Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mea culpa Spock

Wandering musings from me while ensconced in my summer cubicle at NASA's Ames Research Center:
It's been over 48 hours since Spaceward Bound Arctic 2008 ended and... 

I love being in the field.  
I'm morose and languid as I persist in missing all my new friends.  
I marvel, still, that the beauty of the wild, interesting science work in it, and good souls, combine to forge strong friendships in microwave cooking-like time.  
I can't believe that the kid that ran outside and looked at our moon, then ran back inside and watched Apollo astronauts on the TV, the guy that slept in the Mojave sand to watch Columbia glide back home to Edwards, gets to spend time this summer at Ames.
I can't wait to get back into the field.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Why compare the relic spring to Gypsum Springs? And how do you do it?

Margarita Marinova, Ph.D Candidate from CalTech, explains the whys and hows of comparing the relic spring site above White Glacier to the Gypsum Spring site downstream from Thompson Glacier.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Life in Gypsum Springs?

Is there life in Gypsum Springs? UNC biology undergrad, Zena Cardman, speaks about odd-looking colors downslope from one spring outlet at Gypsum Springs.

Last night on Axel Heiberg Island...thanks.

Thanks to Dr. Wayne Pollard, our host from McGill University, to Marie-Claude Williamson of the Canadian Space Agency, our Canadian and Inuit teaching colleagues, Sean, Genevieve, Naomi, and Elijah. To Tammy, teacher from Lake Placid N.Y., to Margarita and Zena, to Alberto, and finally to Chris, whom we all owe our deepest gratitude.

Hunting for relic spring to compare to Gypsum Springs

Chris McKay of NASA-ARC looks toward relic spring near White Glacier, Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut Territory, Canada. The relic spring is to be compared for similarity to the Gypsum Springs site.

The team hiked from M.A.R.S.Upper Base Camp to the terminal area of Thompson Glacier, then alongside a lateral moraine of White Glacier, which intersects Thompson Glacier. Heading to the relic spring site at N 79 degrees, 26.626 minutes, W 90 degrees, 42.129 minutes, involved a few rope pitches before the final jaunt to the relic site. This video clip shows Chris making the final rope ascent above White Glacier. In addition to being a top-notch NASA scientist, and a kind, giving human being, Chris is, apparently, quite the cool customer, as evidenced by the sounds he makes whilest climbing.

Caltech Ph.D candidate & UNC biology undergrad talk about studying Gypsum Springs

Margarita Marinova, Ph.D candidate from CalTech, and Zena Cardman, biology and poetry undergraduate from the University of North Carolina, speak to you from Gypsum Springs on an extremely windy day. The camera operator erred in choosing light exposure over protecting the microphone from the wind. His apologies to you. Still, this video gives a good feel for the springs' site, what it's like there, and why we study it.