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First Day in the Field

BARROW, ALASKA– The first field day started out a bit oddly. The crew gathered, minus the football players among the high school students, who are at a training camp, and we went out to the site on ATVs.

The week before, the BASC logistics crew and several of our crew had gone on Friday to set up the two Weatherports (tents) that we use. The large white one is a combination storage/lunch area, and the smaller tan one is used as a bathroom facility.

When we arrived, lo and behold, the tan tent was collapsed and some distance from where it had been left. The door, the cover, and pieces of the metal frame were strewn everywhere.

Putting the tent back up.

It had been windy over the weekend, so at first we thought it had just blown down. Some of the crew secured the white tent with more tie-downs & gravel, and the rest of the crew dragged the pieces of the tent back and started to put it back up.

After that, we all took pinflags and started to walk the surface of the site, marking anything that had worked its way to the surface of the gravel over the winter. Since there were a lot of newbies, Laura & I, along with some of the more experienced grad students, had to check the flags, and wound up pulling some that were marking things we don’t collect.

Getting pin flags.

Lining up for the survey.

And off they go!

The end result—lots of pin flags.

In the end, we had a whole lot of pin flags showing things to be mapped in and collected.

The more we thought about the tent, the more we didn’t think it blew down. It had been tied to the surrounding logs with multiple ropes, and it was hard to imagine that all that had come untied just due to wind. Most folks here are really good at tying things down. The best guess is that maybe someone was having a bonfire somewhere on the point and was getting cold in the wind, and got the idea to borrow the tent. It looks like maybe they tried to move it as a whole and the frame collapsed. Anyway, we have it back up now.

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