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10 July, 2000

Wrap Up 7/10/00

Camp Summit is becoming very bare. All research projects have now been packed and loaded on pallets to be moved back to the US. All snow pits are refilled. All shovels and flags are neatly packed away. What are we to do now?

This evening, our last night at Camp Summit, the cook made a special meal for us. The meal was as great at the one we had when we arrived (which was lobster). We had giant king crab legs, baked potatoes, brussel sprouts, and tenderloin (I didn't have any because I'm a vegetarian). Finishing this extravaganza was coconut cream pie. This is now what I expected from a summer camp in a remote area. After dinner, there was a short awards ceremony where everyone in the camp was presented with award for something outstanding they did throughout the field season. I received an award that was signed by all the scientists-an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy for Field Work. I am very proud of my award because I worked very hard this summer. I should have received a golden shovel for all the snow pits I dug this past month.

Speaking of snow pits, yesterday I wrote about a back lit snow pit that I dug adjacent to a 4 meter pit that Matt dug. Today, I covered my snow pit with 2 opaque sheets that blocked all incoming sunlight. The sun's rays could be seen through the snow wall between the two pits. The wall appeared a bright blue because blue light waves are the only visible light present, all other light waves are absorbed. You could see each layer of snow that represents seasonal deposition. Matt confirmed by his snow pit that the Summit received 73 cm of snow since last June. (Nick was happy about that because he made that determination earlier this season.) Since my snow pit is 2 meters deep, you could see snow deposition for the past 2.5 years. You could observe ice layers between each snow layer. This represents blowing snow. Winter snow is more compact while summer snow is loose with large, coarse grains. This back lit pit was the center of attraction for the camp on our last day at Summit.

It is still undetermined as to our departure time. All research scientists will be leaving Summit tomorrow and returning to Kangerlussauq. From there, some will be staying in Greenland to travel while others will be returning to the US. The first flight back to the US is scheduled for Thursday. I will be on the first flight back. Nick will be traveling to Connecticut with me. He is planning to go to New York City for the weekend to visit some friends. I was advised to take some time to reacquaint myself with civilization when I return. I'm staying away from the City. I am happy to be returning home but a little apprehensive also. It is a very different experience to be isolated with 25 people for a month. I don't know how I'm going to react to the overload of stimulation. It will be interesting and I will keep you posted.

Thank you all, my family, friends and students for reading my journals and following my activities on the ice cap. I looked forward to your emails daily. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the lessons I learned are invaluable. Thank you Koni Steffen for allowing me the opportunity to study in Greenland and thank you National Science Foundation and the TEA program for all your support.

Ciao, Cathi

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