Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Snapshots from Summit Station…

…with captions by Phil Austin, team lead.

Despite the science and station tasking that now includes additional efforts to get Summit ready for the summer season, our last crew of winter has taken a moment to answer our call for glimpses into their world at the top of Greenland’s ice sheet. Here, Phil Austin gives us a tour. For orientation, CPS breaks the long winter period–September through mid-April, typically–into three phases, which are each staffed by ~5 personnel. Phil Austin, our Phase III manager, shows some activities commonly (and not so commonly) involved in turnover between crews.

Thanks to an amazing Summit team for keeping the lights on and the science going as we head toward spring.


Fabulous Freshy Sort. For Phase III's three-month stay at Summit, we received around 750 lbs of fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy by Twin Otter flight from Iceland. It was indeed a beautiful site - all in absolutely perfect condition. Once we had moved everything into the Big House, it need sorting and then storing in the freshie shack, or in the case of dairy, outside in the "frigidare." Needless to say, we enjoyed all the salad goods very quickly. Photo: Christy Schultz

early morning fun

Early Morning Fun. One of our Twin Otter flights this turnover was forced to stay overnight at Summit due to fast changing weather on the east coast of Greenland, Denmark Strait and Iceland. Winds were up around 75 knots, and all Iceland's airfields were closed. Early next morning the Summit crew provided heat to the aircraft to enable engine starting in the -60 degree temperatures. In the photo you can see that the starboard engine is now running, and the blankets are being removed from the port engine to start the heating process. The heater is that yellow contraption on the left (called a Herman Nelson), and you can just make out the hose from the second unit to the left of the snowmobile headlight, which is heating the aircraft batteries. Photo: Christy Schultz

cleaning tower instruments

Science Technicians Cleaning Tower Instruments. A constant task for the techs is keeping the meteorological instruments free of snow and rime and thus providing current weather conditions. This may look easy in this ground level shot; however, the techs also need to climb 45 feet up the tower and clean the instruments there. Try that at -60 degrees and in the dark! Photo: Christy Schultz


Summit Camp from TAWO

Summit Camp from TAWO (Temporary Atmospheric Watch Observatory). One of the fantastic things about being at Summit is the all-round view of the curved horizon, as well as the ever changing, always incredible, lighting. Photo: Christy Schultz

Summit Mascot

Summit Mascot. Every camp needs a mascot, right? Photo: Christy Schultz


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