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25 June, 2000

No Time to Rest 6/25/00

It's really strange when you don't follow a daily schedule. Everyday blends into the next and the common question often asked is "what day is it?" Today is Sunday. I know this because the camp staff has the day off which means we have to cook for ourselves. Oh darn. Are we spoiled? The only responsibility we have at Camp Summit is to do science. We don't have to cook, clean (unless you are the Mouse) or anything, just science-except on Sundays. It is an unreal situation. We don't spend money, we can't there's no place to spend it. We don't have to cook, that's done for us. Now that I write this journal arcticle, I've concluded we are spoiled.

Today was another beautiful day in paradise. Clear blue sky with no wind at all which made it feel very warm. I wore fleece pants and fleece jacket all day and no hat. I worked with Dr. Matt Peterson from Michigan Technological University. His research focus is to determine the amount of NOx in the firn (top layer of the snow). I was not working on this project but another where Matt is investigating how light (both visible and ultraviolet) travels through the snow. In order to test this question, we dug a snow pit (I will definitely have muscles after this trip) approximately 6 feet x 6 feet x 5 feet deep. This was a big pit but not as big as the Swiss pit (at least not yet). I think my athletic pursuit is now being abused because the scientists have observed that when it comes to a workout, I'm there. This pit was different than most. Matt (when he helped) and I sawed large chunks of snow and removed them intact. Similar to what the Eskimos must do to build an iglo! !

o. After working two days digging snow pits, I have reached my limit of physical work. I'm not sore, just my muscles are tired so I need a break . I told Matt that I was taking tomorrow off from digging.

I started collecting data for my rime study. Data collection consists of collecting rime samples from two Teflon sheets but the method of collection must be sterile. When I speak of sterile conditions, I mean that I must wear coveralls that are white with a hood over my head. I look like a space person. The rime is scraped off the surface of the Teflon sheet that is place in the "clean air" zone. As vast as this camp appears, it is divided into different sections. There are places where you can walk and places where you cannot walk. Places where one can breathe or not breathe (just joking) so not to disturb the clean environment. My experiment is set up in the clean air zone. No pollutants travel there we hope (except when the wind blows from the north and Tim is driving the bulldozer). I will be looking at 8 different chemicals that are water soluble (can be mixed in water) and maybe present in the rime. My analysis will be done at the University of New Hampshire! !

. This study may be of importance to the scientists because they are investigating how these chemicals enter the snow layer. If these chemicals are present in the rime, then this may be the way the chemicals are deposited on the surface of the snow and thus diffused into the snow. It is fun anyway and I feel that I am contributing to the overall project.

Ciao, Cathi

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