- NPEO 2007 Planning
- Deployment Reports from 2006

Field Reports from the NPEO 2007 Deployment      

The 2007 NPEO deployment is scheduled to take place in early mid-April followed by the Switchyard surveys in May. During this time we will update this page with reports from folks in the field. Visit the 2007 Deployment Planning page for more details of the plan for this year's work.

Switchyard Report #18: Thursday, May 17, 2007

Phone call from Andy Heiberg: Thursday, 3:45pm (Local = Eastern Daylight) CFS Alert
Headed for home! After a foggy morning the weather has cleared enough to get the CFS Herc. in and out of Alert this afternoon. The team is scheduled to depart Alert in about 2 hours and head the Thule, Greenland for the night. They will be there for a night or two then fly on to Scotia, NY. They will all fly from Albany, NY to Seattle on Saturday afternoon.

Switchyard Report #17: Monday, May 14, 2007

Email from Roger Andersen: Friday 11 May 2007 8PM (Local = Eastern Daylight) CFS Alert
Tuesday, 8 May, produced a patch of clearing in the satellite photo up by the Pole, and pilot Paul Rask loaded three extra drums of fuel and took off in BBV with the Lamontions for 89N. They had low clouds the whole way, and grew increasingly concerned about needing to land some place to pump the extra fuel when they found a small clearing and landing spot right near 89N. So Lamont got their station, deployed METOCEAN Buoy 35233, and dropped an NPEO XCP before returning, very late, to Alert. For the helo folks in Alert, it was another day of fog, water sky and poor ground contrast.
Wednesday the weather at Alert was not flyable even for Paul in a Twin Otter. As Andy says, "Non-flyable, some-O', same-O'." Each day we have high hopes to get some data to make all the work that has gone into preparation for this trip worthwhile, but when each sucker hole fails to develop into a flying opportunity, it gets very discouraging. This was the last possible flying day for Lamont, so they began packing and preparing their backhaul pallet.
Thursday brought the best looking sucker hole in days, and right after lunch, APL-UW's Wendy Ermold and Roger Andersen lifted off in Bell 206 C-FCWR piloted by Orin Durey to try to reach target station A1 at the extreme southern end of the main Switchyard Helo line. They were able to follow the coast northwest for 30 minutes but had to retreat 18 nautical miles short of the target due to gathering fog and deteriorating contrast. North of the shorefast ice, the ice was such collection of thin, small floes that no appealing spot to land appeared at all, while to the north the low clouds and water sky glowered. The ceiling kept lowering all the way back to the Alert, which had somehow basked in a sunbeam. Lamont backhaul preparations continued, and Andy Heiberg decided to stick with the field party and go home with the last of us next week on a 109th Herc via Greenland.
Friday morning the Lamont party, Dale Chayes, Richard Perry, Bill Smethie, and Bob Williams departed for Resolute by Twin Otter and homeward commercial air connections. Coastal helicopter flying was weathered out, but Twin Otter BBV flew to the Canadian Hydrographic Service's outer fuel cache at 84deg 36min N and 72deg 12.5min W to pull back the unused fuel and deployed Christian Haas' last Argos buoy 8063 for the International Arctic Buoy Programme. The need for one more flight to clean up the cache gave Roger a chance to attempt an Airborne eXpendable Conductivity Temperature Depth probe (AXCTD) from the Twin. With mechanic Brad Belan acting as Dropmaster like last year, an AXCTD was dropped into a lead at 84deg 03min N and 68deg 50min W, before landing at and cleaning out the fuel cache and returning to Alert.

Switchyard Report #16: Friday, May 11, 2007

Phone call from Andy Heiberg
The team from Lamont has headed home so it is just Andy, Mike, Roger and Wendy up in Alert. The weather is still very unreliable and there have been very few opportunities to even try to get to the ice. On Wednesday part of the team went out in a helo during a break in the weather but they were forced to return to Alert a half an hour after takeoff due to bad weather at their destination. So far that is the only flight the they have been able to attempt.
There was a chance that today they might be able to head out on a Twin Otter and do an XCTD drop since the weather is not good enough for the helicopters to fly.
The current plan is for the team to head home next week via Greenland with the NY Air Guard 109th.

