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Michael Lampert's picture

Today Luke departed on the ferry in the afternoon on his way back to Penn State. Victor worked on the radar imaging and is very concerned that he may not be able to make his system work in time for the next available helicopter. The electronics he has designed for his PhD thesis is quite complicated and uses a unique technique for radar imaging that would be cool to see work. He has by-passed a few attenuators and an amplifier in hopes that he can fly on Friday to collect data, it is all part of science, most of the time things do not work as planned. I walked to the moraine in the valley next to this one, from there you can see the ice cap and other glaciers. It is a much more rustic moraine than the one I am in, it is not developed for tourism. The interesting thing is that one hundred years ago the Svartisen glacier reached all the way out here and touched the fjord. Ships could come into a small ice house located on the edge of the glacier and take blocks of ice to cool their fish out at sea. I am learning a lot about glaciers from Ben and Knut and I am very encouraged that I can use all of the things I am learning in my classroom next year. It is a steep and quick learning curve for a teacher who has a physics degree, I am amazed at how easy it is for them to walk about here and point out amazing things, like the kettles in the ground formed by ice and the washboard moraines (the side of the glaciers). They look at rocks and geological features in ways that I never have. Tourist House at EngabreenIt is totally a weird feeling to be studying science in a National Park. Each morning the ferry brings a bus load of tourists in for coffee and cake. It is a beautiful and sunny day. Glacier Ice for drinksYep, touristy! Here is actual ice that is collected from the base of the glacier for tourists to add to their drinks. Note the ice pick for added effect! Victor working on electronicsVictor has all the electronics packaged in a suitcase for protection. He is rewiring things today in the hopes of getting the radar to work. He has traveled far and spent countless hours for this opportunity, I hope he can make it work. Ferry This ferry is the shuttle for all the tourists. Today Luke has booked it for himself as he is leaving back to Penn State. He is taking a sample of the sediment layers in the basal ice with him. The sample is packed in dry ice and he will look at shear strength back in the lab. Glacier KettleThis depression in the ground is formed by ice melting away a long time ago when the glacier extended this far. Ice capIn the valley slightly to the south of the one I am in is another glacier moraine. It is very rustic and scenic. You can see the top of the ice cap in the distance. Norway really has quite a bit of fresh water stored up in their ice cap. Knut tells me that when he flies over it that it is similar to the ice in Antarctica. Chatting about scienceThe evening is spent chatting about science and helping Victor with his radar system. Knut has spent a lot of time working with radar systems but this particular one is unique and despite his knowledge he is unable to help fix it. Evening sun on glacierThe evening brings a nice light to the glacier. At the base is a farm with tillable land. There are cows and sheep down here. All that you see was once covered in ice. Tree Hugging in NorwayThis is actually a big tree in Norway. I just can't get over how small they are here compared to my home in Oregon. These trees make for great firewood, easy to split such small stuff! Site of old Ice HouseThe old ice house stood here by this sign. Boats would come up the fjord and load up where the glacier calved off into the sea. No chance of doing that now! Victor and Knut and Radar systemVictor and Knut continue to try to diagnose the radar issues. Victor hangs his radar antenna in a tree to pick up a reflected signal, irradiating us in the process. Here the scope displays the signal. Unfortunately, no luck for Victor. Home in the woodsThis is home for the week, it is real cozy, we even get a fire going.