23 February, 2002
Jeff Gustafson is the Palmer Station carpenter. Jeff is from Warren, Minnesota, which is near the corner where Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba meet.
Jeff says, " If you have a hard time with math, you'll have a hard time with carpentry of any sort, from construction to rebuilding things." He says that all materials are designated by numbers, and math is sort of like an unwritten plan. All materials are made to certain sizes. They are made to go together in certain ways and dimensions. Without a uniform numbering system, he says, it just wouldn't work.
For measurement in the United States, the standard is that the measurements are divisible by twelve or a fraction of twelve. So, some material might come in 12" , or 2 inches by 4 inches.
Jeff's work here has mostly been repair and maintenance. He uses scrap wood as much as possible. Jeff has also built things for the scientists. He has made containers to hold the sample bottles when the scientists are using bottles out in the Zodiacs. He has made stands to hold the bamboo stakes. These stakes mark the transects (lines of travel) on all islands where penguin studies are continuing. Jeff has also built containers for machinery that is being sent back to the U.S. He is a busy person!
Jeff says that people are often worried about safety when around saws and other machinery. Jeff says, "You're your own worst enemy. The machinery doesn't make a mistake. It's not the saw's fault if an injury occurs!" This is another example of how mindful people are about safety here at Palmer Station.
Jeff gave me several math problems. They will appear below as captions for the images.
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