Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

We received word today that we will be leaving tomorrow; June 22, 2007 around 8 AM local time (baggage palletized by 5:30 AM). We will have to stop in Goose Bay, New Foundland, Canada for a quick refueling stop because of the large amount of cargo and high number of passengers on the flight. Rumor has it, they will give us a free ice cream during our refueling stop. I will be equally impressed if they allow us a bathroom break. There is nothing like going to the bathroom on a rocking C-130 behind a thin, movable curtain. Until mid-afternoon today, it was doubtful we are going at all. Apparently, our C-130 got caught in the snow and ice on a runway at one of the camps on the icesheet. It is free now, therefore, so are we! Oops, it wasn't free. Another plane came for us. We didn't stop in Goose Bay because one of the pallets was removed. The decrease in weight allowed us to travel faster, and to not have to stop for refueling. It was a great flight home.

I took the bicycle ride to the glacier-edge and farther today. To the glacier-edge is about 25 km (17 miles) one way. I went considerably farther. I venture it was 31-32 km (22-23 miles; one way). On the way to the glacier, I had another unusual experience. I will explain shortly. First, let me describe the "road". It is unpaved, very rocky, very sandy, and on the way to the glacier nearly entirely uphill. The wind was blowing in my face the whole way out. I crest the last hill near the glacier. I see a tourist bus at the river crossing. Nearly all the tourists are in the process of gingerly crossing the river in order to touch the glacier face. This is really not a bright idea. Huge, heavy chunks of ice, and chunks of ice and sediment fall off all the time. Actually, when the chunks break away, it sounds like a gunshot. It is too late to try to get away at that point. One can only hope that the material will not fall on you or anyone else. No one can predict where the ice will break at any one time. Regardless, one of the tourist spots me on my bicycle. I am in shorts, and a T-shirt. I have with me sunscreen, a hat, a windbreaker-like jacket, chapstick, sunscreen, bandaids, a snickers bar, water, and my camera. He gestures and yells to his fellow tourists. Everyone stops crossing the river, stops touching the glacier and they all turn with their camera to take a picture of me. I thought of the many things I could do at the time to liven up the picture. I went with the innocent choice... a wave! They all smiled and waved back. I think I made their day. I am so pleased. Now, everyone will have a story to tell when doing their slide show. If slides had captions, I can only imagine what they might be. I think I was the only bicyclist on the road to the glacier today. All kidding aside, it was a very tough ride. For those safety conscious, I told a couple of people where I was going, and what time I anticipated returning. I set a limit of 3.5 hours out, and I figured the same for the return trip. Actually, despite being tired, I was faster on the return because most of the trip was down hill. Since darkness is not an issue, I had no worries. I just had to tough it out. I beat my deadline home, and had a lot to eat and drink. Shower and laundry before packing tonight!

While the ride was difficult. It was well worth it. The scenery was beautiful. It was the last item on my list to do in Greenland before going home. In terms of visuals, I wanted to stand on the iceshelf and view the unfettered white vastness, see ice cores, and see the edge of the glacier. The edge of the glacier was dirty as I expected. Glaciers pick up a great deal of sediment from their grinding across bedrock. However, the glacier does have beautiful white and sections. When seeing a glacier of this size, and the amount of water that pours from underneath, it is an impressive sight. Actually, meltwater speeds the glaciers downslope. So, meltwater might make a glacier appear to be "growing". However, it really might be thinning and slipping.

An interesting fact I learned from another educational talk was the Greenlander flag is not flown higher (as is the custom with the U.S. Stars and Stripes) than the Danish flag, but it is flown more north than the Danish flag. This is such a simple, elegant, and non-chauvinistic solution.

Please, forgive any spelling errors. Spell check is inaccessible to me right now because I can't read Danish... It is so difficult to edit oneself. Largely, I think this is true because most of us secretly believe we don't require editing...

Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for your emails and comments. However, most of all, thank you for your expressed, and understood support. I could not do this without you. To my wife Barbara, and daughter Carsen, I want you to know that most of all I appreciate and love you. I want to thank Dr. Greg Huey of GA Tech for allowing me to participate. You were kind and supportive, so I had the trip of a lifetime. I could not have asked for more.
Oh yes, I have decided to continue the blog. The upcoming voyages might not be as dramatic, but they will noted, and shared. Sometimes, trips of the heart, mind, and spirit take one one farther than those of the body. Be well all. Please, share your voyages with me. mike

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

I awoke too late this morning. Rest is probably what I needed. The two bicycles are being used. Most of my fellow voyagers are shopping. C'est la vie. I had a hardy breakfast, showered (the world is thankful), and washed my clothes (more thanks). A couple of us are going to climb Black Ridge, and maybe beyond today. I am curious about the muskoxen numbers in the meadows. I would like to walk a bit farther. There is a distant hill I saw earlier in the trip on a previous walk up Black Ridge. I am going to aim for it. My hunch is that it will offer a better view of the ice sheet. Tomorrow, I will get up earlier to use one of the available bicycles and/or rent a bicycle to take up to the glacier. I understand the "seaside" community is not exactly as I heard about, and the road doesn't take you appreciably closer to the edge of the fjord. So, glacier bound I am! More to write later.

After lunch, I went to check on a bicycle rental. While standing outside the shop awaiting the return of the store clerk, I was chit-chatting with another visitor. He turned out to be a reporter for "Voice of America" (VOA). His plane to Summit Camp had been canceled because of another medivac situation. This one was an altitude-sickness-related problem. Apparently, it was a difficult situation. The word out is that the patient is back in Kanger and doing much better. I am so thankful that I was not altitude-affected, and that Tyler (Summit's medic) is so capable, and has adequate equipment, and materials, as well as the necessary support to deal with a potentially life-threatening situation. Regardless, the reporter asked if he could interview me. I said yes. On video, we discussed climate change, how I got to go on this trip, what I was doing at Summit, and what I wanted students to gain from my experience. I had the opportunity to mention Lakeside High School. He said the interview would be aired next week. Who knows, maybe I'll become the next big media star? Gosh, then I will have to worry about my haircut, my clothing, etc. Perhaps, I should retain an agent, a publicist, an accountant, and a lawyer. In which order should I hire them? I will stop now. The reporter's name is Kane R. Farabaugh and VOA's website is