NPEO & Switchyard Report #15: Monday, May 7, 2007

All of the NPEO participants are back at home. The Switchyard team is still in Alert.

Email from Roger Andersen, Monday 7 May 2007 Noon (Local = Eastern Daylight)
CFS Alert Friday the weather was flyable, just. After some maintenance in Resolute, Paul Rask brought BBV back up from Alert, saw an opening near 84N in the satellite photo, and flew the Lamont team to 84deg 10min N and 64deg 40min W, where they got a CTD profile and deployed METOCEAN buoy 35237. The Green Ice Twin Otter flown by Jim Haffey flew a later mission to the east, and searched for the NPEO 2005 POPS buoy without success. AWI's Christian Haas flew locally with one Bell 206 "The Bird" dangling beneath measuring ice thickness by means of electromagnetic induction. John Biggar of the Canadian Hydrographic Office had a rare day flying bathymetry surveys in the other helicopter north of the shore lead. In all this flying, everyone had one eye on Alert to make sure they could go home again, but when anyone gets to fly, morale goes up for everybody here.
Saturday 5 May, sadly, began with visibility and contrast inadequate for the helicopters, but BBV flew Dale Chayes, Richard Perry, and Bob Williams to Lamont station T2 at 85N, where they also dropped one NPEO XCP and deployed Christian's met buoy 9366, and revisited T1 to complete their chemistry profile on the way home to Alert. The fog dissipated enough in the afternoon for Green Ice's Susanne Hanson to get north of the fog in a helicopter and lay out her four GPS drifters.
Sunday we had poor flying weather with intermittent short sucker holes all day. Don Boe, flying still another Ken Borek Twin Otter to recover fuel caches, made a hopeful foray off the runway and scampered right back. Sunday also marks the end of John Biggar's helicopter contract, so from now on, the UW's Mike Steele, Wendy Ermold, and Roger Andersen are first in line when the weather improves.
This morning, the visibility and contrast is reduced by light snowfall as well as overcast conditions and the wind has picked up so we are into drifting snow. The Lamont team is ready to go for 89N, but the satellite photo is not encouraging anywhere out there.

NPEO & Switchyard Report #14: Thursday, May 3, 2007

Email from Roger Andersen, Thursday 3 May 2007 9AM (Local = Eastern Daylight) CFS Alert
Yesterday at Alert we woke up to blue skies and bright sunshine... until we looked north at the low fog bank lying just off the beach. The weather at Resolute was lousy too, but the satellite photos showed some clearing well to the north. So Dale Chayes and Richard Perry of Lamont loaded themselves, their Through-the-Ice-Rossete CTD station gear, and two spare fuel drums on BBV (Bravo Bravo Victor), the North Pole Twin Otter, and Borek pilots Troy McKerral and Travis Goetzinger took off from Alert for 88 or 89 North and 90 West. Troy reported enough hopeful gaps in the fog hugging the coastline that the helo flying for the Canadian Hydrographic Service took off to try to get past it, but returned in a half hour without success. With Christian Haas of the Alfred Wegner Institute in Resolute, Wendy Ermold and Roger Andersen saw a chance to use his helicopter for a day of Switchyard helicopter surveying, unfortunately that fell through to the persistent band of ice fog.
Far to the north, BBV found low clouds thicker that advertised and building, but Troy and Travis managed a landing at 88deg 08min North and 90deg 43min West, and were promptly enveloped by the low clouds. Dale and Richard managed to get a nearly complete CTD-Chemistry station despite 14 inches of snow cover. They also deployed METOCEAN Buoy 35235 for the International Arctic Buoy Programme and dropped an NPEO XCP. Troy and Travis had to mark the landing strip with black plastic bags to have adequate contrast to take off.
Meanwhile, back at Alert, that coastal fog slowly crept in all afternoon, covering the runway by early evening. Another Twin Otter, bringing Christian up from Resolute held at Eureka when the visibility here went below minimums. So, after a long day and low on fuel, Troy and Travis had to bypass the Alert runway and landed BBV on a frozen freshwater lake a bit higher than the beach and within skidoo range of the station.
This morning, the view from Alert is much like Wednesday, with encouraging sunshine and blue sky at the station, but fog and water sky along the coast. However, the Twin Otter BBV got off for Resolute this morning, at last getting the final North Pole Four Rick Krishfield, Kris Newhall, Matt Alkire, and Jamie Morison out of here.

