Joint Science Education Project 2013 Journals

Here is Josefine's reflection on Summit. I'm posting it in Danish, with a rough English translation following. -- Lynn Danish Kl. 9.00 stod vi alle klar uden foran Kangerssluak efterskole, hvor vi bor, klar til at tage flyet til Summit Station. Vi blev kørt med bus derud, hvor et kæmpe C130 fly ventede os. Det var en flyvetur, vi alle havde set frem til, og en flyvetur vi sent ville glemme. Mange af os småblundede, da flyet landede med et bump, hvorefter en af soldaterne i flyet over radioen fortalte os, at vi sad fast. Noget vi senere hen fik at vide, sjældent skete én gang hvert tiende år! Da vi stod ud af flyet, var det ikke kun den bidende kulde, der mødte os, men også det mærkværdige syn ved ikke at kunne skelne jorden og himlen fra hinanden. Alt var bare hvidt. En snescooter...
This morning, we were all excited to jump in the cars, especially the “La Vida Loca”, a Lada Niva car (used by the Russians in James Bond movies) nicknamed so by Britta. Our caravan of trucks and cars rode up to the cantina for breakfast, Britta enjoying Ronin’s rock music all the way. After a filling meal, we returned to begin editing our films and packing our bags. We attempted to cram in some film clips while others cleaned and the two of us took a short break to pound flowers into fabric in order to stain it. After lunch, it was time to go souvenir hunting. So it was back to “La Vida Loca” and the Airport. We perused the two shops which have mainly the same items for T-shirts, sweatshirts, magnets, stuffed animals, mugs, pins and hand-carved trinkets looking for presents for family...
Nearing the end of this trip we all went to bed knowing this would be one of the last days we would see each other. Nobody wanted to wake up, but we all knew we needed to. When we were all ready to get up and go we left for the Cantina for breakfast. Breakfast was eggs, bacon, and toast, accompanied with a team meeting on what we were going to do today. With the finishing of breakfast we headed back to our building. When we got back, we packed our lunch and saw a presentation given by Dr. Lisa Pratt and Sarah Cadieux of Indiana University. Their presentation was about the relation between Greenland and Mars, and what they can learn from Greenlandic lakes. After the presentation, we all drove out near Long Lake and hiked up a very steep hill to get to another lake, called Pontitella,...
We would be leaving Summit Station today! We woke up and packed up our bags. Our packs needed to be loaded and put on the sled. We also wanted to be in the Big House for breakfast before 8:00 so we wouldn’t interrupt the morning meeting where the day is outlined and each crew member and scientist group gives their updated progress report and what they would doing for the day. Our group also gave the crew a big thank you for our stay and a student from each of our countries gave a message of gratitude in their native language. So we had a message in Greenlandic, Danish, and English. It was well received and everyone settled into preparations for the incoming flight scheduled for late morning. This would be our ride back to Kanger along with 16 other workers and scientists leaving...
The start of this lovely day began similarly to all the others, a very cold walk to the Big House, a self-served breakfast, and a meeting with all the workers here at Summit. After the meeting, where we all talk about what we’re doing today, we went to the snow pit to take some more samples. We met with Dr. David Noone and Max Berkelhammer (of the University of Colorado - Boulder) and slowly made our way to the snow pit. Once we got there about half the group went into the snow pit and the other half stayed outside to make the wall thinner, allowing more light to pass through, which makes the beautiful colors of the wall more vibrant. To do this we had to very carefully shave snow and ice off the wall with the shovels we brought out. While the group was shaving ice, the other half of the...
Measuring albedo
After a long bright night at -24°C (-12°F) we trudged over to breakfast and yet more sessions of knot tying. Soon afterwards the IGERT students gave us a presentation on the properties of albedo before we braved the cold and took our own measurements of the albedo. I learned that the albedo (or reflectivity of a surface) can be affected by a large number of variables including color, density, crystal size and crystal shape. In order to explore these influences on the snow’s reflectivity, we split up into three groups, each sampling undisturbed, compacted and dirty snow. To my group’s (and the IGERT students’) surprise, my group found that the dirty snow at the ‘’pee stick’’ actually had a higher albedo than both of our other measurements! We discussed the possible reasons for these...
JSEP 2013 at Summit
Today we started with a chilling trip from our tents to the ”Big House” and enjoyed a self-served breakfast. At exactly 9:30 we launched a weather balloon that will very accurately measure the weather along with hundreds of others from around the world. JSEP students got to launch a weather balloon at Summit Station. ICECAPS science technician shows the radio sonde device that will collect and transmit the many weather measurements as the weather balloon ascends. The weather balloon launched by JSEP students ascends above Summit Station. After watching the balloon float away, we went to the MSF (Mobile Science Facility) building and studied the snowflakes that had fallen and learned what their importance to the scientific community is. We learned a little about the ICECAPS...
Ready for our trip to Summit!
Today, after an early breakfast at the airport cantina, we left Kangerlussuaq bound for Summit on an LC-130. JSEP students participating in Science Education Week are ready to board the LC-130. Boarding the LC-130 We rode the bus to the airstrip and loaded up on the plane. We excitedly settled into our seats and buckled in. On our way to Summit Station in an LC-130 We unloaded for a brief time while a radio line between the loadmaster and the cockpit was repaired, and then we were back on the plane and on our way. After we were airborne and at a certain altitude, we were able to get up and walk around on the plane and take photos of each other in the plane and of the ice sheet below from the windows. View from LC-130 over Greenland. Meltwater pools on the top of the ice...
Peregrine Falcon Chick
Science Education Week is the second phase of JSEP. The remaining eight students and four teachers have been reorganized into two groups named Aput (Snow) and Siku (Ice) because of the main focus of the program: the trip to the top of the ice cap. The expedition continues! -- Lynn The morning began with a saddening goodbye to three of our best American friends, Chloe, Grace, and Sam – and this after yesterday’s departure of Nuka, John Peter, Naasu, Sandra, Michael, and Rikke. Although this morning started off on that depressing note, we were cheered up with a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and REAL coffee. Sam, Chloe, and Grace show their sad faces at leaving Greenland. After this hearty breakfast, we met with Dr. Kurt Burnham of the High Arctic Institute (http://www...
We have had an excellent Field School this year. The students and teachers worked hard, yet had a lot of fun while learning. Britta collected the following "favorites" from each student to share with our readers. (Tomorrow will begin the U.S.-led Science Education Week.) Ronin-- My favorite part of this amazing trip is the fact that every day is a day we are out in the field taking samples and studying the wildlife around us, rather than being in a classroom studying out of a mass produced book. Also, being an Alaskan Native, I think it is really cool that this Greenlandic language, which is similar to an Alaskan Native language, is not disappearing, but is the first language people learn, opposed to English. Michael-- My favorite part of the trip is finding different kinds of rocks...