Lab and logistics–Pt. 2

The mad rush toward the field continues.  Laura Thomas is back, so it was possible to slip out to attend to things like a staff meeting during the day.  A good thing, since there is only one full work day left in the week for us in Barrow.  Tomorrow and Thursday are half-day holidays for Nalukataqs (celebrations of successful whaling seasons hosted by captains and crews) and the multi-day Fourth of July/NSB Founders’ Day holiday kicks off on Friday, so we get the afternoon off then too.  Monday, July 4th, is a holiday too, and then fieldwork starts, a week from tomorrow!

All of the new NSF crew was here, so we had planned to do the candy eating exercise.  Unfortunately, the two new ECHO crew members, who probably needed it the most, were not in today, but due to the holiday and the fact that the large conference room where we do the exercise is booked on Wednesday, we decided to forge ahead.  We wound up splitting into groups by gender (the first time that has happened, I think) and it was interesting how that turned out.  The HS students were all old hands, so they got to be the actors.  The girls worked collaboratively on a very complicated “site” and had to stop because they ran out of candy.  The guys each more or less did their own thing in parallel.

We did a safety briefing on various hazards that might be encountered in the field (chiefly ATVs, cold, sun, the propane stove, generator, polar bears, and strains & sprains).  Then there was a quiz on skeletal elements, to be repeated on Wednesday in hopes that people will do better.  Actually, everyone seems to know what the elements are, but how the names are spelled is a bit sketchier.   Since I’m tired of having to do global replaces of “humorous” with “humerus” (upper arm bones not being particularly funny), I think this is time well spent.  The afternoon finished with repacking the supplies which had been shipped up from Anchorage priority instead of buying local :-(.  That will complicate the returning of the Tylenol PM that showed up instead of Tylenol.  I’m not sure why the person doing the shopping thought that was appropriate for a job site first aid kit?!  Especially when everyone drives to and from the site…

After the crew went home, I had to work up a proposal for some work to be done later this summer.  I got it all done except for the prices for helicopter time.  Once I get them, I plug them into the spreadsheet and send it off.

Now I’m working on a concept paper for what could be done with a large collection that is here in Barrow at the Inupiat Heritage Center.  I have to finish that this week, as well as get a small survey done of a site on Point Barrow where some researchers want to set up a current radar.  So, back to work…

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