Email from Mike Steele:
It's foggy here and we haven't flown yet with the helo. Insanity might be setting in... we shall see. The Twin Otter did take off today and I think they're doing a station near 88 degN. I'm eating too much and trying to write a paper on arctic ocean warming, but it's hard
because most of our time is devoted to getting ready to fly and then nothing happens and then we talk about how to get ready to fly tomorrow and then nothing happens, etc. Actually I gave a talk yesterday to about 50 people at the station and it was well received with lots of questions and thanks afterwards. Outreach! Really it was fun because there's a number of people here who live in the North and have interesting perspectives.

NPEO & Switchyard Report #13: Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Email from Roger Andersen, Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 5:30pm
I made an error in the earlier report I emailed that is worth correcting. Jamie put out only two (2) METOCEAN buoys when he was out at Borneo. One went in on the 135 West CTD line and the other was turned on at Borneo.

Phone call from Jamie Morison, Wednesday at 12:15pm
Now the weather in Resolute has turned nasty and they are experiencing blizzard conditions. This means that the flight Jamie, Matthew Alkire, Rick Krishfield, and Kris Newhall were supposed to take from Alert to Resolute today has been delayed until the weather clears. Hopefully it will clear later today and allow him to get to Resolute in time to catch his flight home on Thursday.

Phone call from Jamie Morison, Wednesday at 3:00pm
The weather has cleared some in Resolute. They should be able to fly out of Alert in a few hours and get to Resolute around midnight.

NPEO & Switchyard Report #12: Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Email from Roger Andsersen, Tuesday 1 May 2007 3PM (Local = Eastern Daylight) CFS Alert
"Stuck in Alert" is the way everyone in the NPEO and Switchyard team feels. The base here is a great place to work from, but we are socked in by a persistent ice fog that is preventing anyone here from flying anywhere else. There is a lot of open water around here, and when leads form, they have not frozen over very thickly or very hard. So even a slight breeze from the north brings in the fog, first enveloping the runway which is virtually at sea level. The Weather Underground reports Alert weather on the Web.

We have been lucky to get enough visibility to land the airplanes the got us here. The Lamont Switchyard crew, Bill Smethie, Dale Chayes, Richard Perry, and Bob Williams reached Resolute via commercial air from Iqaluit on Thursday 26 April, followed by Mike Steele, Wendy Ermold, and Roger Andersen for the UW via Yellowknife on Friday. Also on Friday, 27 April, The NPEO Twin Otter interrupter its Aerial CTD Survey to bring PMEL's Sigrid Salo and OSU's Bob Collier south from Borneo, was unable to get into Alert, and had to fly on to an alternate airstrip at Eureka. So on Saturday 28 April, Alert cleared enough to let the Twin drop off Sigrid and Bob and head north to Borneo and to allow a Hawker charter to bring the Switchyards up to Alert and take Sigrid and Bob south to Resolute from there. Meanwhile, through all the changes of plan, Dean Stewart has been keeping everyone's logistics sorted out in Resolute, where he expects to hang out until about Friday 4 May.

Late Sunday Alert cleared just enough for the NPEO Twin to complete the last two flights south from Borneo, the first with WHOI's Kris Newhall and OSU's Matt Alkire, and finally, reaching Alert just after midnight, with WHOI's Rick Krishfield and the UW's Jamie Morison. Since Monday morning, Alert has been socked in solid, so solid even the Twin was unable to get away south to Resolute. The plan now is to send the Twin south Thursday to coordinate with a pilot crew change, leaving Jamie, Rick, Matt, and Kris stuck in Alert, but just possibly opening a day or two that the Lamontians could take the Twin north to try to get a Switchyard station or two. A tantalizing forecast has suggested a possibility of some clearing between here and the Pole, but Alert has to clear enough to ensure the Twin can get back in here first. Mike, Wendy and Roger need two things, clearer weather and for one of the groups that have been waiting to fly to finish and free up a helicopter. We are all ready to fly.

