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> Wednesday, June 21st, 2006, Summer Solstice Party
post Jun 22 2006, 07:04 AM
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On Wednesday, June 21st, the entire camp was excited from morning until night about the Summer Solstice which is the longest day of the year. When you experience twenty-four hours of sunlight, each day is the longest day of the year; however, this did not curb their excitement. In Latin, solstice means “sun stands still”. Each year, the scientists at Toolik create a theme for the Summer Solstice party. The theme this year was “Arctic Flora and Fauna” – only scientists can get excited about this theme for a party! biggrin.gif You will see a few pictures I snapped at the party below. It is obvious that they used items in their labs for their costumes.
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Arctic flower
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Deadman's Finger Lichen
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Toolik Lake Monster
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Cassiope (bell shaped Arctic flower) and bacteria
We worked in the lab today as well. You will see chloroform fumigation extraction being conducted on the soil samples that were weighed yesterday in a picture below. Chloroform kills microbes so the nitrogen can be released. Scientists want to see how much nitrogen is held in the soil. Microbes living in the soil need carbon. In order for microbes to acquire carbon, they need nitrogen. When microbes take nitrogen from the soil there is none left for plants which causes problems for plant growth.
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Summer Solstice made the day a unique experience at Toolik Lake Research Station!

Neat facts about Alaska:

Dog mushing is the official state sport in Alaska. It was once the primary form of transportation in most of Alaska. The Iditarod is the dog sled race that happens annually in Alaska. Dog mushers travel from Anchorage to Nome through 1,150 miles of the most beautiful and dangerous terrain with 12 to 16 dogs. Check out www.iditarod.com for more information.

The Aleutian Islands are 300 small volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. Find them on a map.

Growth rings on sheep horns are called annuli (yearly rings like tree rings). They tell us the age of the sheep.

Note: I have many pages of pictures in my “Photo Gallery” so do not forget to check out that section. I cannot include each picture in my journal entry. Also, each picture has a brief summary so you will have another opportunity to learn about research in the Arctic Circle. If you want to enlarge the pictures, you just need to double click the picture you want to enlarge. At the top and bottom of each page on the left hand side will be the various page numbers.
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