The ArcticNitro Team has reunited in Barrow for spring sampling. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s already been three months since our last trip. It was good seeing everyone again, both on the science and support team. Unfortunately, Tish Yager was not able to make the trip up this time. However, Adriane Colburn, a new faculty member in the Art Department at UGA has joined the expedition. I’m told she’s done some very creative work with her field experiences in the Polar Regions, and I’m looking forward to working with her here.
We held the first logistics meeting this morning and finalized plans for tomorrows’ sampling. We’ll be traveling farther out on the ice than we did in January, and closer to the water’s edge. A team will go out after lunch today to set up camp and Steven and Tara will go with them to test some equipment and do a couple of tests. Everyone else is setting up labs.
With the change in season comes a change in ice dynamics. Even from the plane last night, you could see the thin line of the open water in the horizon, and many “leads” as well. Driving along the beach, we saw enormous piles of ice that were pushed ashore in very high winds since our last trip and incredible ridging as far as we could see. I can’t wait to see what it’s like farther out!
Arriving here last “night” was very different from the arrival in January. Two things stood out immediately: first, it was bright sunshine at 7:30 pm (compared to the blackness of night in Jan); and, I walked out of the plane in my thin fleece shirt comfortably before I realized I had forgotten to put on my jacket! The Polar season is changing. According to data guru Marc Fischer, May 10th is the last sunset here until August. However, even though the sun dips just below the horizon there is no “night”. It’ll be an interesting change in our week here!
Check back to see our progress, and post some questions for the science team ☺
Art on the ridges: can you see the polar bear? (Image courtesy of Marc Fischer.)
The polar landscape in Alaska.
The coast of Barrow from the plane.