Flying out of Borneo, Jamie, Bob, and Matt got ten Twin Otter CTD-Chemistry stations nearly completing the 90 East and 135 West lines. In the difficult conditions, this was a remarkable achievement by Ken Borek pilots Troy McKerral and Travis Goetzinger and Brad Belan, their mechanic.

NPEO buoys were deployed in the Borneo vicinity by Woods Hole and the Naval Postgraduate School, and by PMEL and CRREL. Two METOCEAN air pressure/temperature buoys were deployed in the central Arctic on CTD flights, and a third was turned on at Borneo. The Webcams on the PMEL buoys are already beginning to appear on the Web.

NPEO had a very challenging deployment this year. Now it is Switchyard's turn.

NPEO Report #11: Monday, April 30, 2007

Phone call from Andy Heiberg in Alert, April 30, 2007
The remaining NPEO crew left in Alert includes Andy, Jamie Morison, Matthew Alkire, Rick Krishfield, and Kris Newhall. They flew down from Borneo last night on two Twin Otter flights, the last one arriving at midnight. The current plan is for everyone but Andy to fly south to Resolute on Wednesday or Thursday and then home from there.
Jamie and crew completed all the CTD drops in both the 90º E and the 135º W sections and dropped all 6 XCPs they had with them. They were also able to deploy 3 Metocean SVP buoys near the North Pole for the International Arctic Buoy Programme.
The Freshwater Switchyard crew, Mike Steele, Wendy Ermold, Roger Andersen, Dale Chayes, Richard Perry, Bill Smethie, and Bob Williams arrived in Alert on Saturday. Mike will give a presentation on global warming to the station tomorrow.
Flights out of Alert are currently grounded due to ice fog but hopefully the Switchyard work will be able to continue with minimal delays.

NPEO Report #10: Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Email from Miles McPhee, April 25, 2007, 11:11am PDT
I got back yesterday afternoon, after riding the Hawker down to Iqaluit with Takashi on Monday, exchanging the First Air ticket for a later Canadian Northern flight to Ottawa (the First Air flight was taxiing as we landed in Iqaluit-- the pilots made a good effort to get me there on time, but were stymied by the refueling at Resolute) and then the United flights from there yesterday. In all, it went pretty smoothly. As you can imagine, though, it was a pretty frustrating time for everyone, especially Andy and Jamie, but the company was good and everyone in the same boat. I was only in Resolute for two and a half days but it seemed like a week and it was much longer for the Hawker crew and Takashi. It's the first time I have ever been completely skunked, but always next year...

Email from Bruce Elder (with CRREL), Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:58 PM
Just a heads up that we are receiving data from the IMB (Ice Mass Balance Buoy) at Borneo ID 09114 starting earlier today. Without knowing the initial ice thickness or anything, all sensors are reporting, are within range and appear to be working fine.

Good job and thanks to all coordinating getting this deployed.


NPEO Report #9: Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Email and phone call from Andy Heiberg
Jamie Morison was able to pick up 3 CTD stations yesterday in the 90º E section and plans to work in the 135º W section today. He will then take the helo to check in on his ABPRs.

The current plan is as follows:
On Thursday, April 26, Sigrid Salo and Bob Collier will fly from Borneo to Alert, the Twin Otter will pick up Kris Newhall and Rick Krishfield’s equipment and return to Borneo.

On Sunday, April 29, Jamie Morison and Matt Alkire will take the Twin Otter from Borneo to Alert, taking one or two CTD stations while in route and disembark in Alert with their equipment.

On Monday, April 30, Rick Krishfield and Kris Newhall will depart Borneo with their equipment and fly to Alert

Paul Aguilar, Jim Johnson, Jim Osse, and Daryl Swensen are on their way home. They will overnight in Ottawa tonight and will be back in Seattle tomorrow.

