Friday, July 19, 2013

NASA program staff come to Barrow...

This past week was a productive one for our NGEE Arctic team in Barrow. July is a busy month for us with more than 20 scientists, staff, and students working at our field sites on the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO) and to the south across a series of drained thaw lake basins. The weather was good early in the week, but it turned foggy with a light rain especially in the last few days. As the winds died down and air temperatures rose, the mosquitoes came out with a vengeance. Deet and bug jackets were definitely required if you were going to make working in the field bearable.

Although the weather could have been better, this was the week that several NASA program office staff would visit Barrow. I picked up Peter, Dan, Libby, and Leanne, as well as University of Maryland professor Eric Kasischke from the airport on Monday morning. They had traveled to Barrow in order to familiarize themselves with tundra ecosystems of the North Slope of Alaska. They also wanted to see first hand the many scientific facilities in town and to visit with UMIAQ, the logistical provider who supports our NGEE Arctic project.

We spent two days touring the Department of Energy, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) climate research facility; the NOAA CMDL facility; the Barrow Arctic Research Center; and the BEO where we and others have field research sites. This gave Peter, Eric, and others a good overview of the long-term monitoring activities in Barrow and the types of science being conducted at these facilities and the BEO. My thanks to everyone who helped make our discussions productive, especially Karl, Eric, Jon, Brower, Laci, Araina, and Uinniq, all from UMIAQ. And my thanks to Walter and Marty for tours of the ARM and NOAA facilities, respectively. Despite the hordes of mosquitoes, it was a good that was both enjoyable and met the goals of the trip.