22 July, 2001
Just had my last look at Barrow from the plane. How could 7 weeks go by so fast? We always joked that the "day" seemed awfully long and there were lots of naps! The crew was up to say goodbye, which meant a lot to me. I gave a short "lecture" to all last night. The hecklers were asking if they had to take notes and would the material be on the test! If there was ever a time I doubted the value of what I do I felt vilified last night. Among the group, I calculated they had been out of high school anywhere from 12 years to 3 years, (Steven is a junior now!) and I realized any one of them could have been in my classroom. Here they are researching climate change in the arctic and helping us all understand larger issues. I know they don't understand how special they are and the repercussions of their actions, energies and creativity but I do!
The ice came in again last night; we walked down to the beach after the Saturday night movie and dinner, in town at Arctic Pizza (great Mexican food). BASC (Barrow Arctic Science Consortium), under the local direction of Glen Sheehan, has developed this area of the Arctic into one of the finest places to do science. The facilities, although cramped are great. The logistic support is ever present; thanks VECO and Dave Ramey, and living and food needs are never an issue.
What did I accomplice over the 7 weeks? Professionally I'll be bringing back to my students an improved and excited teacher, with new ideas and knowledge. I am excited about getting back and getting students involved with those I just left. Personally, I made friends with people are competent, hard working, dedicated and fun.
Most of the crew will be staying for another month to six weeks. Joe, Rommel, Glen and Hyojung will stay into September and then have the difficult task of packing up all the equipment, computers, instruments and gear to send back to San Diego. Everyone will start classes and school again and the season will be remembered and compressed onto a CD with hundreds of pictures. Joe and Rommel will return next year to continue flying transects and collecting carbon flux data. Hyojung will also return to take care of her towers. She will have a 4th, the portable one, which will be set up where needed, all collecting data that anchor Glen's and Rome's data. Glen will earn his much deserved Masters Degree this year and head off to places unknown. Spring, Michelle and Lety will return to SDSU as undergrads who have started their science careers with strong backgrounds and people.
Thank you everyone: NSF for the funding and support, Stephanie Shipp, PI from The American Museum of Natural History and Rice University, Deb Meese, PI from CRREL, Arlyn, from the American Museum of Natural History, Dr. Walt Oechel, PI San Diego State University, Kristin Scott VECO, Glen Sheehan and Dave Ramey, BASC, and especially "the crew". Also thank you to all who followed the experience and wrote with questions and comments, they were all greatly appreciated.
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