Polar Palooza and Polar Discovery have new posts with video and photographs.

NPEO Report #8: Monday, April 23, 2007

Phone Call from Andy Heiberg: Monday, April 23, 2007,8:30 AM PDT
Jamie Morison, Bob Collier, Matt Alkire, Sigrid Salo, and Rick Krishfield are at Borneo. Rick Krishfield is helping Sigrid Salo with the PMEL buoys.  Matt Alkire is being trained and integrated into the aerial CTD program, and he will then relieve Bob Collier.

On Sunday 22 April, Rick Krishfield, Chris Linder, Mike Carlowicz, Sigrid Salo, Matt Alkire and Andy Heiberg flew via the Hawker Siddeley 748 from Resolute to Alert.  The Twin Otter that was out at Borneo met them in Alert and flew Salo, Alkire, and Krishfield and their equipment out to Borneo.  After seeing them off to Borneo, Heiberg, Linder and Carlowicz flew back to Resolute.

When the second Twin Otter flight from Borneo comes in to Alert, it will take Kris Newhall out to Borneo, and hopefully bring off Sigrid Salo and Bob Collier.

This morning around 7:30 PDT the Hawker left for Quality with Takashi Kikuchi and Miles McPhee and some of the mooring equipment.  Some mooring equipment will be stored in Resolute for next year’s NPEO.

The mooring crew, Jim Johnson, Daryl Swanson, Jim Osse and Paul Angular plan to fly south from Resolute on Tuesday 24 April.

Dean Stewart and Chris Craig will stay in Resolute until about Thursday 26 April, and then will head for home.

Email from Jim Johnson: Sunday, April 22, 2007, Report from Resolute,
After some time discussing our latest situation, it was determined that the mooring operation was to be canceled for the 2007 field season. Also canceled was the deployment of the JAMSTEC buoy. This led to a very busy day Friday. We got Jamie and Bob Collier on their way to Borneo aboard the Twin Otter aircraft. On Saturday, Jamie reported back that the runway at Borneo was 750 meters, ending in a 2-foot crack. This confirmed that we could no longer send the Hawker to Borneo this season. However we could begin making Twin Otter flights between Alert and Borneo. This would allow us to get NOAA's instruments deployed plus 1 of Woods Hole's buoys installed at Borneo. Also some of Jamie's CTD lines completed. To get this plan underway, we needed to get the remaining science party and their equipment to Alert. So Sunday morning we loaded the Hawker aircraft with all the equipment plus Andy Heiberg, Rick Krishfield, Kris Newhall, Matt Alkire, and Sigrid Salo. Brian Igelman, Chris Linder and Mike Carlowicz also flew on the Hawker with the science party to cover the event. As the Hawker headed for Alert, the Twin Otter departed from Borneo to meet up in Alert and take the first group scientist plus some of the equipment back to Borneo.
On Monday the Hawker will be released and sent home for the season.

Jim J.

NPEO Report #7: Friday, April 20, 2007

Email from Jamie Morison: Resolute, Thursday, 4/19/2007, 2246 CDT (4/20/2007, 0346Z)
All personnel are well and equipment is ready. Today weather here was clear and calm. This morning at 1300Z Borneo reported near white out conditions and winds 20 knots from NE. Victor Boyarsky also reported ~780 m of runway ready for Antonov (a Russian aircraft), and another 200 m cleared but this now separated from ready runway by 2 m "crack". Crack confirmed by Christian Haas on the scene. We don't know how the Russians plan to alleviate this critical flaw. Morning and afternoon Twin Otter flights were canceled due to bad weather at Borneo. Forecasts suggest better weather Saturday-Monday. Chris Linder, Mike Carlowicz, Rick Krishfield and Kris Newhall arrived last night. Chris Craig arrived this evening.


Polar Discovery has a couple of additional posts with photos from Iqaluit and Resolute.

