Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter


Halloween 2011 at Summit Station, Greenland

On the floor, from left: Sonja Wolter, Ben Toth, and Brad Halter. Next level up on the couches from the left: Christina Hammock, Tommy Cox, Lance Roth, Ken Keenan, Russ Howes, Ed Stockard, Katrine Gorham and Tracy Sheeley. Standing from the left: Shannon Coykendall and Ben Buchwald.

The team halted turnover activities temporarily last night at Summit Station to celebrate Halloween, and as the pictures attest, folks were clearly in the mood for a costume party. “We dined on a lovely Halloween themed-meal, complete with pumpkin ghoulash and mashed potatoes with sculpted ghosts,” wrote Tracy Sheeley, Summit manager of operations.  “Quite a celebration!”

Those who’ve enjoyed reports of optical phenomenon at Summit during the early winter phase might note that CPS science technician Christina Hammock (far left) is dressed up as a sun dog.

“Everything is going smoothly for turnover,” Tracy wrote. “We got in one day late due to weather, but are moving through everything steadily.  Temps are chilly (-55F/-48C, windchill – 93F/-69C, as I type) with 16kt winds. Great group of people for both phases.”

CH2M HILL Polar Services operates Summit Station, near the highest point on Greenland’s ice sheet, for the U.S. National Science Foundation, which manages the station in cooperation with the Government of Greenland. Summit houses instruments that provide year-round, long-term measurements for monitoring and investigations of the Arctic environment.  The station is open by invitation to visiting scientists during the summer, and is accessible via ski-equipped airplane and tracked vehicle. During the winter period, which lasts from September through early April, the station is closed; but a team of five maintains the station and its ongoing experiments. CPS breaks this winter period into three, roughly 10-week phases, and conducts resupply and intense training activities during staff turnover between each period.

“If all goes to plan, we will send Phase I out on Saturday and Russ (Howes, CPS’ Greenland maintenance manager) and I out on Sunday.” wrote Tracy. Good luck to the incoming Phase II team, and thanks and warm wishes–literally–to the outgoing Phase I team.–Kip Rithner

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