What a surreal opportunity to travel to Summit Camp with our IGERT friends! Kaitlin and I both have been up to the Greenland Ice Sheet before, and it was a decided treat to perform our science with the help of our IGERT cohort. As you’ve read in the blog, which has been thoroughly recording our exploits thanks to a Herculean effort by the rest of the group (including Ross!), Kaitlin studies the material properties of firn and I look at the spatial variability of the ice sheet. Kaitlin has been to NEEM, the Danish deep drilling site, and I have been to Summit Camp earlier this summer. We both agree that while deep field camp science is fun in its own right, experiencing the flat white of the polar ice sheet with your mates is a uniquely special time that will always be remembered. Cheesy? Perhaps, but all together true, and very telling of our experience.
We appreciated their enthusiasm, willingness to help, and thought-provoking questions. Here were scientists, some totally taken out of their studied element, challenging Kaitlin and I with their transdisciplinary inquiries and forcing us to refine our articulation of our respective fields. We certainly owe them, at the very least, a heartfelt “thanks” for their contribution to our field science experiments.
Without rehashing the previous days, we found ourselves sad on the last day for obvious reasons: 1) the family we inherited up at Summit Camp whose selfless and tireless daily deeds kept not only the big Summit machine moving, but elevated our group’s morale (i.e. sauna and cookies) as well as helped maintain our tightly-scheduled time at camp and 2) leaving “home”. Not home in the sense that we would have wanted to pick up from Hanover and move permanently to the polar plateau, but home in the sense that it felt natural to conduct our science here; we are very curious about snow and ice, and the draw to the ice sheet is undeniably strong.
So, goodbye Summit … but not really “goodbye” so much as “see you later.” We will, you see … we’ve promised ourselves that much.