NPEO Report #6: Thursday, April 19, 2007

Email from Jamie Morison: Resolute, Wednesday, 4/18/2007, 2200 CDT (4/19/2007, 0300Z)
All personnel are well and equipment is ready. Today weather here was variable but general clear and calm in the morning and windy in the PM. This morning at 1300Z Borneo reported visibility 1-2km and satellite imagery indicated extensive cloud cover. The Twin Otter flight was canceled. Borneo later (1800Z) reported white out conditions. Will try again tomorrow. Rick Krishfield and Newhall from WHOI arrived in resolute this evening.


Video from Resolute: Polar Palooza has posted the first two installments of video from the field. http://passporttoknowledge.com/polar-palooza/pp06.php

Polar Discovery's Live from the Poles journal website is up and running. You can read about Mike Carlowicz and Chris Linder's journey and see photos at http://polardiscovery.whoi.edu/expedition1/journal.html

Ice camp conditions and expedition updates are regularly posted at the poles.com. Read the latest about the storms that have been keeping the NPEO crew in Resolute and see photos.

NPEO Report #5 Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Email from Jamie Morison: Resolute, Tuesday, 4/17/2007, 1931 CDT (4/8/2007, 0031Z)
Still here. All personnel are well and equipment is ready. Today weather here was variable but general clear and calm here. This morning at 1340Z Borneo  (89° 30' N, 30° 03'E) Borneo reported visibility < 1 mile in blowing snow and winds building. We are still stuck with a low over the Pole and new ones sweeping cyclonically in towards the Pole. The AO index* must be high this month. We were ready to take the Twin Otter north but the weather at Borneo and forecasts for Alert kept us home. Based on a pilot report from an over flight last night we understand the Bornovians are flooding the runway to repair it. They are telling the tourists that the next Antonov flight will be on Friday waiting for the flooding to freeze up.  Weather permitting we will send the Twin Otter with Morison and Collier to Borneo tomorrow. We don't anticipate going to Borneo with the Hawker until the Antonov has landed once.


*The AO is the primary mode of variability in the Northern Hemisphere, and explains most of the variance in atmospheric circulation over the Arctic. See http://horizon.atmos.colostate.edu/ao for more information on the AO, and http://www.cpc.noaa.gov for the current AO conditions.

NPEO Report #4: Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Email from Jamie Morison: Resolute, Monday, 4/16/2007, 2206 CDT (4/17/2007, 0306Z)
All personnel are well and equipment is ready. Today was clear and calm here. Borneo reported much improved conditions, winds at about 15 knots (17.26 miles/hour) and, best of all, the camp personnel were able to get out and work on a new runway parallel to the broken one. We are hoping for conditions suitable for a Hawker flight on Thursday. Weather permitting we will send the Twin Otter with Morison and Collier to Borneo tomorrow. Because of delays we are considering fallback plans and communicating with PIs that are potentially affected, but we haven't used up our weather days quite yet and our Russian camp operators indicate they are willing to extend the duration of the camp if necessary. Therefore we remain hopeful that most objectives can be met. The runway and weather reports tomorrow morning should be interesting.


NPEO Report #3: Monday, April 16, 2007

Here is a link to a map that shows where Resolute and Alert are: http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

Email from Jamie Morison: Resolute 4/15/2007, 2240Z (1740 CDT):
Weather here has deteriorated winds from 200 degrees at speeds up to 25 knots at midday with blowing snow and limited visibility. Weather here is improving now. Condition this morning at Borneo continued to be very bad. Same low pressure pattern over the Pole. Winds at Borneo are near 50knots and temperatures were -25C. More cracks appeared in camp. They are predicting that conditions will improve enough by Tuesday to fly the helicopters and start looking for a new runway. Our forecasts from Canada are similar. Position of Borneo is 89° 47' N, 17° 49'E. We have been touching up instruments, agonizing over plans, and weather /ice wishing.
NPEO personnel are same as yesterday. The Damocles laser profiler crew (Rene, Henrietta and Jeremy) took off in poor weather to fly to Alert where they plan to meet their turbo DC3 at Station Nord (north end of Greenland) and fly on to Tara  (approx 87°10' N, 120° E). We will contact Borneo tomorrow morning for an update.