After the interview, we walked up Black Ridge, and much further. I wanted to see more of the distant (25 kilometers; about 17 miles) ice field. While up on the peak, a reporter from an Albany, NY newspaper drove up, and (you guessed it!) we were chit-chatting. I was interviewed again prompting me to yet again to worry about haircut, clothing, etc. I believe the Newspaper is the Albany Times-Union. It was basically the same set of question. Again, I mentioned Lakeside High School. The walk was somewhat strenuous, but well worth it. It was cool, moderately overcast, and breezy. There was a good view of the icefield, and the ice-edge-defining glaciers. In the opposite direction, I could see the coastal mountains heavily-laden with glaciers. All around me, I could see and touch massive boulders indicating that during the last ice age, glaciers towered over even the hills or small mountains we were walking on. I took many pictures (Unfortunately, I will have to upload them from home.) of the vast-openness of the country, the ice field/glaciers, and closeups of the biota. Insects are starting to appear including black flies, mosquitoes, and moths or butterflies, but the wind was strong and I didn't get bitten. Unfortunately, I didn't see any caribou or muskoxen. I hope to see both tomorrow. By the way, I have not seen a single tree in Greenland. Climate dictates that the vegetation is low-growing, and slow-growing. The tundra is dominated by lichens, mosses, grasses, and stunted-bushes. The rapidly greening vegetation signals the bountiful time of year. Small, beautiful flowers are appearing. After solstice tomorrow, the daylight hours will begin to diminish, and after a brief month of relative warmth, nature's creatures will begin to prepare for winter. However, until then, Greenland is awash with life, and its rivers scour and carve rock with an ever-increasing, sediment-laden volume of water.

All meals were good today. The workers at the cafeteria know my name, and I know their names too. I feel as if I am living in a "Cheers" episode. It is really quite nice. They are great people. I really can't properly express how rewarding it is to have met so many wonderful, kind, and talented people. I am thankful and lucky. With that being said, signs, if present, are in Danish or Greenlander. So, I am not always sure what is offered at mealtime. I have to be careful because I don't eat red meat. Today, I mistook sauce for a soup. The giveaway for my ignorance was the size of my bowl, and the completeness with which I filled it. I took good bit of good-natured teasing about it from the staff. Actually, in the end, I dipped my boiled potatoes, and bread in the remains of the sauce. It was creamy, and had some chopped green vegetable or spice in it. It was tasty! I think it should be a soup.

I am tired now. Please forgive any incorrect spellings. Except for my actual typing, everything else is in Danish, and I can't figure out how to change things to English. So, even things like spell-check is a bit difficult.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Before leaving for Kanger, we loaded 53 boxes of icecore samples. Each sample is about one meter long. There are many cores per box. Everyone pitched in to help. I really enjoyed the can-do and helpfulness of everyone at Summit. After loading, I wandered over to a seemingly non-descript site. It is all that remains of the original ice-core drilling site that introduced the world to the relationship between global warming and levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. I am nonchalantly leaning on the drilling pole.

We arrived safely, and with minimum discomfort from Summit early afternoon. The flight was fairly uneventful, but the JATOs did give good acceleration. It was fun!

A group of five of us are planning to visit some of the sights equidistant from Kanger. In one direction is the "port", and the other way is the face of the glacier. I would like to see both. We have 2.5 days, so time is not short. There is not much to report today except a few subtle changes in the local area. The hills have much less snow on them, and they are definitely greener because of some local rain. The river running through town is faster, and higher. By weathering (in this case the grinding of ice on the bedrock), the glacier has created much new sediment. As the glacier melts, erosion caused by the melt water washes the sediment down the valleys scouring the surface of the rocks. This scouring leaves beautifully shaped bedrock exposed. The river water is opaque, and light-chocolate colored because of the suspended materials.

I am tired, and I am happy to be warm and out of the wind. Dinner was minimal for me because I don't eat red meat. Breakfast and lunch will be better. I live in the world of "it will work out". It has allowed me to make it through alot. Be well.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

Last night, we packed until 10:45 PM local time, and we were back at it at 8:30 AM this morning. It takes a lot of material, and a lot of of work to run a scientific expedition (the word used in camp is campaign) of this type and magnitude. Let me give you an idea of the quantity of material. Pallets are stacked with our boxes, etc. eight feet tall, then we strap them down. Imagine ants crawling under, on, and over a scrap of food, and you would have a good idea of what we looked like. Very little of our person is visible. Communication is largely verbal between individuals; the subtle facial cues we take from one another are hidden by scarves, and sunglasses. The temperature was at zero Fahrenheit, and there was wind. It was chilly. Each pallet must be weighed. We have two plus pallets. The first pallet weighed 4,800 pounds. That is nearly 2.5 tons. The second pallet is as large. The third is a collection of other miscellaneous material, and it will contain our luggage. Perhaps, the numbers I just gave you will give you an idea of the size and strength of the C-130. The nickname for C-130s is Hercules! I have to agree. Actually, the C-17 I flew to Antarctica (from Christchurch) can hold much more. Inside it is huge. However, it is a jet, and as far as I can tell, C-17s have not been fitted with skis for landing on snow and ice.

I will not be sleeping in a tent tonight. My sleeping bags were used for packaging material in the wooden crates containing the large equipment. Instead, I will be sleeping in the Recreation Port (Recport) on a cot. I think there is even heat in the structure! One of the ice-corers is making a Thai dinner for everyone. He says it will be hot. He didn't even bother with the word spicy. Maybe I will still be hot from dinner and not be affected by the cold cabin trip back to Kanger. Before dinner, another round of Trivial Pursuit ensued. After dinner Soccer (football in most of the world) will occur. It will be the young v. old. The demarkation line is thirty-five years old. Much bravado on each side. Yesterday, the Summit Golf Tournament occured. With flags embedded in the snow all over for safety, identifying "pee" poles, freezers, science trenches, skiway, etc., the course is already laid out. Golf is a winner here!

