19 August, 1998

August 19, 1998

Betty Pingo****West Dock****First Bear Sighting

Since we had already gone through the safety training at BP Oil we were able to get started relatively early this morning for work in the field. At about 9:00 AM we got into the pick-ups and headed for the West Dock ARCSS Grid which is on the oilfields. The data we collected was much like the other grids and nothing new was found there. However, about the time we finished, Ron came back from another site and said he had seen a grizzly. Well, we all didn't need a second mention of the term BEAR to say "We need to see that!" So after lunch we all went to Ron's site to see the grizzly. It was about 200 meters from the trucks and no one wanted to get any closer because of the danger so we couldn't get any pictures, but we did look at it through binoculars. It was huge and the first one I had ever seen in the wild. It was far enough away I would not have thought twice about walking out into the field. Amazing how those things can look just like a pile of dirt. I am really glad that it just seemed content to bask in the sun and recharge its batteries! TOY

After the bear expedition, we went to the Betty Pingo Grid and took all the active layer measurements there. This makes two square kilometer grids in one day. We got done at about 8:30 and went home and let me tell you, tired doesn't even begin to describe how we felt. I know I don't even remember hitting the pillow before I fell asleep.

We did get done in Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay however, and I for one am ready to see what Barrow is like tomorrow.


We finally saw a bear today - at comfortable distances, to be sure! It was like you would expect it, except not as active. Besides this, it was a pretty ordinary day. for the arctic.

Ken Hinkel drills a hole to install some thermal sensors at depth by Betty Pingo on the Arctic Coastal Plain (photo by Javier Lopez).

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