Email from Jamie Morison: April 14, 2007, 2300Z (1800CDT)
Resolute: Weather here is clear cold and calm. All personnel and all equipment are well. Weather reported today for Borneo, Alert, and Eureka is terrible: 30-35 knots out of the south (at Borneo). This was reported at 1100Z (0600 local) this morning when we called for preflight weather for the first Hawker flight to Borneo. So much for the good news. Bad news is the Borneo Camp has broken up and the runway is unusable. Ilker Fer in Longyearbyen was to have been on a flight to Borneo today. It was cancelled and he was told the next window would be in 5 days, maybe 3. Our weather forecast indicates improved weather on Wednesday or Thursday. If we can get a good runway by Thursday, most of our program can be salvaged.
In the meantime we will monitor the Borneo situation and consider fallback plans.


Personnel at Resolute include: Morison, Stewart, Swanson, Alkire, Collier,
Kikuchi, Heiberg, Johnson, Aguilar, Osse, Igelman
                                   Twin Otter crew: Troy, Travis, Brad
                                    Hawker Siddeley 748 crew: John, Ryan, Pascal

Email from Jamie Morison: NPEO 4/13/2007, 2208 CDT (4/14/2007, 0309Z)
Weather here at Resolute has continued to be nice, though we hear Borneo has blizzard conditions and a large semi-stationary lows just North of Ellesmere Island and over Svalbard. Preparations for the first Hawker flight are complete without major problems, and the airplane is loaded except for gear to be kept warm.  We will check weather and runway conditions for flight number 1. Andy Heiberg, Bob Collier, Jim Johnson, Jim Osse and Paul Aguilar, and Brian Igelman arrived this evening. I've never seen the Narwahl this full.


Here is what we are up against:    Surface Analysis for Sunday local noon 4/15/2007 from Environment Canada.

NPEO Report #2: Friday, April 13, 2007

Email from Jamie Morison, 4/12/2007 2200 CDT, 4/13/2007 0300Z

Today was clear and cold with a bit of wind, but workable. Takashi Kikuchi arrived last night and has been checking out his buoy. Dean, Daryl, and Matt sorted cargo. With Dean and Daryl's help Jamie closed up the ABPR2 pressure case; the instrument is ready to go to the ice at the appropriate time. Twin Otter crew packed most of the critical hydro survey gear on the Twin Otter C-FBVV, same aircraft and crew as last year. We will weigh gear for Hawker flight #1 tomorrow. Morison and Kevin Reel (sp?) will test AXCTD receiver system. Our Hawker Sidley 748 arrived 2 hours ago, and Dean and John Millar have communicated with Andy.

Jamie Morison

Phone call from Andy Heiberg, April 13, 2007 at 10:15am

Andy, Jim Johnson, Brian Igelman, and Bob Collier are in Iqaluit waiting to catch their flight to Resolute. The weather in Iqaluit is sunny and relatively warm at 10 F. They should all arrive in Resolute in 5 or 6 hours. Andy and Jim don’t have their luggage yet. The luggage should arrive in Ottawa this evening and First Air will put it on Monday’s flight to Resolute.


NPEO Report #1:  Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The 2007 North Pole Environmental Observatory field operations, to be followed by the 2007 surveys for the Switchyard of the Arctic project, are underway.  The first University of Washington participants left Seattle for Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada:
April 7, 2007: Dean Stewart - NPEO field engineer and logistics coordination
April 9, 2007: Jamie Morison – NPEO lead PI
April 9, 2007: Daryl Swensen - engineer and scuba diver for the mooring team

Email from Jamie Morison, April 10, 2007

We left Yellowknife at 1100 MDT with Stewart, Swensen, and Morison and the NPEO cargo. Arrived in Resolute at 1355 MDT (1455 CDT).  Mathew Alkire from Oregon State University was here when we arrived. This evening we sorted and counted cargo on the ramp and moved selected items to the PCSP (Polar Continental Shelf Project) warehouse for warm storage and checkout.  We have everything on the North Pole and ABPR lists and will check the Switchyard list tomorrow. Things appear to be in good shape.

