In the morning students learned about fossils from Greenlandic educator Rikke Jorgensen and then Rikke and Einstein Fellow Shelly Hynes discussed climate change data including using DiatomsDiatoms are one of the most common types of phytoplankton. Most diatoms are unicellular, although they can exist as colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons. Diatom communities are a popular tool for monitoring environmental conditions, past and present, and are commonly used in studies of water quality. to show how temperatures have increased over time. This data was provided to Shelly by Paul Hamilton, Curator of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Toronto.
In the afternoon the students traveled out to the end of the Kangerlussuaq runway to search for fossils. Agnes Avakumoff (Alaska) found a really good one which is shown below.
Group 4 video about Fossils
After we collected several fossils we decided to have a bit of fun with a mud fight!
Later in the day we visited the Danish Meteorological Institute and learned about how weather is tracked and predicted in Greenland.
After dinner a group of students along with Kasper and Lynn found the cache near the musk ox and baby carriage, which is a big painted rock. Below is a picture of the cache.
Marisa LaRouche, Denver, Colorado
Hello! My name is Marisa LaRouche, and I just graduated from Regis Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado in the United States. I will be going to the Colorado School of Mines to study Electrical Engineering in the fall.
Fossils and Forecasts!
Today was a very eventful day here in Kangerlussuaq. We met up this morning to learn about fossils, and the unusual weather and climate of the arctic. Fossils have helped identify several species that can date back for millions of years. It has also helped us see when certain species and their present-day descendants originated. With that knowledge in mind, we became very excited to go search for fossils of our own this afternoon.
Our lesson on weather included an extensive look at different ways to examine the changes in temperature seen from global warming. We discussed how measuring global warming using basic air temperatures over a period of several years would not be accurate enough—it would be examining day-to-day weather (which varies) and trying to fit it into a model used mostly for long-term measurements. We concluded with learning that there are diatoms living in lakes around the arctic which thrive in certain temperatures. The measurements of these diatoms have been taken for many years, but only small numbers are reported. However, during the last few years the number of diatoms has shot up significantly as the lakes are warming to temperatures that are best suited for these organisms. Therefore, we learned that diatoms can be used to examine the temperature changes caused by global warming because they are more consistent and more accurate measurements than air temperature.
After a quick lunch break, we headed out to past the airport runways to look for fossils in the fossil beds. We had lots of fun frolicking in the sandy mud—we all really enjoyed sliding down the sand banks to the bottom of crevices to search for fossils preserved in the sandstone and clay. Many of us found fish fossils, and there were even seashells scattered throughout the beds.
After we searched for fossils, we visited the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), which helps the air traffic control workers at the airport across the street know what conditions they will be flying in. We learned how to identify different clouds, see some of the forecasts that had been made for today, and got to see the rain gauges and other equipment the meteorologists use there.
Tonight we are watching a movie and hopefully trying to pop some popcorn. We are so glad you are enjoying following our journeys with the Field School!
Thank you so much!
My name is Nivi Rosing I am 18 years old and I am living in Nuuk with my family. I go to high school in Nuuk on my 3th year. In my spare time I love to swim, hanging out with friends and go hunting for ptarmigans.
We started the day with an info meeting about the plans for the day, fossils and about climate changes. After lunch we went out to the Fossilsletten to se if we cut find some fossils. Some of us find some old remains of fish. It was funny for all of us to run around in mud trying to find fossils.
Some of the girls ended up having a mud fight. They had so much fun, that all of them ended up covert in mud.
We went to the DMI weather station here in Kangerlussuaq afterwards, were they check the weather and cut forecasted the it up to about 30 hours forward.
We eat dinner at the airport, and some of us went to find the hidden geocache by the big painted rock, and we found it with some different things hidden inside of it.
At the evening we watch a movie called The Proposal.
It was another good day here in Kangerlussuaq.