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7 August, 2002

Untangling the Disorientation!

Where am I going? With whom am I going? When am I going?

After arriving in Boston, renting a posh convertible and driving to Hanover, New Hampshire on Sunday I was excited to hear the answers. We spent much of Monday listening to past TEA parcticipants describing their various tours of duty. I have been undecided about my own direction, so this has greatly helped me reach my own decisions.

I thought the answers to my questions would be derived from my feelings, but they have actually come from other sources: listening to past TEA experiences, learning what makes a successful TEA parcticipant, understanding the responsibilities of a PI (Principal Investigator) before, during and after the field experience.

I learned that PIísí priority is their research. The goals and experiences of the TEAS are important, but come after the commitments to the research at hand. Many late nights await me as I try to write my daily journal and answer e-mails.

The afternoon tour of Cold Regions Research Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) was a quick look into the many facets that this facility parcticipates in. The tour guide and engineer described various research projects that CRREL was either working on or has completed. One research project studied how submarine hulls travel through the ice of polar caps. They were studying how different designs hold up to different thickness of ice as well as how the angle of the submarine was affected by the ice.

Another project studied how ice floes affect locks and dams. Ice floes often inhibit the travel of barges. CRREL was designing different techniques to prevent the ice from entering locks, thus speeding up traffic. There were many different projects that were also described, each of which studied some aspect of cold region research.

By the end of the day the answers to the first three questions had not been completely answered. Like politiciansí answers, they remain ..unclear. But I am now more excited about the TEA program. Keep following my journal to find out the answers to my continuing questions.

TEA Group Members in Lars' rental car.

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