Fritz Koerner (Emeritus Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada) reports he's been stuck here for a week with poor flying conditions but it seem nice here today.


Email from Jamie Morison, April 11, 2007

Well the helicopters have been trying to get to Alert for 3 weeks and haven't had good enough weather yet, so I guess the guys are being prepared for weather delays, and maybe we are using up our bad luck in this department down south.  Things have been going well Dean and the guys have the first Hawker load rough sorted on the ramp and Hawker 2, Hawker 3, and Hawker 4 are even started. We got the ABPR (Acoustic Bottom Pressure Recorder) powered up today and should close it tomorrow. I talked to Andy and he has received reports that the Borneo runway is looking good. Weather here today was clear and a little colder, but still not bad.  We found out that our Twin Otter Crew will be the same as last year except for a new mechanic. This is very good news. Having a crew that knows how to do it will help me a lot, especially since we will be having new members of the science team. The copilot and mechanic seem genuinely excited about the trip. Takashi Kikuchi arrived a few hours ago and hit the ground running. Now we have Stewart, Swanson, Alkire, and Morison on site.

Best regards,


Editor’s note:
Most of the participants in this year’s fieldwork are traveling to Ottawa via Chicago then on to Resolute. Due to late season snow in the Midwest on April 11th many flights in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare airport were canceled or delayed. Jim Johnson, Andy Heiberg, and Bob Collier’s flight from Chicago to Ottawa was canceled. As a result Jim and Andy had an unexpected overnight but they were able to get a flight to Ottawa this morning. They will overnight in Ottawa and fly to Resolute on Friday morning. Bob was able to get a flight to Toronto yesterday and to Ottawa this morning. All three of them have been separated from their luggage and they are not sure if and when it will catch up with them.  It looks like the weather is better today and flights are more or less on time.

Brian Igelman and Geoffrey Haines-Stiles, with Polar Palooza, are also in Ottawa and will fly to Resolute Friday.

Brief Description of the North Pole Environmental Observatory

The purpose of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supported North Pole Environmental Observatory (NPEO)
is to help track and understand ongoing changes in the Arctic environment. Consistent with the goal of the NSF Program for Long-Term Observations in the Arctic, NPEO increases the availability of long-term environmental data in the Arctic by providing data and infrastructure for other polar science and climate investigations. NPEO was first established in 2000 and includes an automated drifting station of buoys fixed to the sea ice, an ocean mooring, and airborne hydrographic surveys.

The North Pole is an excellent location for long-term measurements,
and the merit of NPEO is demonstrated by the findings it has achieved so far. Near the flank of the Lomonosov Ridge, it has proven to be a sensitive site for changes in upper ocean frontal structure and changes in the Atlantic water flowing along the ridge. A history of expeditions to the North Pole provides a benchmark of ocean and sea ice observations. The drifting station deployment at the North Pole fills a geographic gap in drifting buoy coverage of the International Arctic Buoy Program's (IABP). Time series observations of ice thickness there provide a unique measure of sea ice in the Transpolar Drift. The airborne hydrographic surveys reach critical areas that are difficult to reach by other means. So far the hydrographic surveys suggest that ocean conditions have relaxed from the extreme changes in the 1990s toward climatology but are still variable. The drift station data indicate that the inter annual variations in surface conditions are significant and, among other things, that ocean temperatures in western Arctic rose later than those in the eastern Arctic, and that ocean conditions in the western Eurasian Basin are still in a changed state. The mooring has shown ocean conditions at the Pole to be surprisingly energetic and variable with vertically extensive and long-lasting eddy structures; and they have shown a gradual cooling and freshening trend in the Atlantic water layer. The ice draft measurements document for the first time a coherent annual cycle of mean ice draft in the central Arctic that may be compared directly with estimates derived from submarine sonar profiles.

We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for their support of these projects (NSF Grants OPP-0352754, OPP-0230427, OPP-0230238, OPP-0352641, OPP-0084858, and OPP-0326109).

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