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Archive for the ‘Ben Walker’ Category

After three fantastic weeks at Summit, our group of four (IGERTeer Ben Walker, Allison, Jim and I) will return to the US tomorrow. Our last week was very productive and full of radar surveys! Thanks to our colleagues at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), we have a spectacular, cutting-edge radar system that we are using to look at ice layers in the snow. We pull the radar across the snow using a snowmobile so that we can cover lots of ground at a set speed. We had hoped that our friend the Cool Robot would be able to tow the radar, but weighing in at over 400 pounds, the CReSIS radar system proved to be too great an adversary, and the Cool Robot could not quite make the cut on the softer snow.

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Might look like a smurf, but that’s me running a radar survey with the CReSIS Snow Radar. (Photo: Allison Morlock)

The Cool Robot was able to do a special radar survey for the camp by taking a look at an old freezer trench (where food and ice cores were once stored) that had been buried several years ago. The robot drove over the freezer trench pulling the smaller radar system to see if any cavities remained where the freezer once was. Check out the glamor shot below of the Cool Robot with the Summit “Big House” in the background.

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Cool Robot running a radar survey of Summit’s old freezer trench. (Photo: Tom)

In our journey homeward, we had the great fortune of catching up with Ruth, Christine, Jess and Zach in Kangerlussuaq for dinner. We enjoyed some food from the local “Polar Bear Inn” and swapped stories about our trips –ours coming to an end and theirs just beginning. The Kanger crew headed back to their camp to get ready for another big day of science on the tundra tomorrow. Our agenda for tomorrow includes a flight back to Scotia with the Air National Guard. Once I’m back in Hanover, I’ll be pulling together the data I gathered during our trip to make plans for our next visit to Summit in mid-July.

I can’t thank the Summit Station crew enough for all that they did to make our visit go so smoothly. Though a few days late at this point, the sentiments are still there–wishing everyone a happy solstice and the best of luck for the rest of the field season. Greenland, I’ll be back soon!

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The crew at Summit wishing a happy solstice to all! (Photo: Katie Hess)

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The first of the IGERTs are up in Greenland as the 2013 field season begins. Ben Walker and I (IGERT cohort 4s) are up at Summit Station in Greenland for the next three and a half weeks with Dr. Jim Lever from CRREL and Alison Morlock (a recent Thayer MS graduate – congrats!). We will be working with the Cool Robot – a solar powered robot that is designed to carry instruments across polar ice sheets for scientific research. I have a few different projects that I’ll be working on up here, and the science is just getting started!

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Spectacular view out of the window of the LC-130 cargo plane! My best guess at a location is Northern Canada!

We had a great trip from Scotia up to Kangerlussuaq on Monday, and only a night in Kanger before heading up to Summit. We still took the time to take a walk around Kanger and up to Lake Ferguson. After the unfortunate washout of the bridge last summer, construction of the bridge across the river in town is moving along, but it is still not complete. We were able to take a route around and over to the lake. We were surprised to find that there was still ice on the lake!

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There was still ice covering most of Lake Ferguson!

We received a very warm welcome from the crews at Kanger and at Summit, and we are so thankful of all they have done for us already! The rest of the week has been spent acclimatizing to the altitude, unpacking and testing out gear and making plans for the rest of our trip. More updates to come!

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View of Summit Camp at bedtime

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