Notes from the field: North again, this time to dismantle stuff

A beautiful map of Alaska and the places we will go.

Tonight, I will be flying north to the Arctic once again.  But I won’t be on a ship, I will be on land. And for me it’s quite a thrill because I’ve never been up there during the winter, which means:

1) It is dark ALL THE TIME. As google snarkily put it, “These days, the sun never rises in Barrow, AK. The next sunrise is in 55 days.

2) It is really, really cold. Like really f’ing cold.

So what exactly are we doing  there? Me and two trusty compadres, Rachel and Fong, are headed to the North Slope to dismantle a seasonal radar system that measures ocean currents.  Rachel is pretty much the brains of the entire operation, while Fong and I are the brawn (even writing that made me laugh).

Did I mention it was going to be cold? Currently the temperatures are going to be between -10 and 0 F, which doesn’t too bad considering it’s about -20 F in Fairbanks. But we will be outside on the coast, where the wind chill is expected to be in the -30′s.  At least I won’t have a runny nose because my boogers will be frozen inside my nostrils (this is totally true and not an exaggeration).

In case you are wondering, I’ll be wearing this giant fur parka

AND these ridiculous boots rated to -100F

AND thermals, carhartt insulated overalls, a hat, glove liners+ work gloves+overmitts, orange fleece hat, a purple facemask that makes me look like a serial killer and my hot pink ski goggles. I will truly be a vision to behold.

Don’t worry, I’ll take pictures of the entire affair.

 

 

 

Kim Martini (73 Posts)

Kim is a Physical Oceanographer at the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2010. Her goal in life is to throw expensive s**t in the ocean. When not at sea, she uses observations from moored, satellite and land-based instruments to understand the pathways that wind and tidal energy take from large (internal tides) to small scales (turbulence).





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4 comments on “Notes from the field: North again, this time to dismantle stuff
  1. Yes–Photos or it never happened……………assuming the camera doesn’t freeze up in which case we’ll sadly let it slide! Have fun and come back with all your fingers, OK?

  2. Having spent some time in the north myself, you have to remember – it’s not how you look, it’s whether you can still feel your fingers, toes and nose at the end of an outing! Good Luck!

  3. Hope your schnozz didn’t freeze up.

    At 20 below (F) that’s the extremity that really hurt! I think the booger gland decided to lube my nostrils and the goo cooled very quickly as I breathed cold, cold air, which smarted pretty bad.

    Incidentally, the body makes around two pints of goo (mucus) per day and it’s full of sugars – explains some childhood behavior, huh?! (sorry if you were eating)

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