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Field Notes 2005

It's mid-April, so it must be time to head north for Switchyard again. Wendy Ermold and Roger Andersen fly commercial airliner Seattle - Ottawa, where they join colleagues Bill Smethie and Richard Perry from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Continuing north to Resolute, they land at Iqaluit...

where posted signs in the terminal remind them of where they are headed.

Twice weekly airliner is not the only way to Resolute. Dale Chayes and Bob Williams took the puddle jumper, carrying laptops plus whatever they could stuff in their pockets.

In Resolute, Canada's Polar Continental Shelf Project maintains a base to support their scientists, and they graciously allowed Switchyard to use warehouse space,...

an email connection ("In Resolute? Wow!"), ...

and lab space where Dale can fire up his well-tuned soldering iron.

There is a day waiting for the airplane when they can take a pickup into Downtown Resolute...

looking out for traffic congestion from a variety of vehicles, ...

some used in ways the manufacturer did not anticipate.

'Universal Helicopters' pilots John Innis (Switchyard pilot for 2003 and 2004) and Paul Garrett (Switchyard 2005) prepare a Bell 206 for flight at Resolute.

At Resolute, Gordy coordinates First Air's Hawker 748 flights to the Russian camp near the Pole called "Borneo" for the North Pole Environmental Observatory deployment and to Alert on Northern Ellesmere Island for the Switchyard project.

With the Hawker loaded with the Switchyard team and equipment, the Hawker taxis ...

for takeoff northbound to Alert. The 748 continues to Borneo, completing the final evacuation of the NPEO team.

At Alert, two Twin Otter ski planes and two Bell 206 helicopters are waiting, one of each for Switchyard and the other aircraft to recover the camp that had just been blown away by hurricane-force winds in Nares Strait between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

On the Alert ramp, a few Switchyard participants pose with the NPEO deployment team, southbound on the Hawker.

Alert greets visitors with reminders of the difficult history at these latitudes.

With the entire base assembled from a long series of airlifts, a "breezeway" connects modular buildings.

"Oh, yes. We are in Nunavut, aren't we?" This Fire Alarm sign is bilingual in English and Inuktitut syllabics.

Alert living spaces have names. The Switchyard team is quartered in The Manor, complete with a kitchen, which is convenient for preparing whatever food they can scrounge when returning from long days of flying after mess hall hours.

Preparing for the first survey flight, Roger checks that the RDI Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler harness is plumb, ...

installs batteries in the radio receiver for the Sippican Expendable Current Profilers, ...

and readies the Sea-Bird Conductivity-Temperature-Depth Recorder with Dissolved Oxygen Sensor.

Richard, Bob, and Bill prepare a Through-Ice CTD Rosette for the first Twin Otter survey flight.


Loading the Bell 206 helicopter. "This stuff all went in last year!"

Polar Science Center
Applied Physics Laboratory
1013 NE 40th Street
Seattle, WA 98105

University of Washington

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0230427.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
National Science Foundation.

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