Blog

During, before, and after the field course, Polaris students and faculty share their thoughts through journal entries.

© Chris Linder

Blog Posts

  • In the Moscow airport, heading home

    We had a very productive morning yesterday listening to student presentations regarding their research projects and their learning experiences from this trip. It has only been 30 days since the group has been together but a lot of individual and self transformation has occurred during this period.…
  • 20th Birthday in Moscow!

    Yesterday I turned twenty while we were staying here in Moscow. I never imagined that I would spend one of my birthdays in Moscow with such a great group of people. We all had presentations yesterday morning but after that it was time for relaxation and celebration.…
  • And then there were four…

    Most of the students and PIs are in Moscow, preparing to board their flight home today. Blaize, Erin, Travis and I are in Cherskiy, continuing our research and finishing up our projects. During my remaining time here, I’m continuing my soil BOD experiments and conducting nutrient limitation experiments.…
  • Fire Haze

    The vivacious vestige of the Polaris Project (Blaize, Erin, JoAnn, and Travis), through which the remainder of the group must live vicariously, woke up to a vicious odor of smoke and an eerie unplaceable source of sickly yellow light yesterday morning.…
  • On the Road Again

    Today was a long, sad day. We spent the morning packing, cleaning and swimming in the Panteleikha one last time. Right after lunch we loaded up the bus and said good-bye to the Station. It was hard leaving behind the four returning students and all the people at the Northeast Science Station that made our stay so fantastic.…
  • Yummy Yummy Yedoma

    Hi everyone! As of late, those of us working with soil have been busy with making soil extracts. Sam’s earlier post gives an indication as to our all-hours filtering schedule, so I’ll write more on what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.…
  • An Upside to Global Warming?

    Well, maybe not, but it was remarkable nevertheless to see many of the Polaris Project students swimming in the Arctic Ocean a few days ago. For most of the year this part of the ocean is covered in sea ice. The image below, courtesy of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, shows the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice extent as of July 15, 2010. …
  • Late nights in the lab

    Good evening/morning!  While the rest of the group is sleeping, Elliott, Emily and myself are on a vacuum-filtering marathon in the soils lab.  It’s about 1:30, morale is high, and we hope to be done by breakfast later this morning.  Late nights in the lab are special time for all those involved and gives us an opportunity to see another face of this place and of the people we are here with.  …
  • Seven Lessons from a Northern Adventure

    We left Saturday morning on what we imagined would be a long, hard day trip to the Arctic Ocean and tundra. We ended up weathering a storm in a fishing shack, relying on Nikita and Sergei’s resourcefulness and our positive attitudes. 
  • Siberian cooking

    The Northeast Science station in Cherskiy is one of the most remote places I have ever been, yet we have internet, showers, washing machines, a sauna and …. good food! All the credits for this last, most crucial survival need should be given to Valentina, our charming cook that creates lovely meals, salads and impressive birthday cakes in our little kitchen on the old barge in the Pantaleikha river.…
  • We’re Back!

    The Team made it back to Cherskiy late last night after a magnificent 36 hour trip to the Arctic Ocean and tundra.  Weather extended the trip beyond our planned ~16 hours, which only added to the spectacular nature of the expedition. …
  • Holed up and held up by bad weather

    Hey all, Andy here – stateside. Max Holmes made a sat phone call back to the states. The group is delayed north of Cherskiy by bad weather. They have to wait out the bad weather before making the return trip back from the estuary.…
  • A bug’s life

    If you have been a regular reader of the blog, you last heard from the bug team as we were setting out our not-so-high-tech bug trap made out of birch branches and twine in an attempt to catch amphipods. Unfortunately, that venture did not prove to be as successful as we hoped and netted only a handful of our targets.…
  • project development

    Not until now, slouched on the bench of the barge trying to keep my eyes open and fingers typing, did I fully appreciate the work that goes into getting good data. The brief account in paper’s methods sections don’t do it justice.…
  • Heading to the Tundra and Arctic Ocean

    Tomorrow morning we pile into three small boats and head north to the tundra and hopefully the coastal Arctic Ocean.  The trip north has been one of the highlights of each of the first two years of the Polaris Project.  We expect that the same will be true this year. …
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