We must have our personal belongings ready to be palletized by 9 AM in the morning. We will sit around until the C-130 lands, pick up a brown bag lunch (a very nice touch given by Summit's great staff), then board the plane. If the plane lands, I understand we will leave. A plane will fly into Summit if the pilot can identify a horizon (not as easy as one thinks given the conditions), and cross winds are not too great (no, I don't want to roll in a plane). Take off will be interesting. C-130s are propeller (four) driven planes. However, to assist in take-offs four JATOs (Jet-Assisted-Take-Off devices) are attached to each side of the fuselage near the rear of the plane. As the plane gathers speed for takeoff, the JATOs are activated. The fire like rockets. I understand there is no shutoff once ignited. Flame and gas are spewed out the back, and the plane is accelerated forward. It is a perfect example of Newton's Third Law of Motion summarized in the saying "For every action, there is an equal, but opposite reaction". I will tell you how it goes in tomorrow's blog. It will be my first JATO takeoff. From the ground, it is spectacular (although, it did greatly affect the measurements of the scientists.); everyone at camp stops what they are doing to watch them.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

Today is Sunday. We have been packing since early this morning, and will continue late into the evening. Strange, even with no night, we still breakdown the day into morning, afternoon, evening, and night. Actually, some preliminary packing occurred last night. Equipment has to be broken down, packaged, packed, and palletized. Pallets have specific restrictions as to size. I know the C-130s are strong airplanes. They are used to move tanks, but all the weight of these pallets seems overwhelming. Apparently, it is not.

It is not a fun day. The work can be grueling. In general, I don't think I really like Sunday's at Summit. I miss the gathering together of people at meal time. The food is good here, but it is the communal, talking time I miss. Sunday is the day that the staff is off. Heaven knows, they have earned it.

Hopefully, by lunch tomorrow, we will be done packing. Then, time for a last walk or chat. No pictures today. Things are packed up. Strangely, I am not quite ready to leave here, but I am ready to go home. It is hard to reconcile these two feelings. It is beautiful here, but not a place I would want to spend my lifetime. I need an environment more with more variety. However, I doubt I will ever be by this way again. So, I want to soak up as much as possible. No melancholy, just tired.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

It was colder last night. When I went to bed about 10:30 pm local time, the temperature was 17 degrees Celsius and falling. It continued to fall, and early this morning, it felt really cold. However, by 7 AM, it was again comfortable in the tent. I was house mouse again, so I got an early start on the work. I washed dishes and stocked things around breakfast. Then, I took a walk on the skiway (runway). It was about a 1.5 hr. round trip. It is being groomed for our departure. We got the word that our C-130 cabin will be a cold cabin (no heat). Some of the ice cores are returning to Kanger. They can not be allowed to warm and melt. We will just have to bundle up. Kanger is only a two hour trip. The six hour trip to Schenectady (Scotia), NY should have heat.

Just in case you wondering... Shower and laundry day! yippee!

I want to share with you a most beautiful sky phenomenon I witnessed on my walk today. The sky was awash with small needle-like crystals that sparkled and shimmered like a host of rainbows. The sky was resplendent. You can't feel the crystals, but one surely can see them. The term for what I observed was diamond dust.

Diamond dust usually occurs in clear or nearly-clear skies, and it is sometimes called clear-sky precipitation. It is usually seen in the Arctic or Antarctic, but it can occur anywhere the temperature is well below freezing. Diamond dust occurs when a tiny dust particle or similar acts as a seed about which ice collects. The ice particles refract light, and act as little prisms.

I tried to take a picture of the diamond dust, but the image does not capture its beauty. I suppose it is very difficult to capture things ephemeral. My Internet search yielded a macro-view of diamond dust, but this view treats it as a science topic. What made it incredibly special was to be surrounded by it, and be a part of it. Sorry, no pictures today. Imagine something beautiful.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

I had another good night sleeping. Two of the scientists had a tougher time. They had some breathing difficulty. Sleeping in the tent can be claustrophobic, and the tent has warnings about keeping some vents open to avoid suffocation. The tent does a fine job of preventing heat loss due to the wind. However, the breathing difficulty was most likely not caused by the tent, but because of the altitude. Apparently, altitude distress, or sickness can hit hard and fast, or more insidiously, and it can be sporadic in appearance. Age, gender, or apparent level of physical fitness seem not to be factors. The scientists were a bit chastened, but fine at breakfast. Tyler is our very capable medic. He has a cramped, but well provisioned infirmary. Tyler is able to handle any altitude sickness problem, and a whole variety of other ailments that most would rather not read about.

Speaking about the tent. I have learned some tricks to staying warm at night. Don't worry, none of this is "X", "R", or "PG-13" - rated. Before entering the tent, knock off as much snow as possible, and quickly rezip both layers of the tent. Stash your boots in the corner, and slip into the bags with everything you have on. Warm up the bags for five or ten minutes. Unzip, and remove your parka, and use it as a third blanket. I like using it at the feet end of the sleeping bag. Exchange your day socks for dry sleeping socks. Then, depending on the ferocity of the night remove your vest, socks, gloves and hat, and other outer garments as needed. Some nights are colder than others. To date, I have not used toe warmers or a heated bottle. Early morning, 4 to 5 AM, is usually the coldest. The solution is to curl up into a ball, cover your head, and tuck in your hands. It will pass. By 7 AM, the sun warms the tent, and it is quite pleasant. Polar explorer Captain Scott and his men, actually brought pajamas to wear! I didn't, and I am just going to let it go at that.

Sitting at meals people talk. Despite the cold and constant worries about family, people find value in being here, and beauty in the surroundings. Here are some of the things I have heard said in the vein of "being worth the price of admission":

1. Working on something new and important.
2. Snowflakes, Fogbows, Sundogs, and Sun Pillars.
3. The physical challenge.
4. The food.
5. Working with great people.
6. Time to realize how much you love the people back home.
7. Snacking for free, and not gaining weight.
8. Learning new skills, and improving old ones.
9. Creating or expanding personal and professional networks.
10. Winter sports.
11. Less laundry.
12. Making and saving money for life off the ice.
13. Beverages.
14. Snowmen, and snow soccer.
15. Talking unhurriedly, and listening intently.
16. Learning or relearning determination, and flexibility.
17. Dreaming big.
18. Knowing you can and must trust people, and they you.
19. Sparkling snow.
20. Equality of opportunity.
21. Pitching in, and accepting help.
22. Taking ownership and pride in one's work.
23. Fellowship, and friendship.
24. A shower, and then clean clothes.
25. Taking a chance, and living your life.
26. Flush toilets, and interesting reading material.
27. Packed snow to walk on.
28. Hats, gloves, hot water bottles, and toe warmers.
29. At nighttime, not having use the to use the facilities.
30. The Internet and email.
31. Quiet time, and resting.
32. Laughter.
33. Informative lectures, chess, and other board games.
34. Choosing the music, and appreciating other's choices.
35. Finding what you lost.

