Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Snapshot: GPS training at Summit

Allen O'Bannon programs a hand-held GPS instrument prior to a field training exercise. Photo: Sandy Starkweather

Sandy Starkweather (PFS science support manager for Greenland) sent the above photo of Allen O’Bannon, PFS’ risk management point man. He’s tuning a pocket-sized GPS unit in overcast conditions outside Summit Station, on the apex of the Greenland ice cap. “Allen is at Summit leading a Field Safety Training unit for our winter staff,” Sandy wrote last week. “Training on the hand-held GPS units is an integral part of this exercise—Allen shows the staff how to navigate in using a GPS in poor visibility or when they are very far from the station.” The GPS are kept in the office, “warm and ready,” says Sandy, so Summiteers can use them when they venture out. In the shot, Allen is programming the units with locations for station structures to help the staff navigate.

“Allen is a great addition to the turnover team,” Sandy says.  “His wilderness-based risk management approach really speaks to the typical well-traveled and adventure-tested Summiteer.  His suggestions are very practical and usually streamline what is already in place.”

–Kip Rithner

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