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 July 27 – Last Day in the Field View next topic
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Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 74
Location: Barrow, AK

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 5:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Today was my last day working in Barrow and we planned it to be a fairly easy day. However, plans do not ALWAYS come off as planned in Barrow . . .

The weather of course was cooperative for field work, super foggy and about 40 F. Quite appropriate after four days of 60 F+ weather and sunshine. The plan was for Dora and Kim to start the field work at CMDL (thaw depth and soil moisture), while Kirstin and I went to BEO to collect the data. Then after lunch, Kirstin would go help Dora and Kim finish up, while I leisurely finished my journals and packed all of my stuff for leaving the next day. As I said, that WAS the plan . . .

When Kirstin and I got to CMDL, we went in to collect the data and discovered the collection computer to be off! We tried turning it back on, but unfortunately, the computer was deceased. It just gave us four beeps of protest and turned back off. We quickly rushed it to the IT director, Bob Bulger, but he was in a meeting, so we waited. When the IT guys got a chance to look at it, they suspected that the mother board was fried. How could this happen!

By this time, it was 11:30, so we went back to get Kim and Dora and bring them in for lunch. While at lunch, Hideki, a graduate student from Japan, working with another carbon flux research group from the University of Alaska – Fairbanks, asked if he could go to both towers and take Leaf Area Index measurements (LAI). LAI measurements need to be taken on cloudy days, because shadows can give erroneous readings. Well, today was definitely cloudy, so while Kirstin went out with Dora and Kim to finish and then dealt with the dead computer crisis, I would take Hideki to the BEO site and then the CMDL site to take his LAI measurements.

When Hideki and I got to BEO, the first thing we had to do was drive back in to get the backpack with the floppy disk drive and other computer connectors to download the data, which we had forgotten in the back of the other truck. Then we drove to BEO again and hiked out to the tower. One of the reasons Hideki wanted to spend the summer in Alaska working was to improve his English skills and he is getting very good, so we had some nice conversations about Japan and the United States on our walk out. While Hideki began his measurements, I downloaded the data. Ten minutes later, I had a long time to wait and amuse myself in the blowing cold fog while Hideki finished. I entertained myself by taking voltage measurements of the power generation tower, tie-wrapping loose wires on the ground and looking for polar bears every 3 minutes or so.

Hideki taking LAI measurements

After we walked in, I called Kirstin and she said they were getting ready to temporarily set up a spare laptop at CMDL while Bob finished setting up a new computer, transferring data from the hard drive and installing the programs on the replacement. So Hideki and I could go to CMDL and he could take his measurements there and I could meet Kirstin and Kim there. By the time that we had finished all of those tasks, it was closing in on 5 pm. That left me about one hour to figure out a plan for packing and to shower before we went to Pepe’s for my going away dinner. You would think that the packing would be easy, but I had collected quite a montage of items while in Barrow and not only were my bags pretty full when I had arrived, but I was losing one bag since I decided to ship my borrowed VECO clothes directly back from Barrow (instead of bringing them home and THEN shipping them back to Fairbanks). This required the locating of several boxes of appropriate sizes. But I managed to get all of those tasks completed and we had a very nice dinner at Pepe’s. (though I am writing my journals for the past two days on the plane right now from Anchorage to Seattle and uploading them even later Smile).

Pepe’s, North of the Border Mexican Restaurant in Barrow
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Toolik Field Station Lena River, Siberia Svalbard, Norway Summit, Greenland Prince Patrick Island, Canada Healy Icebreaker Caribou Poker Creek Barrow, Alaska