Last night I dreamed I was trying to find a baler connector. A baler is a large data storage drive. It connects to the digital receiver via an orange cable, and the digital receiver translates data into files and also runs the entire array system. It needed to go into the MEVO box after demobilizing the huddle test, or de-mob for short. And I am happy to report that I indeed located it in the dream. I think this means progress in terms of developing my science identity and knowing more about the technology we are working with to learn about glacier dynamics and velocity of meltwater.

    Pre-Field Logistics

    Team members work on a huddle test.

    We did not get off the flight in Greenland and take off for the ice sheet the next day. I have gotten a lot of questions about if and when I will be on the ice sheet. There is prep to do first, logistics to work out with helicopters, and weather. As of yet, I am not out on the ice sheet, however, weather pending, tomorrow may be the day. So let us take a look at what has been keeping us very busy during 10 hour long work days instead.

    How To Huddle

    Mevo boxes were organized into 4 arrays, or systems of stations. Each MEVO box holds the ingredients for one station. My first job was to organize and label all of them.

    The MEVO box is a short duration seismic station for cold weather environments. Inside we find a bunch of things that need to be hooked up and tested to ensure that they are working properly before bringing them all the way out to the ice sheet in a sling load carried by a helicopter. The following are images taken during the huddle test which is the name for what we have been doing.

    Huddle test set up included a step by step process of attaching wires and connectors along with charting data including serial numbers, voltage readings, and data processing. Each MEVO box, or station took anywhere from an hour to two hours depending on how things went.

    DAS, or Data Acquisition System is on the right. It digitizes data and runs the entire system, connecting all parts.

    Balers and the orange connector I was looking for in the dream! These store large amounts of data collected in the field.

    My teammate Nick read the huddle testing data, and I recorded the numbers on the chart.

    Suntech solar panels and GPS clocks and cables.

    The Sensors!!! Tricky for sure. We had to be careful not to move them and space them out. They will be buried in the ice at the field site. We will be drilling holes in the ice to bury them.

    Attaching mounts to the bottom of sensors.

    Sling Load Prep

    Today was spent demobilizing, or taking down the huddle test, repacking all of the gear and getting it organized and ready by array (or set of stations) to be sent out to the ice sheet to be set up. Once the set up is complete, the arrays will stay throughout the summer collecting data and sending it back to scientists to view and process. Remember students, they are using this tech to detect what is going on below ice that is about half a mile thick.

    Beginning of sling load prep.

    Ready to roll. It was like a game of Tetris. Stacked, re-stacked, taken down, up, around.

    Field science is physically demanding, before and during deployment to an ice sheet. Even though it is light outside all night and sometimes is hard to fall asleep, I sleep quite soundly here thanks to all the activity. It is like a semi-intense Crossfit workout only all day long.

    Night time view over the Ilulissat Icefjord, 11:30pm.

    Student Corner

    Have you ever tried to set up electronics or a science lab that required a lot of steps and moving parts? What skills did you use to focus and how did you work through obstacles and figure things out?

    Weather Summary
    Sunny constantly. Hard on the eyeballs.
    Wind Speed


    Judy Fahnestock

    I've heard that when you are becoming proficient at learning a new language, you dream in that language. It sound like you are learning the new language of science/electronics in Ilulissat! Congratulations! Is MEVO an acronym for something? Good luck with getting everything ready for the field!

    E. Towns

    MEVO stands for Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory, because the ices were first used for an experiment on Mount Erebus in Antarctica.

    Marek Johnson

    how long did it take to set up everything, and how long did it take to pack everything up

    Jenny C.

    If the ice is half a mile thic how are you able to detect what is going on? Do you like sleeping in the dark here in Maine or the light 24/7?


    how come there is so much stuff how did you move it so quickly

    Melanie S

    is it hard to get the information with the ice that thick?

    Madisyn S

    Was getting all the wires attached hard?

    Leah B.

    Is this opportunity what you thought it would be

    Ansley W

    How long did it take for you to organize all the boxes? What were we four systems used to categorize the orange boxes? When setting up complicated science labs I make sure to read directions once through before taking any action. Then, I will take action one step at a time.

    Mikaila Marks

    Yes I have tried setting up a labs that required a lot of steps and moving parts. I focused most on the base of the lab and making sure everything was set up correctly in order to efficiently move forward with the lab, if any obstacles occurred I worked through it by back tracking to find where I went wrong.

    Mikaila Marks

    Did you have prior knowledge on the huddle tests and how they work? Or are you learning about all of this as you go through and experience it first hand?

    Tiana A

    Do you have spare time to look around at glaciers?


    are you eating Greenlandic food or are you eating more of your normal food (If you brought any)?

    Rylee Chase

    It is interesting to see how long and how much work you are doing before being able to travel on the icesheet. Even in your dreams!
    Have you been more physically active on the daily than you are here in Maine?

    Kasey S.

    The closest way I've come to setting up complicated equipment is microscopes in biology class. I had a picture of the microscope and labeled all of its parts and what they were responsible for. I worked through obstacles by asking questions and working with my lab partner. What are you all eating? And what would you eat while on the glacier?

    Lila D

    How long did it take to get everything to fit in the cart

    S Steiner

    Setting up all this equipment to test and prepare it for deployment is fascinating and I'm sure quite challenging. Then packing it up, and packing the systems for hauling in the sling...great stuff. The process of science can be so complex when it includes figuring out how to measure what you're looking for, and how to do this in such an extreme environment. Well done!

    Shawn H

    What's the Huddle Test?