The past two and a half days have been a whirlwind. Lauren and I spent the first day and a half covering as much terrain as possible. It’s my first time in Kangerlussuaq, so I’m just getting oriented, and Lauren wanted to cash in on the temperature data that she has been collecting for the past year.
I am also struck, however, by how familiar it feels to be here. The truth is, I started to think about and plan for this trip almost 11 months ago. I’ve written proposals for my research, I have completed the IGERT coursework on polar science, I have caught myself up to speed on Greenlandic history and current events, and I have picked the brains of my peers and scientists who also work up here. It feels wonderful to start the process of cementing these pieces together with a spatial reference and first-hand experience. I’m slowly finding my Arctic feet and enjoying the sunshine and cool air in the process (because that feels pretty good too.)
In this whirlwind there have been many highlights, including:
- People. We’ve met and gotten to talk shop with a number of scientists who are also staying at the Kangerlussuaq International Science Support headquarters. We even got a field tour from Andreas, who is researching the dynamics of the Watson River. The Watson is a glacial river (read: cold!) that flows past Kangerlussuaq. He showed us how he samples water from the raging river. In this picture he’s the one wearing the black jacket at the far end of the bridge:
- Glacier. We drove 15 miles and reached the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet!:
- Wildlife. Mid-fieldwork, we looked up and involuntarily (but gleefully) entered a staring contest with a muskox
Here’s to more highlights to come.