Blog, Boulder Patch, Field Season, Fun, North Slope, Prudhoe Bay, Uncategorized

Weather Days

It’s really windy out.
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windy.
In fact, it’s been windy since we got here four days ago.
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angry ocean because windy.
While this wind event is not nearly as bad as the one two years ago, it still makes us antsy to start dive operations (but our McConaughey attitude helps us out).
In the meantime, we have time to:
Assemble all the equipment

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Settling plates assembled!
Shipping equipment (especially 30 pieces) to Alaska means that we assemble everything in the field to save space. When the weather clears up, we are ready to chuck our stuff carefully deploy our instruments in the ocean.
Make sure the equipment works the way you want it to
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John and Ken test out the camera settings on some hot sauce
This is where having a great field team becomes invaluable. Ken and his brothers (our boat operators/electronic specialists/Arctic wizards) have years of experience working in the Arctic and often think of short falls and solutions that I would miss (but I like to think I’m getting better). Our equipment has to withstand cold, salty water that is often extremely murky, and our deployed sensors also have to deal with very strong currents and ice. We want all of our equipment to be effective, efficient, and durable.
It is also important to test your drysuit in Arctic waters, which Arley got to do tonight 🙂
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Arley ventures into the Arctic Ocean. What will she find? Knowledge? Understanding? Algae?
Observe wildlife (from a non-harassing distance of course)
Of course, after all the work prepping for science, prolonged weather days mean that we have time to appreciate where we are (which is far from Texas).
Pick wildflowers
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One of the many skills that Arley brings to the field team is knowledge of tundra plants. We had about an hour to wander the tundra behind the hardware store in Deadhorse and I got to learn some of them. As a taxonomy nerd, this was awesome!
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By the time nicer weather rolls around (hopefully tomorrow), we will be quite ready to get going! Everyone do a weather dance!
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