As I write the temperature outside is -81 F! This time I am writing from 40,000 ft … our flight has successfully crossed the Atlantic and we are flying over eastern Canada. I checked the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Center this morning before we left and I was pleased to see that the ash cloud had dissipated. As I reflect on yesterday, I can say that it was another successful day at the Lake E conference.
Scientifically the day was quite productive. The main goal of Saturday was to coordinate the further scientific work on the project. After the cores have been scanned and split, one half is scheduled to be preserved while the remaining half is to be divided into more than nine different sub-samples for further analysis. Scientists have plans to study the pollen, magnetic properties, mineralogy, chemistry, diatoms and many other properties. Since hundreds of people from around the world are working on the cores, Julie and Martin (the lead scientists) felt that everyone should know who all was doing what research on the core samples. That way the members of the science team doing similar or related work can collaborate together and share early data and results.
After several break-out sessions, we compiled an initial list of potential research papers. I was amazed to see that in the initial lists included over 50 potential publications. This list is expected to grow significantly over the next months and years as more cores are opened and analyzed. Look for one of the early publications from last year’s expedition coming out next month (July 2010) in EARTH magazine.
Another aspect of the day was for several of us who have been working on public relations and outreach to share what we have been doing to let people know about Lake E. The list of TV, Web, Radio, and Print resources continues to grow both in Europe and in the US. Julia, the University student from Germany with whom I won the Lake E Lottery, presented work she had done teaching students in her home town about lake sediment coring. Rieke, the Lake E project coordinator, shared about work she had done in local schools and I had the privilege of giving another presentation about how I have been using various aspects of the Lake E science with my students.
I should also report that as the conference was wrapping up, Elaine made it back to the University. She traveled to Stade in northern Germany to visit the family of the German exchange student we hosted four years ago. After seeing her pictures from around the city and from her trip, I wish I had a bit more time to see some of the sites … I guess this gives me an excuse to come back in the future.
Since the weather was perfect, we had a wonderful dinner at an outdoor café with most of the science team. With conversations in German, Russian, and English, it was a small taste of life back on the expedition, although there is no comparison with regards to the food. It was past midnight when we returned to the hotel…. once again good food and drink with good friends proved difficult to leave.
T-Mart from in the air on the way back home...