While, none of the list is a proper quote, they do express the sentiments I have heard. Some are profound, if not elegantly stated, while others are silly and whimsical. They are in no particular order. Today, I encourage you to dwell on the good things in your life, and to build on them. I am going to do my best to follow my own advice. Let me know of the good things in your life!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

Talk at the Quonset Hut, and at lunch while dominated by science, also had the first glimmer of returning home. Mostly, it was logistics-finishing, packing, and deadlines, but there was talk of family, and what will happen after time on the ice. Many of us are leaving on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 to make way for a group of teachers and students, as well as some Distinguished Visitors (DVs). If you weren't sure, I am not a DV, but I appreciate your uncertainty. Typically, DVs are NSF officials, politicians, and representatives of non-governmental agencies. Often, DVs have some direct or indirect influence on funding.

Thursday, June 21, 2007 is Summer (Northern Hemisphere) Solstice or June Solstice. It is on this day, the Northern Hemisphere is most tilted towards the sun. Therefore, for any one day of the year, the length of daylight in a twenty-four hour period is greatest. Also, it is on this day the rays of the sun are most directly pointing on the Northern Hemisphere. The more direct the rays of the sun, the greater the heating. Following the 21st, in the Northern Hemisphere, the time of daylight per day will decrease until December 22, 2007 termed the Winter or December Solstice. From the standpoint of Northern Hemisphere observers, September 23, 2007 will be the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox, and Vernal (Spring) Equinox will occur on March 20, 2008. Equinox means that that the sun is observed directly over the earth's equator. Then, for a twenty-four hour period, the length of daylight and nighttime are approximately equal.

For earth, the repetitive, predictable progression of seasons, solstices, and equinoxes are due to the tilt of the earth (approximately 23.5 degrees), and the earth's revolution or movement around the sun. Let's distinguish between the terms rotation and revolution. For our purposes, rotation means spinning about one's own axis. For a visual, think of a basketball spinning on a basketball player's finger. As sunlight falls on earth's surface, earth's rotation causes daytime and nighttime. Revolution means repetitive, somewhat circular movement around another object. Excluding any processional events, etc., the earth's axis is permanently pointed in one direction at 23.5 degrees. As earth revolves about the sun, this means that in progression the Northern Hemisphere receives the most direct rays of the sun (June Solstice), Northern and Southern Hemispheres receive equal amounts of sunlight (Autumnal Equinox), the Southern Hemisphere receives the most direct rays of the sun (December Solstice), and to complete the cycle the Northern and Southern Hemispheres receive equal amounts of sunlight (Spring Equinox). Remember, the Northern Hemisphere's summer is the Southern Hemisphere's winter, etc. The more direct the sunlight is striking the surface, generally, the greater amount of daylight/day, and the greater warming. Notice, the distance from the earth to the sun does NOT cause the seasons.

I have never been "above" the Arctic Circle, or "below" the Antarctic Circle on solstice before. However, this is about to change, and I will be above the Arctic Circle for the first time next week on solstice! So, when I fly home on June 23rd, I will not only be returning to hotter temperatures and family (happily), but I will be returning to a place that has nighttime. Last time this happened, I was flying home from Antarctica to Atlanta, GA. I had a couple of days layover in Christchurch, NZ. I remember standing in Christchurch's central square looking at the night sky over a church's spire. It was a beautiful, warm, clear, star-filled night. One should appreciate nighttime; Stars are out, temperatures decrease, and the sounds of nighttime are different. I encourage you to take a few minutes and experience the tapestry of the night sky. Use binoculars and a simple star chart to help yourself navigate the celestial dome. It will not be difficult to imagine the ancients generating myth to deal with the infinity before them.
Graphics courtesy of Wikipedia. The specific sites are, and

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

I woke up earlier than usual this morning. Actually, it was warm in the tent this morning. I had a light breakfast, chatted for a few minutes, and headed out to the Quonset Hut. Before stopping there, I checked in on Lora. Lora's science partner was the one sent out by medivac. She has double duty, and I was trying to lend a hand. She trained me on a couple of pieces of equipment. The equipment measures nitrates. For the most part, my responsibilities will be to fill bottles correctly, make sure things are bubbling, and to be sure nothing overheats or freezes.

At this point, the atmospheric scientists are "on hold". The wind is blowing from the north bringing diesel fumes from the camp generator, and gasoline-powered snowmobiles over the measuring instruments. The wind is expected to shift to the SouthWest (SW) later in the day. Then, wind will blow fresh, clean air to the measuring instruments over the clean air sector.

Before lunch, I changed a compressed gas cylinder out. They are the heavy cylinders I have been dragging. The pressure is high in the bottles. I am learning to become more comfortable around them. Then, it was off to revisit the meteorologists that launch balloons. Unexpectedly, I got the chance to launch today. I was a bit too fast for the camera man. The two investigators are in a gentle competition to see who can launch the balloon that will rise the highest. Actually, there is an art to balloon filling. Too much helium and the balloon rises too quickly to transmit sufficient data (resolution is too low), or it could pop! If too little Helium is added, then the winds could quickly push it out-of-range before it rises high enough.

The wind is picking up, and shifting directions. The atmospheric scientists are scurrying to their experiments. All-in-all, a pretty typical day at Summit Camp. For excitement, if there is a break in the line for me to fit into, I will do my laundry and shower.

