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25 March, 2002

I feel I have not stopped since my arrival here on Saturday evening. Dr. Jackie Grebmeier, the Principal Investigator for my program, and Kathie Stevens, TEA 2000, met me at the airport. They have kept me busy ever since. Kathie traveled with Dr. Grebmeier in March and April of 2001 on board the USCGC Polar Star. Be sure to check out her wonderful journal entries on the TEA website. She has been incredibly helpful to me, willingly answering my non-stop questions. This morning we toured the lab here in Knoxville, Tennessee where Dr. Grebmeier and her husband, Dr. Lee Cooper do their work. Jackie then gave me an overview of the extensive SBI (Shelf-Basin Initiative) program. A great website to check for information about this and several other related projects is http://arctic.bio.utk.edu. During a break, I had the opportunity to try on a mustang suit used while working on deck during a 'station" (when the ship stops so the scientists can deploy the instruments used to collect data and samples.) Be sure to check out the picture below to see what a mustang suit looks like. I stood by the freezer where they keep many of their samples in order to begin to get a feel for the Arctic!

Dr. Grebmeier will play different roles on each of her three cruises this summer but, on our cruise, her work will be focused mainly on benthic (bottom organisms) sampling. The "summer" cruise leaves Nome, Alaska on July 15 and returns on August 26 after traveling through Bering Strait into the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas of the Arctic Ocean.

This is what a mustang suit looks like. I'm standing by the freezer at Dr. Grebmeier's lab.

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