My final day in Barrow did not see much idle time. Fritz and I hit the field early, in an effort to install a data-logging tripod at our CALM grid. Alas, we were met by road closures, and had to leave the task in the capable hands of BASC staff members for a later date. I drove Fritz, Dima, and Kelsey to the airport where their plane barely beat the fog out of town. The three researchers will head to Nome, Alaska for a few more days of probing and data logging before returning home.
After the drop-off, I returned to yesterday’s meat cellar to install the new data logger. I was cautious enough to wear full rain gear this go around, so that my clothes beneath would remain largely blood and odor free.
I was privileged to give this week’s Schoolyard Talk at the Barrow Arctic Research Center (BASC). Every weekend, an expert weighs in on a topic relevant to the Barrow community. While I’m far from an expert, I shared a bit about the PolarTREC program, the CALM research project, and education in New Orleans. The audience was very gracious, and anxious to learn ways I anticipated linking my research experience to students’ lives in New Orleans. A large part of the discussion centered around the shared phenomena of subsidence in each region, as well as the linked implications of climate change. Thanks to the incredible tech staff at BASC, the presentation should be available via podcast soon.
The talk ended with an impromptu tour of the BASC facility – a state of the art research and community building for Barrow students and scientists. I was able to catch the tale end of the Barrow High School football game, where the Whalers and their fans braved chilly temperatures to beat Valdez high school. The two teams play for the “Pipeline Trophy” every year – a symbol representing the schools at the far northern and southern end of the states.
The Barrow Whalers football team beat the Valdez Buccaneers to hold onto the Pipeline Trophy for another year.
Before being driven to the airport for my own departure, I took one long-awaited dip in the Arctic Ocean. While my time in the field has drawn to a close, the PolarTREC experience is still just beginning. Expect a full report from the first week of class coming very soon, and continued updates regarding the CALM team’s final days in the field, ongoing communication with North Slope folks met along the way, and photos that trickle in from other crew members. Thanks for following, and so long from Barrow!