Whoo hoo! I am set up and in operation. It took a couple days to work out a few kinks and get everything installed securely. Fred and Bruce helped ensure that our equipment is set up for the almost 50 mph winds and waaaay sub zero temperatures we are expecting. Just to put it in perspective, the site technicians, Dave and Josh, said temperatures reached 73 degrees Fahrenheit with the wind chill the morning we arrived. YIKES.

Posing outside in front of my aerosol sampling inlets (the things hanging to my right) in my ever-so-stylish Arctic gear. Ah, so warm and toasty, even in 25 mph sustained winds 😉 The inlets are basically funnels covered with mosquito netting to prevent ice build up, which would clog the inlet and prevent any aerosols from being collected. The mosquito nets have something heavy in them so they shake in the wind and alleviate ice from forming.

A beautiful Arctic sunset. Snow and ice as far as the eye can see.

Enjoying the balmy Arctic day…

Today, it took 1.5 hours to get into the site, a normally-10-minute drive. We had to essentially follow a bulldozer in to prevent getting stuck in the snow drifts rapidly forming on the one road to the site. One we were in, I worked quickly as we had to leave after about 30 minutes to prevent getting stuck at the site. We are back at the camp now. The samplers are working hard while I am at work at camp, nice and toasty in my bed 🙂 Winds are expected to reach 48 mph tonight and into tomorrow!

Us following the bulldozer and truck-o-technicians into the site, luckily our truck was warm, because boy, was it cold outside.

Phew, finally made it to the site!

Yup, currently 35 mph and getting worse every hour. Time to stay inside!

Funny, a beautiful blue bird day on Feb 28, and now a howling white out on Mar 2. #Arcticresearchlife

8 comments on “It’s gettin’ windy out there…

  • Jessie, my afternoon class has some questions. Do you ever feel like you are getting frostbite? What is the worst thing about being up there? Would you rather pick a different place than Alaska? Do you ever feel like you are not going to get home from all this snow? What is the best thing about Northern Alaska/Arctic Circle? What is the best thing about being a scientist? What is your favorite thing to do there?
    Aunt Linda and her afternoon Science class.

    • No frostbite feelings yet, but I am usually covered head to toe when I am outside. I did have my gloves off for a couple minutes today to fix an inlet to one of my samplers. As a results, my hands became very cold and were beet red within minutes!

      The worst thing about being up here is that I cannot go for a run outside. I usually like to run when I am on travel for work, but it is too cold out and we have to be careful of polar bears. I enjoy being up here so do not have anything really to complain about!

      I love coming to Alaska, so I would not pick another place! Although, I hope to travel to other places in the Arctic in different countries in the upcoming years. This summer, I will be on an ice breaker called the U.S.S. Healy to do research for a 20-day ship expedition to the north pole!

      The snow is not that bad, it is actually the winds that get really bad and make the snow drift. But the operators here at camp and in the oil production area work hard to make sure the roads are clear and safe. The only issue (when we are forced to stay inside) is when the wind is so strong, you cannot see more than a couple feet in front of you. Because everything looks stark white, it is easy to get lost in those conditions. So that might keep me from going home, but I am not too worried about it.

      The best thing about Northern Alaska/the Arctic circle is probably the endless beauty of the sky here. The air is so clear, you can see beautiful colors during sunrise and sunset. Also, the northern lights are spectacular!! I was able to see them last year when I was up here, and they are one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I hope to see them again this year while I am up here. It has been too cloudy or there has been too much blowing snow the last few nights, so I have not seen them. Hopefully soon!

      The best thing about being a scientist is to be able to travel all over the world; to get to see all kinds of different places and meet different people. The experiences I have and the memories from my travels as a scientist will live with me forever. I am fortunate in that I get to go to pretty cool places, from the Arctic to Europe. I go to different countries in Europe 2-3 times a year for meetings, conferences, and workshops. It is truly priceless to have the opportunity to get to do research in fun but crazy places!

      My favorite thing to do here is eat the delicious cookies they have for us 24/7 😉 Just kidding. Although that is a perk, my favorite thing is putting on my Arctic pants, boots, parka, and gloves and getting outside in that breathtakingly cold air!

  • Dad & I are so proud of you & the research work you are doing! I just wish it were somewhere warmer for you! This is an awesome blog….love the pictures & how you explain things in a way we can easily understand! Stay warm & safe baby girl….we love you!!

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