End of Toolik Adventure

I am now back in Livermore, California and have been putting off writing this journal post. I guess I want to feel like I am still in the Arctic!

Some things I especially miss:

The camp view of the Brooks Range, especially when seen with morning coffee on the patio.

Tundra and Brooks Range
Brooks Range

The incredible Arctic light.

Toolik Lake
Toolik Lake in evening

The immensity and variety of the tundra.

Tundra Flowers
Tundra Flowers

Many People to Thank

This start of collaborative work with Rose Cory and George Kling and staff has been an extraordinary experience, and I look forward to continue working with them.

Brinker, Cory
Me with Rose (photo by A. Trusiak)

I would like to thank the following:

The PolarTREC staff, lead by Janet and Sarah, for excellent training, support, and encouragement. I felt well prepared for the expedition.

The National Science Foundation and ARCUS for funding the PolarTREC program. Involving teachers in field science work brings the science to countless others.

Robbie and CH2MHill for providing gear that I did not even know I would need but came to depend on. Thank you. You kept me comfortable and happy during my stay.

Brinker outside
Great gear! (photo by L. Watel)

For the five star staff at Toolik. Our needs were anticipated and met. The running motto is "We are here to do our job so that you can do the science". Doing our job includes fixing trucks that don't start, giving a genuine "Hello" early in the morning, keeping the ice cream, candy, salad, and juice fridge well stocked, providing clean places to work, trouble shooting problems, arranging for transportation, whether that means truck, boat or helicopter, providing delicious, creative meals, breads, and desserts, and giving a sense of being well taken care of in a remote location. You all are the best!

For my roommate, PolarTREC teacher Lauren Watel, for never complaining that I came in late and got up early to Skype students in far-away places.

For Byron Crump, Oregon State, for carefully explaining both the science and the history of places we visited, and making sure that we saw the tourist spots along the Dalton Highway.

Katie, Adrianna, Sarah, Jason, Hannah, Mike and Chris, thanks for patiently teaching me field science and keeping the work fun!

Journal posts will continue, especially since I now have more time to reflect on the experience and what I learned. This is a start, not an ending.