The Inupait Hertiage Center was a chance to learn about the local area and the Inupait Eskimos that live here. The Center is best know for its whaling exhibit. The most interesting thing for me about the whaling ritual is how the Inupait people honor the whale; such as praying before the hunt, the entire crew remaining silent until the whale completely expires, and returning its head to the sea so its spirit can communicate to other whales.

    This parka was worn during a blanket toss ceremony.
    Further into the whaling exhibit were displays of whaling tools and native clothing.

    The whale is shared with everyone in the community.
    The whale is being sliced with a long handled blade called a tuuq. Photographer: Luciana Whitaker-Aikins, Inupiat Heritage Center

    Two Researchers Are Better Than One

    Earlier this week, we were joined by Kim Miller - a second researcher - who hails from San Diego State University. Kim is doing her own research that complements Elliot's research. Today we deployed her 48 soil chambers. So yes, there was more wheelbarrow action, but I think I'm getting the hang of it because I didn't tip over the wheelbarrow at all! We ended up staying in the field until 9:15PM, which was no problem with 24 hour sunlight!

    A little bit of foam and duct tape can fix anything.
    Kim is modifying her soil chambers with ingenuity and duct tape!

    Kim puts the soil chamber in pair formation.
    Kim wields the bread knife as her weapon of choice in inputting these soil chambers.