A quick checkout from our hotel and we were off to the airport. Larry and I had to shuttle people and luggage, but 30 minutes later everything was complete and we were ready to focus on a flight that would take us from the Seward Peninsula to the North Slope of Alaska.
After flying over Council, we headed north. One of the first things we noticed was the disappearance of trees, tall shrubs, and eventually even small shrubs were restricted to stream margins. The presence of patterned ground or ice-wedge polygons also became much more obvious. Again, these can be subtle features when on the ground, but they are very evident from the air. Haruko (from LBNL) has been quite diligent in taking notes and I saw that, while flying, she had sketched these polygons in her notebook. I am very impressed with how Haruko, and in fact a number of our team members, have committed themselves to learning as much as possible about Arctic ecosystems during this trip. Larry has been outstanding in his willingness to explain all he can to our team. He has a knack for translating complex topics into simple explanations and then layering on details as appropriate. Larry provides a great example of someone who is willing to transfer his knowledge to others and how that ability is such a benefit of the larger project.
We landed in Barrow where Victoria and Alistair picked us up and handed off keys to the van and a truck. These will be handy as we shuttle people in and around town while touring our NGEE Arctic field sites and those associated with the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility on the North Slope. That begins tomorrow; right now I'm anxious to get to our assigned housing and then to dinner. A soft bed, futon, or couch would also be appreciated...cheers!