August 19th came a lot faster than I imagined. After several reviews of the PolarTREC binder and my notes, I felt I was ready to go live. But, as we all know, Murphy’s Rule applies in any situation. In my case, I was in need of an expert in Baseline Surface Radiation Network instrumentation for the PolarConnect event. Since my primary researcher was unable to make the expedition, I had to find someone either on site or online within a short period of time. I began my search with Ken, the station manager. He was quick to direct me to Andy, a science tech, who had experience with BSRN. I approached Andy and due to his hectic schedule of closing for the summer, he was unable to commit to the PolarConnect event. My next option was to talk to the NOAA techs. They quickly referred me to a NOAA researcher by the name of Ellsworth Dutton. Dr. Dutton unfortunately, was unable to commit, but he quickly sent out an email to see if any of his colleagues could help. I immediately received an email from John Augustine, a meteorologist from Boulder, CO. He was more than happy to participate in the PolarConnect event and I was equally happy he could help me. The power of the internet and long distance collaboration!
Kristin and Janet kept the rest of the world in the loop with respect to the PolarConnect event. They advertised, sent emails, made phone calls and provided support when needed to ensure a smooth event.
As 4pm Greenland time rolled around, I pulled Ken, Katrine and Nico, from their duties to participate in the event for the next hour.
All four of us surrounded my computer where we did a roll call. It was really cool to hear all the people signed on to hear and learn about my expedition.
The PolarConnect event went very smoothly. Ken, Nico, Katrine and I enjoyed the experience. I was a bit nervous, as this was my time bringing this experience all together. Some great questions were asked. For example, where do we get our drinking water from? Ken was quick to respond. He explained how we have an area marked off as a snow mine. From this mine, a front loader scoops the clean fresh snow and dumps it into a large bin that is heated by waste heat from the generator. Once the snow melts, it is pumped in to a tank, hauled to the big house and pumped into a storage tank inside the big house. The time flew by and we ended up going just beyond one hour.
Once everyone signed-off, I got to talk to my wife on the Wimba Platform program. We were the only ones talking and I was happy to hear her words of encouragement. Next up, packing-up Summit Station.
If you want to see and hear the archived event, go to: http://www.polartrec.com/polar-connect/archive