What an incredible few weeks I have had! The pluck ended earlier this week after eight days of carefully removing plants from earth. Eight days and fourteen people sitting around a table working from 9:00 am to at least 5:00 pm, if not later. The plants were then put in one of six scientific ovens to remove any moisture. This allows for an accurate biomass weight.

    Plants in Oven
    This is one of the ovens used to "bake" the plants to remove moisture.

    This week we have sent most of the volunteers home so the lab is back to just a skeleton crew. I have been weighing plant samples and entering data.

    Data notebook
    This notebook contains all the data for the pluck.

    Once the samples have been weighed, they are put carefully in a box and will be shipped back to Dr. Bret-Harte's lab at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

    My time here in Toolik has been an incredible opportunity for me to see science in action and to be part of the process. These few weeks in the field and in the lab have offered me reflection time on my own teaching practices and ideas for improvement, which has been the greatest opportunity. I am grateful.



    Your field work has been so interesting. Glad you had a good time.


    whats a skeleton crew???

    Rylee Oathout

    while your working how cold is it outside and whats your favorite thing out of everything your doing whats your favorite?

    Ciara McGreevy

    what is a skeleton crew?


    How is the weather out there is it cold ?

    callie new

    is it cold or are you use to it and i miss you hope to see you soon in about a week or two hope you are teaching us for science class in a little bite


    hi hope you are having fun

    Andrew S

    How big are the mosquitoes for you to have to wear those thick suits? Also, what is the most snowfall in the summer?

    trevon harrison

    what is the temp


    what do you like there and what do you hope to see there and are you enjoying it there is it fun there


    how many animals have you seen and what were they?


    is the weather in negative if so what is the coldest


    have you seen a polar bear


    What is a skeleton crew

    Gage Dameron

    Will you be bringing some "souvenirs" from Toolik?

    Svea Anderson

    Great question Jaya! We have four people in the lab now which is considered a "skeleton" crew. We had 14 volunteers last week and the lab was busy! Basically it just means that we are down to a smaller number of people who are working on the project.

    Svea Anderson

    Hi Rylee. Today was probably one of the coldest days. It was low 30s and snowing. I love everything that I am doing. I love the fact that I can walk in the tundra and identify what the plant names are. That is pretty fun! I truly enjoy working with my researcher and being part of the science and research that she is doing. It really has a big impact on the world and understanding the change in the climate.

    Svea Anderson

    Hi Andrew! The mosquitoes are large and slow- which is great because you can swat them easier! There are 35 different species of mosquito here in the Arctic! Can you believe it?! So the size really varies because you don't know who is coming at you!
    There have been several flurries this summer but I don't know how much snow was recorded. There is a faint layer of snow on the stairs and railings around camp this morning.

    Svea Anderson

    I haven't seen a polar bear. They aren't this far inland. I have seen evidence of brown bears (grizzly) and there was one here at Toolik on Sunday, but I didn't get to see it. (I saw brown bears in Denali earlier this summer. They are gorgeous)

    Svea Anderson

    Hi Gage- Great question! I don't know how you define a souvenir, but I am bringing home some fun things for the students in my class. I have mosses and liverwort so we can look for tardigrades, or water bears. What would you bring home if you were me? What do you think my students would like to see?

    Svea Anderson

    The temperature hasn't reached into the negatives, thankfully! The coldest it has been has been low 30's. The wind adds to the chill.