Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Thanksgiving Cornucopia

Summit Station’s wild bunch

The 2012 phase II winter staff: Neal Scheibe (Science technician); Lance Roth (ICECAPS technician); Phil Austin (manager); Don Kirkpatrick (mechanic); Rex Nelson (NOAA technician). Photo: Phil Austin

The mid-winter team maintaining science experiments and operations at Summit Station paused for pictures recently after we asked to see images of the fresh bunch of staff. These shots, and recent exchanges with manager Phil Austin, clearly show that while daylight may be in short supply on the apex of the Greenland ice sheet as the winter solstice nears, the team’s sense of fun is not.

Corny-copia (L-R): Fresh staffers Neal Scheibe, Lance Roth, Phil Austin, Don Kirkpatrick, and Rex Nelson show off their freshies.


About the freshie portraits: "We had a fun time taking them, and thought they turned out really well," writes manager Phil Austin. "Should they be for beginning or end of the season do you think, being fruity and all? Or perhaps the season's end should be the same lineup with rotten potatoes and no smiles!"(L-R): Neal Scheibe, Lance Roth, Phil Austin, Don Kirkpatrick, and Rex Nelson.

The cornucopia is a central symbol of Thanksgiving’s celebration of abundance. The fresh fruits and vegetables we stuff into the horn of plenty are precious commodities at Summit. Lack of soil, frigid weather, a thinly sliced growing season—all of these factors mean that freshies travel a long way to reach the station.

Cradled in special packaging, fresh fruits and vegetables arriving on staff turnover flights are hustled into a heated building, to be doled out for meals over the dark winter phase. Photo: Phil Austin

We asked Phil if the team would celebrate Thanksgiving in a traditional manner so far from a traditional American home. “I’m not sure that any of us are hard core celebrants,” he replied. “However, we do have the turkey thawing out, and I’m sure plans will mature. But as you know, science must never sleep, so we may all just take a snooze face first into the pumpkin pie. And as we are in Europe, if we’re able to watch anything over our tiny pipe to the world beyond, it would have to be ‘futbol.’”

Happy Thanksgiving to our Summit Station team—and many thanks for keeping the science going while the rest of us are away. And to the rest of us around the world, CPS sends best wishes for a peaceful and wonderful Thanksgiving.

The U.S. National Science Foundation funds and manages Summit Station in cooperation with the Greenland Government.

2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Cornucopia

  1. kiprithner Post author

    Hi cmdr,

    At present, the date of publishing is noted at the bottom of each posting. But since you asked, we’ll do our best to comply. Hope you’re well! WOOOF WOOOF!

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