Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Postcard from the Sedge

Researchers working earlier this month sent the above “postcard” to Mimi Fujino and Nancy Brandt, CPS staff coordinating helicopter support at Toolik Field Station on Alaska’s North Slope. The trio had been working near Dimple Lake at the site of a mega tundra fire that burned in 2007 along the Anaktuvuk River. As the site was about 30 miles northwest of the station and inaccessible by ground vehicle, the team was transported there via helicopter.
They planned a day trip, and lingered a bit longer when poor visibility grounded the rotary plane for about 24 hours.
Earlier this season, CPS placed a western shelter tent out at the burn site. Though researchers carry survival bags with them (with additional clothing, food, water, communications equipment and so on), the shelter was intended to make such unplanned stays in the field a bit more agreeable.

On the banks of Dimple Lake, a shelter awaits use by researchers working at the site of a massive tundra fire. Photo: Annalisa Neely

Per the above note, it sounds as if the shelter fit the bill. In fact, the “maiden voyage of the SS Mountain Hardware” sounds downright festive.

The Anaktuvuk River fire of 2007 created a field research opportunity for scientists looking at the environmental impacts of climate change. Read Emily Stone’s article on the NSF-funded work going on at the Anaktuvuk burn site here. –Kip Rithner

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