I just wanted to report that shower and laundry were done, and I am on the evening "shift". It feels great to be clean, and put on clean clothes! The washers I have encountered in Greenland have all been front-loaders. The one I used seemed to do a great job on my clothes. It used much less water than top-load washers, less soap, and the clothing seemed much drier upon the completion of the cycle. Drier clothing into the dryer meant faster drying, and less energy used. I wonder about top-loading washer's longtime reliability, and my understanding is the initial cost is greater. Regardless, I thought I would pass my observations along.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

Last night, the weather was cooler than the night before, but still comfortable. I slept in a bit (8 am), ate breakfast, and took a walk on the ski way. It is the ice runway used by the C-130s. Its length is about three miles. Lucky for me, it was in the process of being groomed, so walking was easy. I have come to like packed snow. Walking a distance, or walking and carrying/dragging anything with weight is tiring when sinking in snow. The snow here does not lend itself to snowballs and snowmen. It is dry and powdery. On the average, it snows about 50 cm/yr in Greenland, and this is considerably more than Antarctica. However, the snowfall's geographic distribution varies greatly. Summit Camp sits very near to the icecap's geographic high point. Snow falling here forms the ice that flows down the slope, and calves into icebergs at the edge of the island. Map courtesy of

After the morning's walk, and before lunch, I visited with one of the meteorology teams. This group is trying to assess the energy balance above Greenland's ice sheet. Energy arrives to Greenland through sunlight, and through large air masses that are moved around the globe. Some sunlight (light is a form of energy) is reflected back in a process called the albedo effect. Snow and clouds are particularly good reflectors of energy. Some of the energy from sunlight is absorbed, and then reradiated back. This reradiated energy heats the air immediately above the surface. This process creates sensible heat, and it is the heat (another form of energy)humans experience. This heated air rises, and as it rises loses its heat, and sinks. This turnover of air is called convection. Convection occurs in boiling pots of water, and underneath our feet as earth's huge tectonic plates move around on upwelling magma generated deep within earth's core! Also, energy is used to warm water in the air. This process generates latent heat. As they move around the globe, air masses laden with water then are able to distribute latent heat.

If heat is in equilibrium, heat inflow equals heat outflow, then the system is in equilibrium, and temperature remains constant. If heat input is greater than outflow temperature increases, and if heat outflow is less than inflow, temperature decreases. Obviously, global warming is a concern, so examining heat balance is of great concern. The meteorology team's study of the energy dynamics on Greenland will contribute to the our understanding of global energy distribution. One concern on the part of the team was the presence of black carbon resulting from burning of fossil fuel. Black carbon on snow (impossible to see, but measurable) reduces snow's albedo, increases energy absorption, and therefore increases temperatures. The team has ground-based instruments, and data-collecting balloons they launch daily at twelve noon. This dual positioning of instruments gives meteorologic information at ground-level and aloft.

Tuesday night is the guest lecturer night. Typically, a scientist will share aspects of their research, or interest. Tonight was different. Sara Wheeler (author) gave a talk on her biography entitled "A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard" published by Random House, Inc. 2003. "Cherry" was the youngest member of British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott's tragic 1912 expedition to the South Pole. Captain Scott lost the race to the South Pole to Norwegian Roald Engelbregt Amundsen, as well as losing his life returning from the pole. Cherry survived the expedition, and went on to write what is credited by many as being the best "polar" book written. It is entitled "The Worst Journey in the World", and it is still in print.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

Last night, the wind blew hard. There were periodic white out conditions. However, it was not that cold. It is strange in be in a snow and ice covered place, and have it get warmer when the wind blows. There was good news for our team. Indications of bromine and bromide showed up in the data. Both are in their scientific models. The best days to observe either is on windy days.

I went out to the ice coring camp this morning with Sara Wheeler (author; Terra Incognita, and other books). We rode out about six kilometers (four miles) on a sled attached to a snowmobile. I know we were traveling fairly slowly, but holding on to the railings of a sled traveling into a headwind made us feel like we were flying. Cover picture courtesy of

Researchers are drilling cores that will date back about five hundred years. They are trying to identify evidence of volcanic eruptions. In addition to rock (lava, pumice), water, and carbon dioxide, other materials are given off when a volcano erupts. One of these substances is sulfur in the form of sulfur dioxide. Eventually, in the atmosphere, sulfur dioxide is converted into sulfate. There, sulfate combines with other chemicals, and precipitates in rain or snow. On Greenland, snow never melts, and a datable, historical record of climatic events is formed. The top layers contain the most recent records, and deeper levels contain older information.. Ice coring mines this information... This group of scientists is examining sulfate.

Sulfur has different isotopes. An element's atoms all have the same number of protons. For example, all atoms of sulfur have sixteen protons in their nucleus, and most of the atoms have sixteen neutrons. However, some atoms of sulfur have 17, 18, 19, or 22 neutrons in their nucleus. This group of atoms of sulfur are called isotopes, and in the case of sulfur some are radioactive. Volcanic eruptions leave a radioactive fingerprint that can be identified. The ice core scientists hope to find evidence for volcanic eruptions in the ice cores using isotope fingerprinting. To do this, they will examine the isotopes of sulfur found in the deposited sulfate. Right now, they are about seventy feet down (still in the firn layer) or about two hundred years in the past. History buffs... your assignment is to list events, and persons famous 190-210 years ago.

In addition to talking with the scientists, we completed the digging out and the sprucing up of a backlit pit in the neve (new snow) and firn (old snow). Now stairs can now take you down about four meters (a bit over twelve feet). In front of you will be a thin, untouched snow wall, and on the other side of the wall will be another pit (no stairs). When the sun shines on the wall without the stairs, individuals on the stair-side are treated to a beautiful, backlit display of snow layering. It is a beautiful blue. Quite a treat!

We walked back to Summit Camp. It was a balmy -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit). A light wind was blowing from the west, and the sun was shining brightly. I took off my parka, and walked wearing my T-shirt. I did not want to sweat. Sweating in these conditions is not a good idea. One can easily switch from overheated to cold, and slip into hypothermia. Interestingly enough, it is not frostbite that kills, rather it is hypothermia. So, the idea is to be active up to, but not including sweating. Layering is a great way to control your body temperature.

It was a fun adventure.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

Today is Sunday, and the station staff employed by VECO (the contractors employed by the National Science Foundation-NSF) is off. Every day, one or more individuals have "house mouse" duty. The GA Tech Crew has house mouse duty today. "Mousing" is a camp responsibility involving washing dishes and pots, cleaning, vacuuming, bathroom cleaning, and trash duty. We have the duty today, and one more time before we leave. Mousing is a good community building activity. Everyone has to do it regardless of station. It is a good time to catch a shower (once every five days, don't ask any more). We are surrounded by water, and it is fresh! Unfortunately, it is frozen. So, the equivalent of four hundred gallons a day needs to be collected and melted. Then, if the water needs to be hot, a secondary heating occurs. Laundry, about every five or more days. Shoveling, hauling and heating water makes one reconsider every step.

