Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

CPS Offers Field Training for Researchers

Researchers arrive at a remote field site in Alaska's Denali National Park to collect ice cores for research. Photo: Karl Kreutz, U Maine

CH2M HILL Polar Services (CPS) will hold several two-day Arctic Field Risk Awareness Training courses this spring, one each at the following locations:

March 12 and 13- Boulder/Westminster, Colorado

March 26 and 27- Hanover, New Hampshire

April 30- May 1- Fairbanks, Alaska

We invite principal investigators and members of their field teams and/or potential field staff to participate. The course is free of charge to the NSF-funded Arctic research community. We will provide lunch for all attendees for both days.  Each offering is a two-day course (no overnight component) and the classes will take place from 8am to 5pm.  We will not provide travel arrangements or funds, so attendees will need to make their own arrangements and pay for them as well. We will send additional information about the course logistics once we have the participant list and the location. 

CPS is trying a new approach this year to see if we can provide Field Risk Awareness Training to more NSF Arctic field researchers and field staff. We will be holding courses at strategic locations, hoping this will make the trainings more convenient and easier to attend than offering them only in Boulder. If there is interest and positive feedback, we will expand the program in the future.

Topics to be covered include:

  • First aid focused on threats to life, cold injuries, and patient field care
  • Survival bag training
  • Water treatment
  • Bears
  • Emergency communications devices—PLB’s, radios, satellite phones
  • Cold weather clothing and camping considerations
  • Weather
  • Working around aircraft
  • Search and rescue procedures
  • Risk analysis, decision-making, team building and communication

Allen O’Bannon will be the lead instructor. Allen is a seasoned mountaineer, guide, and has more than 20 years of experience teaching field courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). He also has extensive polar experience in the Arctic and Antarctic and he is the author of: Allen and Mike’s Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book; Allen and Mike’s Really Cool Telemark Tips and Allen and Mike’s Really Cool Backpackin’ Book.

If you would like to participate and/or send members of your field team, please send an email to Karla College, karla@polarfield.com, with the PI’s name and a list of participant names and email addresses as soon as possible. (It is important for us to get a sense of how many people before we book a venue.  We will start a wait-list if needed.)

Seriously, field research in the Arctic is not for sissies. Photo: Robin Davies.

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