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Science Under the Midnight Sun

Journal Entry 3: Sunday, June 29th, 2008, 1:00am

UNNAMED LAKE, BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA– For two consecutive days we have hiked several miles to the sample locations, where we have worked all day before returning at 11:30 PM. The mosquitoes are ferocious, and only the screen tent has spared our sanity.

The crew en route to sampling locations. From left: Mark, Lisa, and Greta.

The sampling is going well, but most answers are hidden in the samples, only to be revealed months later after the lab analysis is complete. We measure variables like soil moisture, soil temperature, and species presence and abundance. We collect soil samples, leaf samples, and stem samples for later analysis.

In the next entry, I will describe the reasoning behind the variety of parameters that we measure. For now, some initial impressions are developing, but the sample size remains a bit small for generalizations. Mark is “botanizing” always – collecting and identifying plants – and the rest of us are learning Arctic flora through his expertise.

View from our first camp, looking northeast.

Our first camp, past midnight.
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