In this harsh environment, nothing is taken for granted, simple pleasures like good food and conversation are cherished, and community spirit is a given. I wonder if we only become sloppy or unmindful of these when we live in a place where they can be taken for granted.

Again, it is a beautiful morning. The drifts of snow are compacting. I have been moving a gas bottle at a time on a banana sled. It is good exercise. Yesterday, with the drifts, it was real good exercise... Tomorrow, I hope to walk to the Ice Coring site. It is about six kilometers (four miles) away. If the conditions are like they are today, it should be a pleasant walk. Lots of sunscreen and protective lip balm are a necessity.

Well, it is about 9:30 pm local time. The wind is blowing hard, and the snow is swirling about. I am at SAT camp (where our equipment is based). It is called SAT camp because it is a SATellite of the main camp. I am standing at the open door of the Quonset Hut at SAT camp looking in the direction of the big house. The distance to the big house is about one-half mile. It comes into view, and then disappears depending on blowing snow. I have signed out a radio for tomorrow, but conditions will dictate if the trip to the ice coring camp is on. To go off site in poor conditions not only endangers the traveler, but the rescuer also. I won't do that.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

I had a wonderful night sleep. The temperature went to -17 degrees Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit), and it was windy. However, it was much more comfortable than -27 degrees Celsius (-17 degrees Fahrenheit). Greg Huey had said that the coldest days would be clear, and relatively calm. He was correct. We received some snow last night, and it is snowing now. The snow is drifting, and it looks Arctic today. It is hard to to tell where solid surface ends, and the sky begins. Strangely, it is pleasant.

Weather conditions are different than Antarctica. Snow is not all that unusual in Greenland. So, drifting is an issue, and things do get buried in the snow. Later in the summer, the big house will need to be raised again. It is constructed on poles with holes, not too dissimilar than adjustable shelving. Permanent buildings have exit hatches (below left is the roof hatch in the big house) on the roof for escape in case the windows and doors are blocked up. The hatches have been used. Pleasantly, I learned that a C-130 will float for a bit if it has to ditch in water. Again, their escape hatches are in the roof of the plane. Unfortunately, the wings are at the top of the plane, so the body or fuselage would be below water. I suppose it won't matter if one survives the impact and manages to escape (even with a life vest). Water temperatures are so low that quickly your body would go into hypothermia causing respiratory distress, and a slipping into unconsciousness. Soon, you would either drown (no life vest) or your heart would stop beating. Either way, death. Think Leonardo DiCaprio slipping away in Titanic.

Unfortunately, one of the scientists had to be transported out last night. He had an infection resulting from a wisdom tooth extraction. To be transported out is very difficult and costly. We have medical staff at the camp (a very well-trained and capable paramedic; with a substantial and high quality materials/supplies). Each of us has been Physically Qualified (PQ'd), but things don't always work out. My understanding is that wisdom tooth extraction is considered major surgery, and subsequently great care must be taken to mitigate infection. I have heard that it costs upward of $60,000 to transport a person off site at non-scheduled times. Apparently, they were transported on a Twin Otter. Our next scheduled C-130 flight is in about ten days. The decision to transport must of followed intense discussion, and conversation. It involved a suffering person who wanted to come here to work, others in their team that might or might not be able to pick up the pieces of the work, transportation costs, health concerns, etc. I hope they are well. I am glad it wasn't my call to make.

I have been learning about snow compaction. It comes down light and fluffy, hexagonal in shape, and classically like a child's paper cutout. Atmospheric gases are trapped similar to the way down traps air in a coat. Wind blows, over lying flakes compress the snow, and the beautiful snowflakes become pellet-shaped. Snow that persists for a year is called firn (pictured at right). Slowly, gas is trapped in the in the ever-deepening layers, and relatively large crystals form. This process is called metamorphosis, and the end result will be ice. Snow melting, the change of a solid to a liquid, is not of any significance here. Sublimation, the change from solid to gas without passing through a gas phase, is significant. To illustrate sublimation, even on subfreezing days, laundry will dry out. Wet clothes will freeze, and since it is below freezing, never melt, so no evaporation will occur. Rather, the ice crystals will sublime into gas. The reverse process of condensation (liquid to solid; ex. dew formation), and deposition (gas to solid; ex. frost) do occur. Snowflake picture courtesy of Firn picture courtesy of
The ice cores that one hears about measures the trapped gases, and correlates these to age and temperature. This has resulted in our concept of an increase in the amount of certain gases (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) and an increase in temperature termed the "Greenhouse Effect". Interestingly enough, the age of the ice and the age of the gases are usually slightly different. Over geologic time, the difference is minimal, but in the short run, the ice is a bit older than the trapped gases because until the gases are entrapped in bubbled areas, the air from the atmosphere continues to diffuse through the snow.

It puzzles me that anyone would dispute the relationship between greenhouse gases and an increase in temperature or that the recent cause in increase could be anything but an anthropogenic cause (burning fossil fuels, deforestation, etc.). Clearly, as the two graphs indicate, there is a direct relationship between global temperatures and global fossil carbon emissions. Now, what could be in dispute are the effects of this increase in temperature, how to deal with it, etc. I think that the "answer" to the global warming problem will come only partially from a high-tech source. We will have to deal with population, and what each one of us wants out of life. In other words, what will it take to feel like one has led a good life? What are our obligations to the future, and to those not yet born? What will be our legacy?

Graph of Global Temperatures courtesy of
Graph of Global Fossil Carbon Emissions courtesy of

Friday, June 8, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

It was cold last night. Toes, fingers, noses, and ears are such good radiators of heat. Hats, gloves, socks to bed, a double-walled tent, plywood flooring, a foam mattress, and two sleeping bags, and still one feels the cold. I have resisted using a hot water bottle, and toe warmers, but I am rethinking this through. I have been told sleeping at Summit is generally more difficult because of the altitude. The altitude causes the barometric pressure to be about 90% that found at sea level. However, I think any difficulty I might be having falling into a long, deep sleep is because of the cold. I have had no headaches, nausea, or other related altitude problems. I tend to drink the bulk of my liquids before 2 pm. Some afterwards, but I limit it. There is nothing like having to get dressed to go to the outhouse in the cold. I am trying to avoid this. Crunching by my tent late in the night or very early in the morning depending on one's perspective, the mutterings and the not always gentle closing of the outhouse door indicates that others are not so fortunate.

