21 November, 1996

November 21st, 1996

Field Work

I was really excited this morning, we were going to go to the field for the first time! After breakfast we checked out a truck and loaded all our equipment in the back. We put on our ECW and loaded a survival bag in the van as well. These are a must for safety when here on the ice. As this was our first time to Willie field, Dr. Braaten accompanied Mrs. Bennett and myself. When we got there we learned how tough field work can be.

After all this planning to measure snow features, the surface was perfectly flat. Dr. Braaten has never seen it so flat in his four years here. The recent snow had filled in any feature that existed and the winds hadn't been strong enough to erode any new features. We did learn how to use the compass and got oriented around the site. I drove Dr. Braaten back to town, then Mrs. Bennett and I returned to the field for a few hours, but the sun also started disappearing and the surface looked even flatter in the diffuse light. We returned to McMurdo understandably disappointed. But this is the nature of field work. We will succeed if we are patient enough!

Mrs. Bennett and I ate in the lab, as we had missed lunch. Last night we had ordered sack flight lunches in anticipation of spending the day in the field. I then spent the afternoon at our cage with Dr. Braaten. Each science group has a cage where they store all of their field equipment. We had to organize and pack everything for out helo trip to Ferrel. we had to weigh and measure each item as well. This took most of the day. When we were done we had a manifest for the helicopter people. It listed every item we were taking.

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