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Topic: I leave tomorrow for Greenland!, Wheeeeee!< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 11:44 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It almost hasn't sunken in.

At work, planning this Greenland science expedition has consumed my last 4 months of effort and attention.  It's me and one guy from Denmark who've planned everything.  I'm equal parts excited and overwhelmed.

Tomorrow I fly to Albany.  Early Friday I board a 109th Air Division C-130 plane from Stratton AFB up to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland where I'll meet the guys from GEUS (the Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland) and spend 4 busy days arranging, planning, testing, getting ready for the field.  On Tuesday six team members, four snowmobiles with 10' sleds, eight barrels of fuel and 3,000 lbs of gear will load onto a Hercules ski plane and fly high on the ice to an old abandoned U.S. Air Force radar station named "Dye-2," a pre-satellite cold-war relic from the days when the USA monitored for Russian missiles from the ground.

Dye-2 station, from the interwebs:


For two weeks we'll drive, set camps, monitor and install stations (among other things I'm in charge of an entirely new set of stations up there, built from scratch here at home with Iridium data transmissions), drill dozens of cores and drag hundreds of kilometers of ground-penetrating radar over the ice, which is 2-3 km thick where we'll be.  We return to Dye-2, another plane comes and swaps most of our team members with a new crew (I stay the whole time) and we do it again for another two weeks.  Over the course of those four weeks we'll traverse half the distance across the Greenland Ice Sheet more-or-less along the Arctic Circle.  One day during our traverse a NASA DC-8 plane will fly instruments over our route, to scale our measurements up to a larger airborne dataset and determine the extent of our findings across all of Greenland.



On 23 May we take a Twin Otter back to Kangerlussuaq (our gear and snowmobiles come off later on another C-130) where we (1) get a long shower, (2) get drunk, and (3) pack our gear to ship back home, in that order.  Five days later I return to Denver commercially via Reykjavik.  Six weeks after leaving, I'll be ready to come home.

I have butterflies in my stomach, but I also giddy with excitement.  I've never prepared for anything in my life like I have for this.  The logistics have been mind-boggling.  But it's all pretty-much done now.  Or at least it'd better be, 'cause I'm leaving tomorrow anyway. :D

WHEEEEE!

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 11:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is so fantastic, Mike!  Do you return at all to last year's site to salvage your sensors (I seem to remember they got in trouble from too much melting).

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 11:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Stay safe.  May your work be fruitful.  But most of all I hope you have a great time.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 11:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That sounds really exciting and so overwhelming. Best of luck and enjoy!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 12:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RebeccaD @ Apr. 17 2013, 9:51 am)
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This is so fantastic, Mike!  Do you return at all to last year's site to salvage your sensors (I seem to remember they got in trouble from too much melting).

Yes, we're returning to that station.  And I'm salvaging (junking, mostly) my old instruments that melted out last summer.  I hope to salvage the data-logger and the batteries, which should still be happy and dry in a sealed Hardigg box.

We have a number of other instruments at that location and extensive radar measurements from last year we're repeating there, so that camp is a major focus for us and we'll spend about a week there, visiting it twice.  One of my new stations (completely redesigned) is replacing the old one there.

And thanks!

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hope you have a great trip!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 12:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good luck, Mike! And yea, I'm jealous.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 12:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds amazing!  Have a great trip -- hope all goes well.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 12:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yay!

Isn't it great to be doing the actual science yourself. Plus the technology, design, scope and implementation. When do you get to publish?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 12:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow. Talk about boring. You should learn to do something productive or at least a little adventurous with your life Mike. Couldn't you at least have done this on another planet?

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 12:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hope your work is a success and you have a great experience in the process.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 12:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(desert dweller @ Apr. 17 2013, 10:26 am)
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Yay!

Isn't it great to be doing the actual science yourself. Plus the technology, design, scope and implementation. When do you get to publish?

It is great.  It's been more work than I imagined, but exciting.

"When we publish" depends when we get manuscripts out the door.  We already have one paper from last year's trip that should be published very soon (it was delayed by bickering between the co-authors).  Assuming things go well, this expedition will produce at least three separate papers this year, with more down the line once the instruments have collected a few years' worth of data.  This will be a valuable dataset for at least a decade.