The sky is hazy, and there is a light wind blowing from the Southwest bringing fresh air into the clean air sector. No planes today, at least none are scheduled. This is good. Their exhaust plays havoc on the experimental readings. Weather is constantly being monitored on site, and correlated to the data concerning the atmospheric gases collected. However, I use information collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for this blog. A picture of the site is given to the right. NOAA has a wealth of information (weather, climate, fisheries, etc.) available to the public, and I keep it as a favorite on my home computer. While not connected to this project, or even to atmospheric science, another site I recommend is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) It has a wealth of information about health, medicine, and disease. Places where individuals can obtain valid and reliable information is critical to an informed and capable citizen of the world.

Four more empty gas bottles were moved today. We used the new electric snowmobile. I had never driven a snowmobile. Driving this one was great fun. The electric snowmobile is used because it does not emit pollutants. Therefore, its use does not affect gas readings taken in the clean air sector. The trade offs for using the electric snowmobile are that the machine is less powerful, it has a shorter range, and it needs a source of electricity for recharging. Regardless, using the snowmobile is easier than dragging the bottles on the banana sled.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

Last night was cool/cold and foggy. I understand the temperature was below zero degrees Fahrenheit, but I don't know the exact temperature. Little wind, but a gentle breeze encourages one into the tent, and then the sleeping bag. Summit Camp is above the Arctic Circle, so the sun never sets for a portion of the year,but it does get low in the horizon. This is "night", and since the angle of the sun is low, the temperature drops off. This morning, the tent was comfortably warm because the morning sun reheated the tent. The tents are billed as Scott (after the explorer) ovens. They are sturdy, double-walled tents.

I had breakfast, and listened to the discussions held by camp manager Kathy Young. Of especial concern was the ice coring work. It is considered to be relatively warm here, but not unusually so. However, it is warm enough to produce concern about trenching the snow for the drilling, and the maintenance of the cores once they are extracted. The ice cores can not be permitted to melt. They are not analyzed here, but are transported off Greenland to labs. The communal meal times are very important. People are seldom, if ever petty. Much of the talk revolves around the work occurring at camp, and its significance. People that go to these places tend to be cooperative, hardworking, talented, intelligent, and a bit visionary in their outlook. I look forward to the meals as much, if not more for the talk, than the food.

We moved empty compressed gas cylinders used in the experiments a bit more than 1/2 of a mile near to where they will be palleted up for transport off Greenland. The cylinders stand nearly as tall as me, and weigh about 150 pounds. To move them for departure, we use banana sleds, and pull. It is slightly uphill to our destination, and pulling them is hard work.

Lunch, like all meals was wonderful. I don't eat red meat, and little chicken or fish. The staff at Summit is most accommodating, so my dietary needs and epicurean wants are easily met. I try to limit the amount of food I eat. I know at altitude (approximately 11, 000 feet), and in the cold one uses more calories, but I am still cautious about the amount of calories I consume. I have switched from coffee to teas, and treat myself to an occasional hot chocolate. I don't consume a lot of alcohol as a rule, and to date haven't indulged in any. After lunch, I took a few mile walk on the ice runway. I didn't walk to the end, but I did get far enough away that when I looked out on either side, I felt like I was looking out on forever. It gave me pause to ponder. At times, I am very much an introvert, and need time alone. For me, alone time does not mean lonely. I love people, and after all I do teach school, but time alone is important to me. Buddha is reputed to have said "Work out the details of your own salvation with diligence." I believe that in my alone times, this is what I am doing.

This afternoon, I learned how to change out the compressed gas cylinders used in the experiments. This evening, we will download, backup and manipulate some of the data resulting from the experiments. I will do my best, but my computer skills are somewhat lacking. They will improve with practice. Greg Huey says that the work is going well, and much good data has been collected. The picture on the lower left shows Greg in the instrument trailer where samples are measured. Data from these instruments is processed in the Quonset Hut containing the computers. We have about ten days of collecting left. Then, we spend a couple of days of packing up the equipment, and hauling it for transport on the C-130.

It is late, but before I turn in, I wanted to share with you something beautiful I saw. Fog rolls in early evening and the temperature drops. The temperature dropping I could do without, but the fog is made of super-cooled water, and when the fog interacts with sunlight "fogbows" as in rainbows are produced. The neat thing about fogbows is you can see the entire arc. So, you can see the beginning and end of the fogbow! Technically, the fog is caused by a temperature inversion that is about ten meters high. Later in the evening the wind picks up a bit, the inversion is disrupted (turbulence occurs), the fog dissipates, and so does the fogbow. Our eyes can see it, but it is nearly impossible to take a photograph.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

The C-130 brought us into Summit Camp at 11:15 AM local time. The photo on the left is an aerial view of the Greenland ice sheet, clouds, and the blue sky. The white ice and clouds blend together, and to me represents the seeming unfettered vastness of Greenland. The plane lands on ice, so skis are used. The skis are fixed, but wheels may be extended under them for landing on the runway, and retracted as needed. C-130s are not outwardly beautiful planes. Rather, their beauty stems from their versatility, dependability, and the sense of security one has when flying in them. We placed most of our belongings in our tent, and brought "freezables" into the "Big House" (picture to the right) where there is heat. Then, there were introductions, lunch and an orientation session.

I am sitting at a computer in our team's Quonset hut (below left, Dr. Jack Dibb and Dr. Greg Huey) on the edge of the clean air sector. The team is examining some basic aspects of atmospheric chemistry. This research is critical. Much of the science relating to the ozone hole, and global warming are dependent on the team's research. In a simplified fashion, our team's scientists seek to verify or establish the baseline of some atmospheric gases, and the interaction among them. Or, as I think of it. Imagine weighing yourself on a bathroom scale. To obtain a true reading, you must set or tare the scale to zero. If you do not, then your weight might be off, and you would never know it. So, the research conducted by our team is setting the baseline or calibrating for several important atmospheric gases. Then, other teams will have more confidence in their measurements, and policy makers can make better decisions.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

We will be going up to Summit Camp tomorrow at about 9:30 AM local time. The temperature for the duration of the time we are in Summit will average 0-5 degrees Fahreinheit. Scientists and other interested parties had it much worse earlier in the season. I suppose to them, it will be balmy.

