29 June 2017 Homeward Bound

After four weeks, the team boarded an LC-130 airplane in Kangerlussuaq for the trip home. The flight to Scotia, New York is about 6 hours long and there are 38 people coming back on this flight. The Air National Guard does a number of flight periods throughout the summer. They fly to Kangerlussuaq with 2-4 planes and bring any Greenland bound passengers and cargo. They stay in Greenland for about a week, flying back and forth to the different facilities in the country. They also use this time to train pilots on snow landings. At the end of the flight period, the planes fly back to New York, bringing any passengers and cargo that need to go back to the US.

Passengers Boarding Plane in Kangerlussuaq38 passengers board an LC-130 in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland for the trip back to the United States.

The ice cores that we collected actually were placed on a separate LC-130. That plane was what is referred to as a "Cold deck" flight. The temperature in that plane was kept well below freezing to protect the integrity of the ice cores. Only a few passengers were on that flight due to the cold temperatures. Originally I was supposed to ride on that plane, but the plans changed and I ended up on the warmer flight (what a shame...).

Once that cold deck flight arrived in New York, a refrigerated truck was waiting. The ice cores were loaded on the truck to be driven to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Once they arrive there, they will be taken to the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL). This is a facility run by the US Army Corps of Engineers which supports the military by studying cold environments and how things operate there.

Refrigerated Truck for Ice CoresThe ice cores we collected in Greenland have been placed in this refrigerated truck for the last leg of their journey back to Dartmouth College.

I will post a wrap-up journal entry tomorrow. I have had a blast and learned a lot on this trip, but I am excited to be on my way home.


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Hey Mr. Kirshe! It's Katie

Hey Mr. Kirshe! It's Katie Lechner :) Charlotte Haag's brother was telling me about your trip and it's been super interesting to read some of your journals! You were always an amazing teacher/mentor/OotM coach and it's awesome that you got to take this trip. You really deserve this opportunity for everything you've done for students like me :) I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we're happy to have you back in Jacksonville!


Thanks, Katie! That is so nice of you to say.

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Congratulations on this

Congratulations on this adventure Mr. Kirshe!
Katie is right, you so deserve this, it looks amazing. I can`t wait to see you next year, I hope I have you for science.
Go cross country and StuCo.

Thank you!

Thank you, Cailey. I felt very lucky to get to do this expedition. I hope you're having a great summer and I'll see you back in school in a few weeks.

Warm trip home

I'm sure that you are happy to be heading home. Some of us are sad only because we will miss your daily journals. I was happy to hear that you were able to ride back to NY on the "warm plane". That was probably a good precursor to the warm temperatures that await you at home. Safe Travels Steve!

It is nice and warm here!

It's only about 90 degrees and humid here in Florida - quite a change from a few days ago for me!!

Team Member

Steve Kirsche's picture

Journal Details

Weather Summary: Hot and Cloudy
Temperature: 72 degrees Fahrenheit

Dynamic Observations of the Microstructural Evolution of Firn Journals

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