When you maintain an autonomous research station on the edge of Alaska’s remote North Slope for a decade, you observe changes to the land that would not be obvious to a first-time visitor. This is the experience of Tracy Dahl, our Renewable Energy and Alternative Technology Specialist, who is currently at Ivotuk Research Station with a team to check on the station’s complex power array. His images tell a compelling story.
“The change in landform and vegetation over the past decade is remarkable,” writes Dahl in his report from the field. “The pad used to be free of bush and quite flat. It is now a bit challenging to find spots to set up camp”. The Zona instrument towers are seen in the background. All images: Tracy Dahl
More land form change. These sloughs have gotten much deeper over the years. Joe Yarkin and Brad Welchel are seen puzzling out an installation detail.
Because places that were once flat are now uneven and dropping away, the wind turbine base also had to be re-set. The new tower combines parts of the old, as well as new components.
Ground zero: Camp Ivotuk, population three. The crew timed it to get in just after the majority of snow melted and before the mosquitos exploded.