387 feet! We are all so grateful for this incredible experience. Thank you!
Cecilia Sand Norholm
Hey! I'm Cecilie Sand Norholm from Denmark, or now from Summit. Literately Summit; we're at the highest point of the inland ice sheet So.. It's our second day at the camp, and everybody is doing pretty well up here! I had some troubles yesterday, just after we arrived but fortunately Ben the medic was here with some oxygen, so now I'm feeling well again! The only thing that gives me trouble up here is the food, not in a bad way because it's really delicious, which means that I get to over-stuff myself once in a while.. Oh yeah, and then there's the showers, that we can't get to use, good thing that I've got plenty of sweeps so I can get myself just a little clean. The weather up here also changes very sudden, it has been very clear and beautiful all day, but now it's getting foggy as the temperature is dropping. The most exciting thing about the day was the snow-sampling with Elizabeth and Andy, this was cool! The samples that we took are going to be sent to a desert research institute in Nevada and a university in California, nice to know that someone is actually going to analyze the materials that we have sampled!! This evening Murray Hamilton gave us a small lesson about under-cooled liquids, which they are searching for in the clouds, because it can affect the airplanes, that was also very interesting. Right now we're playing the card-game "Olsen" which is a lot like Uno, Lynn and Chris are talking about some research and Aggu is playing the guitar, it is all very cozy. Another interesting thing that we found out today is that Kaitlin, a PhD student at Dartmouth actually have been to Denmark from January to June and that we (the Danes) have met her once before, when we were at the ice archive in Copenhagen with the preparation camp, so that's funny to think about. Tomorrow we're going to see the snow pit, where we can see the layers in the snow a couple of meters down, I'm definitely looking forward to this! Tomorrow is also our last day; if everything goes after the plan we are going home on Monday the 16th of July pretty early in the morning, but that depends on when the LC-130 arrives here at Summit. I like being here, but I'm also looking a bit forward to go home to Kangerlussuaq again, mostly because of the warmer weather which means that we don't have to put on all of our extreme cold weather clothing and it will also be easier to sleep, because our tents are bright yellow here, so all light comes in at all time of the day. It will probably also be a little easier to breathe, because of the air pressure, which is about two thirds of the normal pressure here, so you feel exhausted every time you have walked more than 30 meters. But it is so exciting to be here, and I'm very thankful that we got the opportunity to come up here and that the scientists are so welcoming and helpful towards us!