The real work starts when we get off the ice, with multiple gigabytes of core records, dGPS readings, weather station data and radar files on our laptops, ready to process (with another 100 GB or so of airborne data to filter and use).  That's when the real science (far less glamorous but more productive) happens.  The guys I'm going with have all worked together well before, and I've worked with all but one of them, so we shouldn't experience the personal hiccups plaguing this past paper's publication.

Some of this will be the bulk of my final dissertation, which I hope to defend by this time next year.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 1:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Stay safe and warm.  I know you're happily married but may the research team from Denmark look like this

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 1:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just remember, it doesn't happen without pictures.

Field work is what got me into Geology, enjoy it now.

Stay warm, dry and safe my friend.  

See you when you get back, and yes you can stay at the house.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 1:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good luck and have fun. Sounds like a worthy adventure.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 1:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not everyone would enjoy a trip like that. I bet you have a ball. Safe travels, I look forward to reading about it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 1:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Have a great time and do epic research!  :cool:
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 1:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

doesn't look all that green to me - you sure you are going to the right place?
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 1:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

w00t!

Have a great trip!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 2:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Apr. 17 2013, 11:22 am)
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Stay safe and warm.  I know you're happily married but may the research team from Denmark look like this


:laugh: Alas, no.

The GEUS team consists of a Dutch guy named Dirk, a Greek guy named Charalampos, a Canadian named Liam, and two Swiss guys, Horst and Mark.  Oddly, none of them are Danish.  And they don't look quite like that unless they've made some changes of which I'm unaware.

For the second half I'll have two more US researchers (Karen & Alex), who're grad students (cheap labor) I recruited here to join us for the second half of the trip.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 2:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Have a great trip!  I expect you will have one hell of a trip report which of course must include a plethora of pictures.  Expect an interrogation about the trip when I see you in August. :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 2:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(nogods @ Apr. 17 2013, 11:51 am)
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doesn't look all that green to me - you sure you are going to the right place?

I've heard that before.  Seems odd.  I was planning to string a hammock between a couple trees near the campfire.  I might have to rethink that.


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(hbfa @ Apr. 17 2013, 10:35 am)
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Hold my beer.  Watch this.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 3:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like a great experience.  Have fun, learn lots and come back safe to let us know how it went.

Best of luck.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 4:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Awesome! But I noticed one slight flaw...

QUOTE
On 23 May we take a Twin Otter back to Kangerlussuaq (our gear and snowmobiles come off later on another C-130) where we (1) get a long shower, (2) get drunk, and (3) pack our gear to ship back home, in that order

There's no reason why you can't start drinking WHILE taking your shower.

Good luck!


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Stay safe and best of luck with your work.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 5:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good luck, stay safe, & enjoy!

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 5:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

HEY!  I still have my Hilleberg tent & my minus 25 degree bag here at home this year!  How ya going to survive without 'em?  Gear, man...GEAR TALK!!!  :p

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 5:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was going to text you, but here goes: have a fantastic scientific adventure! See you again this summer.

Best,
Matt


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(hoosierdaddy @ Apr. 17 2013, 3:38 pm)
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HEY!  I still have my Hilleberg tent & my minus 25 degree bag here at home this year!  How ya going to survive without 'em?  Gear, man...GEAR TALK!!!  :p

:)  I got a good -40 Marmot bag this year.  Can't rely on borrowed gear forever, although I greatly appreciated it.

GEUS brings the sleeping tents this year... two each in 3-man Mountain Hardware Trangos (I think).  These are bigger, roomier and heavier than your Hilleberg and I don't have to be personally responsible for them, lol.  We'll have spares along.  I'm supplying (not personally, but through work) our mess tent--a 14-foot 10-person MHW Stronghold dome--and an Acrtic Oven tent to use as a workshop.  Also bringing a 20-foot long tarp and fence u-posts as a windbreak for our toilet pit/box.  Should serve us well.

Thanks everyone!  I'm not replying to every message, but I am reading them.


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