Hi, my name is Katrina, I'm from St. Mark's Catholic School. My question for you is what was the most interesting part of your independce day in Barrow and how does it compare to your normal independence day? Thank you for your time!
I'm so glad you wrote!!
So my favorite part of my Barrow Independence Day was the Top of the World Baby Contest! Who doesn't love cute babies! Did you see the cute photos in my journal entry?
Back in Los Angeles, my typical Independence Day would be BBQing at a friend's house and then driving to the beach at night to watch a city fireworks display. So the similarities are the food - Barrow has a grocery store very much like the one you have near your home, so at the celebration event, vendors were selling hamburgers, drinks, Spam musubi, and snacks. The biggest difference is that in Barrow, there are no fireworks because the night sky is just like the daytime sky - the sun is always out! But that doesn't mean we're not having fun - Barrow had a parade, games for kids and adults, and a marathon race!
But no matter if you're in Los Angeles or Barrow, everyone was having a great time celebrating Independence Day, USA style!
We are currently in the fourth year of our project studying anaerobic microorganisms in Barrow. We've covered quite a bit in our time thus far, including: developing and testing a new biosensor; demonstrating that iron and humic substances are a major factor in anaerobic soil respiration (http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009JG001147.shtml); and examining the main controlling factors of biogeochemical cycling (http://www.biogeosciences.net/9/577/2012/bg-9-577-2012.html).
In the future, we will be performing additional research in the laboratory to confirm and further explore what we find this summer in Barrow. Additionally, there are other research groups, both in the U.S. and abroad, that also study greenhouse gas emissions from northern latitude soils, including those in other parts of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Russia.
I hope this helps answer your question, let me know if you have any more questions.
The most difficult part about living and working in Barrow is predicting the weather. As I mentioned to Susan in another "Ask the Team" post, the day may start off cold and foggy, but end up hot with swarming mosquitoes. When I go out into the field, my backpack is full of "what if" supplies - what if I need waterproof gloves, what if I need a cold weather hat, what if I need a wide brimmed hat, what if the weather gets hot, what if the weather gets colder. All these "what if" supplies make for a heavy backpack.
Because I'm in the field almost every day and our housing is not in the main city, I do not get a chance to interact with locals that much. The opportunities I have had, were some of the Independence Day activities, going to the sushi restaurant once, and going to the college twice.
I'm the kind of person who will go up and introduce myself to new people, which is how I met two locals yesterday who were launching a video camera attached to a helium balloon. I was walking around the college area and I saw two guys with a gigantic purple helium balloon, so I went over to them and asked them about it. It turns out they were locals who worked for the college and they were taking aerial videos of the college. Basically, the locals are nice and very open to talking to visitors.
I thought I recognized you!
The area we're testing in is 3 different depressions in the same lake basin. The depressions are about 2-4 meters away from each other. The soil chambers are all the same height and made the from the same size diameter PVC tubing.
Side note - the weather is so crazy here - sunny and 60 degrees with mosquitoes everywhere one day and the next day it's 33 degrees and I can barely wiggle my frozen little fingers!