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7 March, 2003

Finally Assigned A Project!

When my assignment came through in mid January I knew from the description that I was in for an awesome scientific adventure. Even more exciting was the fact that the location of my project is noted as one of the most isolated communities in the United States -Little Diomede Island.

My assignment, titled Arctic Environmental Observatory, pairs me with Dr. Lee Cooper and his wife Dr. Jackie Grebmeier both from the University of Tennessee. I visited the University in late February and was able to tour the labs and get a first hand look at their research.

There was a lot of activity at the lab the day I arrived. Lab technicians were busy analyzing data collected from last years expedition while preparations were being made for this years trip.

Sediment samples were being processed by separating the variety of small invertebrates into the different species categories. While all unidentified specimens are archived and later sent to other labs for identification.

The lab was full of samples of various organisms and specimens from the Arctic. It was like having a brief glimpse into the region I was soon heading to. Sea water, hundreds of gallons, collected from various depths in the Arctic Ocean waiting for its chemical make up to be analyzed. Freezers full of sediment samples awaiting their time to have their nucleide components assessed and petri dishes of macro invertebrates representing the richness and diversity of organism from this polar region were neatly arranged next to microscopes.

My visit was both informative and exciting. The sweet smell of scientific research had me wishing I were already in the Arctic. My departure date is set for late March. Follow my journal as I begin the adventure to the Arctic Polar Region!

Frozen sediment samples waiting to be processed.

Arctic sediments before invertebrate separation and species identification.

Arctic Invertebrates.

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