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27 April, 2002


The Penetrometer measurements are recorded in Newtons which is the unit used to measure the amount of force that is being exerted. The computer records the amount of force that is being exerted by the "rocket point" to travel through the snow layer. The computer program generates a graph of the results. The graph plots the depth of the snow as related to the force exerted. The harder the snow layer; the more force that needs to be exerted.

The penetrometer measurements are always taken next to the main snowpit. Recall that density measurements are taken in the snowpit. This way the density of the snow layers can be related to the hardness of the snow layers.

Half of the day was spent unpacking the numerous sleds and preparing for the shipment of supplies back to Fairbanks. The rest of the day was spent taking measurements on the Sea Ice in the Chukai Sea in the Arctic Ocean. These measurements are separate from the

SnowSTAR's measurements. I will depart from this beautiful, cold, Arctic Alaska world that I have fallen in love with on April 29.

Today will mark my last written journal entry. I would like to thank all who have supported and followed our expedition. We have traveled 1050 miles which would be equivalent to driving in a car from North Carolina to the state of Colorado. Reminder, we did this on snowmachines. Many of you have written emails to me while I have been on this expedition. I am grateful to every email sent. The words of encourgament and questions gave me inspiration to push through many difficult times on the trip. Due to limited time and the extreme conditions of this trip, I have not had the leisure to respond to any of your emails. If you have followed the journey, you realize that it was an extensive trip with many measurements in a harsh environment. Every common day task was a struggle. Brushing teeth, drinking water, eating food, preparing sleeping bags was a battle. After a long day

of work, I would write my journals daily in a word processing format. I knew that if I did not write daily than the essence of the moment would be lost. This was done in the heated sled, in makeshift cabins and more times than few into the long hours of the night.I was not able to have internet access daily. We had satellite phones that had limited connection but would require some set up time. I would get access to the internet in the village schools or on the satellite phone in cabins. It would take me hours to process the journals along with the pictures. I never had a day to catch up on writing or posting. My primary goal as a member of the team was to perform the scientific measurements. So, please as readers understand that I have not forgotten your emails and questions. My goals are in the next couple of weeks are to spend time with my loving family who have been patient and supportive of my journey, to return to my wonderful, eager students, and to respond to the hundreds of emails. So...Please be patient and know that I will get to you. Thanks again for your energy, prayers, and support!

Eric running the penetrometer in the heated sled.

A graph of the penetrometer measurements. It plots the force in Newtons verses the depth in millimeters.

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