Home  •   Message Boards  •   Learning Resources  •   Members Only   •   FAQ  •  Profile  •  Log in to check your private messages  •  Log in
Barrow, AlaskaCaribou Poker CreekLena River, SiberiaSvalbard, Norway Prince Patrick Island, Canada
Summit, Greenland
Toolik Lake | Models for the Arctic TundraPlant DiversityPollutantsSBI Project: Healy Icebreaker
 Return to the Land Where the Sun Does Set View next topic
View previous topic
Post new topicReply to topic
Author Message

Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm home from my research trip. When I first arrived at Toolik Lake Field Station I thought wow, I'm going to be here for 3 weeks-that's a long time. Those weeks seem to have flown by, and all of a sudden it was time to say good bye to everyone, and 3 weeks seemed too short. I was going to miss participating in the Solstice celebration and the 4th of July triatholon with my new friends.

In the time I was there I learned a lot about how scientists do field work. It's really important to set up a plan, and be consistent and accurate in the testing. Keeping good records or logs is a big part of the research, and so is trying to get the information in more than one way. For our experiment we collected what is called ground truth data. Instead of relying just on the radiometers, the instruments on the truck, we also used soil samples and plant samples to find out how much moisture was in the soil and tundra tussocks. Ground truth data is a way to check on the accuracy of the data collected by the instruments.

I also learned that science field work is really interesting and fun part of the time, and part of the time it is routine, like any other job might be. There are certain tasks that must be completed each day, and many of them are the same day after day. But one really cool thing about the field work was that it was in a remote location that no one could go to unless they were doing science research. Toolik Lake Field Station is only for science people who are there to do research, and there are no hotels or resorts in that area. I was living in an area where most others could only pass through. Another really cool part of my experience was being with not only the Microwave Geophysics Group, but surrounded by other research groups as well. We were able to share and compare information, and learn about bird research, plant growth research, and more.

What I will miss most about my experience is the people of Toolik Lake. It is a small community of researchers, people who work for "Mayor Rich" to keep the camp running smoothly, and VECO personnel, who support the science work with things like construction. At meals, in the evening, or in activities like the hikes everyone shared stories and learned from everyone else. They made me feel welcome and a part of the community, and my life is richer for having met all of them.

I will also miss the beauty of the tundra and the Brooks Mountain Range out my window. I might wish for some of those extra hours of daylight this summer; to experience 24 hours of daylight is amazing.

My trip home took 2 days; one to ride the Dalton Highway Express from Toolik Lake to Fairbanks, which is an awesome trip, and the next to fly from Fairbanks to Minneapolis and finally home. It was great to see trees and stars again. Most of all it was wonderful to see my family and friends again. My recommendation for teachers and for students: seek out opportunities to explore new places and experience new things. Try to work with a group of scientists in the Arctic, or anywhere else that interests you. Don't worry that you might not be selected or that it is very different from other things you've done. Go for it! The experience will make you a better teacher and a better student, and a better person.

Check the Photo Album to see some of the photos from the trip down the Dalton Highway.
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM Address
Display posts from previous:      
Post new topicReply to topic

 Jump to:   

View next topic
View previous topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

Powered by phpBB 2.0.11 © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group :: FI Theme :: All times are GMT
Toolik Field Station Lena River, Siberia Svalbard, Norway Summit, Greenland Prince Patrick Island, Canada Healy Icebreaker Caribou Poker Creek Barrow, Alaska