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Getting to Greenland

KANGERLUSSUAQ, GREENLAND– We start our Greenland field season with the 109th wing of the Air National Guard, who pack us along with our gear into C-130 cargo planes. Come fly the friendly skies.


9 Responses »

  1. Hey Billy, an update!!!! I thought you got lost up there. Nice video, congratulations.
    Cheers from ou 123 Geo LAB

  2. i love you dad from calvin
    i love you dad from miles
    i love you billy from ali

  3. During summer camp this year we watched a few of the Ice Stories videos and talked about what it might be like to be a scientist on the poles. Here are a few questions and comments from the campers:

    Dear Billy,

    I have a few different questions about what you are doing.

    1. Did you make all of the equipment you use to get the results with?

    2. How was the plane ride there, were you able to sleep and was it comfortable?

    Hope you have a great time for the rest of the time!

    - Martin


    It seems like at the bottom of that lake there are a lot of answers!


  4. Hi Martin,

    We didn’t make all the equipment we use out on the lake. We buy most of our limnology gear from different environmental supply companies…Wal-Mart still doesn’t have a limno section (thank god). We do often have to improvise when gear is forgotten, or slips through butter fingers and sinks to the bottom of a lake. I’ve lost coring rods, tubes, wrenches, knives and a variety of other tools to the lakes!

    I think the LC-130 flights are comfortable, although other people disgree. With the earplugs in and the vibration of the large plane (from the propellers), I think it takes me back to the womb and I can’t keep my eyes open. I usually sleep the entire way!

  5. Hi Fawn,

    Yes! There are lots of answers down there!
    BUT, the thing about science is that for every answer you get you generate 10 new questions! It keeps things interesting…


  6. Thanks so much for answering our questions! Last week we watched your videos and read your blog with another group of campers and they have a few more questions for you. We also watched the ‘Diamond Hunters Stole our Helicopter!’ for the first time, which was a huge hit!

    Dear Billy,

    Have you ever fell out of the boat or went in the lake?

    On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the noisiest), how loud was the jeep?


    p.s. I liked the Diamond Hunters video the best!


    Dear Billy,

    How many people in Greenland are there?

    Where and how do you get your food?


  7. Hey Jack,

    I’ve never fallen out of the boat. We talk about it all the time, because some days on the bigger lakes falling in could actually be fatal. Hypothermia can get you pretty quickly if you’re wet and there is a chill in the air (like on cloudy, windy days). BUT, I did fall in from the shore one year with all my clothes on. It was a warm morning and I got some dry clothes on right away, but it was a long walk home in wet boots!

    On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the sound of cotton touching silk, and 10 being a supernova) I’d say the Hagglund was about a 5. The C130s are louder…maybe a 6.5.

    Thanks for the questions!

  8. Hi Ronan,

    There are about 56,000 people in Greenland. That is an awfully small number when you consider Greenland is about the size of the US east of the Mississippi River.

    We send some food up with us on the Air Guard cargo planes, but we also shop in the local grocery store. Kangerlussuaq has a population of about 500 people, so they have a pretty decent store (with wonderful fresh baked bread!). When we’re camping we bring the food in with us, and we make sure to bring enough to last us for the time we plan to spend in the field.

    Great questions!

  9. Billy,

    Its exciting to see what you are doing up there in Greenland! I caught a few videos with you and it seems like you are having a great time up there. How often do you make it up there? What are you finding from your data?

    -that long lost roommate you met in Minnesota!