Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Field camp put-in on the Yukon River

The pictures below hint at the great side benefits that come with a career in polar research support. Polar Field Services’ Alaska staffer Larry Gullingsrud last week returned from spending a few days camping along the Yukon River while doing some remote work for a project we support. Clearly he lucked out with the spring weather! Larry helped the Tanana Chiefs Conference enhance a field camp at the “David site,” which lies along a part of the river that brushes against the Canadian border.  The David site carries a rich treasure of settlement artifacts dating back almost 7,000 years. There, lead investigator Robert Sattler and colleagues will mount several two-week courses this summer aimed at exposing Alaskan high schoolers to field research in archaeology.

"At the boat launch in Eagle, AK," writes Larry G. "This is about 12 miles upriver from the David site, near Calico Bluff. Bob Sattler the PI is on the far left with Andy Bassich, the property owner where the David site is located, next. James and Chris are two local assistants hired to help." Photo: Larry Gullingsrud


After boating the supplies to the site, the group began building the new camp assets. "It took us four days to build the 24’ X 24’ platform for the large Western Shelter tent (for science activities), put up the small shower tent, build the wooden shed and do other camp improvements." Photo: Larry Gullingsrud

The camp's new Western Shelter shower tent. Photo: Larry Gullingsrud

"Andy Bassich working on the new storage shed," Larry explains. Photo: Larry Gullingsrud

Larry suggested that I google David site property owner Andy Bassich–“he’s been in the news over the years for a number of things. He’s very involved in the archaeological activities here as well.” His wife Kate Rorke’s blog, Our Life in Alaska’s Wilderness, provides evidence that the pair’s subsistence life in the wild has led to adventure, and not all welcome, I’d guess. That’s another perk of supporting field work in the Arctic: you can’t swing an arctic hare without meeting someone with a great back story.–Kip Rithner


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