12 June, 2001
Walked up to the site this morning and was met by what was once our mascot, the snowwoman. Reminded me of the line in the Wizard of Oz: "I'm melting!!!" This gives you an idea of how fast things can change around here. (Picture below)
We are still working to get the site up and ready for the first diurnal (24 hours worth of continuous measurements) by the end of the week, or early next week. We plan to do this twice a week till the end of the season. The remaining chambers had to have collars fitted on them, which would not have been difficult except for the fact they were submerged in 2 to 4 inches or freshly melted snow water…COLD! Try and fit a 3/16 nut on a bolt that you can't see and is in 35-degree water... when you're lying down in the most uncomfortable positing possible. Now do this 36 times! The three of us found our hands didn't want to work after a few tries but we continued and finished the job by the afternoon, sacrificing our bodies to science! With that done we plan on going out tomorrow and installing the pumps to clear the chambers of the standing water. (If only we could have done that before!)
In the afternoons, when we arrive back at the lab, usually about 4pm, there's enough time to clean up, email, read or just relax before dinner, which begins at 5 and goes through 6:30. It's there in the dinning room that all the different scientists meet and talk with each other discussing what they are working on or what their day’s work entailed. It is there also that people get to socialize and meet with the new groups coming in. There are research teams coming and going all the time, in fact a group of 6 undergraduate students from University of Michigan just arrived yesterday. They will be here till August working on a project mapping the tundra vegetation and the variables which effect growth. They have a large team because the physical area they are covering is large. What a great way to spend a summer, researching, learning and going to places not usually on the normal tourist track.
This is the most up to date picture of the site yet. (See below) Glen took a short walk near the site and found this nest of dunlin eggs. Dunlins are similar to sandpipers. They have the same walk and when they fly they seem to hover above an area. They also produce a very distinctive sound, sort of like a whirly- gig!! If you know what that is!
The birds are starting to come back. Every day we are seeing more snow buntings, beautiful, small, black and white birds which seem to be traveling only in pairs presently and will not stay in one spot long enough for me to snap a picture. We also had a short look at a snowy owl this morning at the site.
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