The hike up Black Ridge was wonderful. From the crest of the ridge, one could see the mountains on the edge of the ocean, and when one turned around the icesheet. From end to end, the fjord (a portion which is shown in the picture to the right) in which Kangerlussuaq sits is 170 km (about 115 miles long). Kangerlussuag translates into "the great fjord". I have been told that the glacial meltwater of the river at Kanger contributes 4% of the total volume of water drained from the Greenland icesheet. Apparently, the glacier is accelerating its downward trip. Scientists believe that water under the glacier is making the glacier slip more easily than before. The water is created by an increase in the Earth's temperature resulting in faster melting of the ice probably as a result of man induced global warming. It is estimated that if the ice sheet entirely melts on Greenland, the world's sea level will rise 20-25 feet. I can only imagine the dislocation and disruption this will cause to the world's population. Equally amazing is that the weight of the ice sheet pushes the area of central Greenland below sea level. So, if the ice sheet melts, Greenland will be an archipelago.

In addition to the great views on the walk, some wildlife was observable. In particular, musk oxen were spotted. We trudged on the tundra to get a closer look, but not too closely. The males can get to 900 lbs., and seem to run quickly. I am glad they ran away from us, and not towards us! The tundra is squishy, and filled with grasses, moss, and on the rocks lichen. Also, we spotted snow buntings that had white patches on their wings, but were shaped rather like sparrows. They were fairly plentiful, and we spotted one Raven. Also, animal tracks were spotted. I think they were Arctic Fox, but I am not sure.

The rocks surrounding us are gneiss (pronounced "nice"). Pictured below and to the right is an example of metamorphic rock. The image is of Black Ridge backlit by morning sunrise. They are metamorphic meaning that they have been secondarily heated and subjected to pressure. I have been told that the surrounding area contains some of the most ancient rocks on the planet with an age close to 4 billion years. Some of the rock gives evidence that life existed on earth nearly 3.8 billion years ago. Surprisingly, old rock is not common. The theory of plate tectonics believes that rocks are continually being drawn into the earth's surface in subduction zones, and new rock is formed in ridges. The conveyor belt of earth created by the a vast reservoir of heat deep within the core of the planet perpetually moves continents and their underlying plates around. This movement produces earthquakes and volcanoes, as well as continuously changing face of Planet Earth.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

The group scientists including our crew loaded into the C-130 this morning. It was beautiful here this morning. So, we were anticipating a good flight. Unfortunately, two of us were bumped off the flight due to weight restrictions on the airplane, and possible tent space issues at Summit. NSF is hoping to get us on the next flight which is Wednesday, but Thursday's flight is a possibility. If we miss both of these, then next Monday is the next option. I would like to get to Summit despite what I hear about the cold. Bad weather is predicted for Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

I did a bike ride and a long walk today. The ride took me to a beautiful, partially ice-covered alpine lake. Small fish were clearly visible in the clear, oligotrophic water. Kanger sits in a bowl shaped valley typical of those formed by glaciers. Upon melting, the glacier left behind this wonderful lake. The walk was in town. It is not a pretty place. It is functional. There is a school, an entertainment center, a bowling alley, and some of the other niceties of life. However, none of it is pretty. Tourists (one is shown below and to the right) do come here to view the open beauty surrounding the town, and to see some wildlife. Tomorrow, I hope to hike up Black Ridge. The views from up on the ridge are said to be spectacular, and muskoxen are said to be plentiful. They are hardy herbivores related to goats!

People are friendly at Kanger. There is a mix of Europeans, and Inuit. Inuit is the correct term, Eskimo is not. At the dining room, one can hear a variety of languages, but the three most common are Danish, Greenlander, and English. Food is simple and healthy, the coffee is strong, and the bread hearty.

I learned today that Greenland is the largest non-continental island in the world (Australia, which is a continent, is larger). Greenland stretches about 1600 miles North to South, most of it is above the Arctic Circle, and 79% of the island is covered by ice. The land is not green, but it does have grasses and small bushes. The grass is now brown, and going to seed. Legend has it, Eric the Red named the island Greenland in an attempt to entice settlers to colonize. Apparently, it was a successful advertising campaign. The Norse grazed animals, and were successful for a period of time. Then, they somewhat mysteriously vanished. Legends abound about their demise, but most believe it was due to an inability or unwillingness to adjust to a cooling period of earth. The Inuit arrived at about the same time as the Norse. Their entry to Greenland was from Canada, and they were more successful. Instead of grazing animals, they hunted and fished. It seems like a classic example of adjusting to the land, rather than forcing ill-advised technologies upon it.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

We arrived to "Kanger" at approximately 6:00 pm local time (4:00 pm Atlanta time). Our transport was a C-130 piloted by the New York Air National Guard. The flight was long, and mercifully uneventful. Topographically, we traveled over New York, Quebec, Labrador, Labrador Sea and on to Greenland. Ecologically, we traversed broad-leaf forests (maples, etc.), taiga (conifers), tundra (grasses and sedges), ice and ocean. The tundra is awash in small ponds clearly visible from the air, and if one looks the striations and paths of ancient glaciers remain. In the Labrador Sea, ice bergs floated serenely by. Since we are above the Arctic circle, the sun will not set tonight, merely dip lower in the horizon. The temperature at Kanger is shirt sleeve and shorts weather. I am told tomorrow in Summit the weather will be dramatically different. The flight to Summit will be about two hours in duration.

Our portion of the team (three members) will rotate in and others will rotate out. Tent space is tight in Summit, and some have peen here for a month already. The team will study atmospheric chemistry in an ever building effort to fully understand the natural and anthropomorphic changes we are participating in . I am told I will be trained in the use of some of the equipment, and I am looking forward to it. Additionally, I will focus on this blog and through it introduce you to another portion of the world.

Pictures will follow of this trip. If you want to see the Antarctica diary, the website is

Friday, June 1, 2007

Atlanta, GA

Today, I completed preparations for my trip to Greenland that begins tomorrow, Saturday; June 2, 2007. I feel very lucky to be participating in this study. Dr. Greg Huey of GA Tech will be the Principal Investigator (PI). My role will be to support the scientists conducting the study, and to communicate with the public.