Blog

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

© Chris Linder

Blog Posts

  • BOATS

    After days of contemplating the meaning and the best aspect of our project we have come to name our team BOATS (Binding ocean atmosphere terrestrial systems). We are focusing on surveying the larger bodies of water to understand the carbon flux in the Kolyma watershed, which carries terrestrial carbon from land to marine stores, altering it and releasing some to the atmosphere along the way.…
  • 9 Days And Counting…

    When the sun does not set, keeping track of the days becomes problematic. They blend together – yesterday’s sun and sweat fading into today’s rain and thick clouds. Sweet smells are in the air, fresh and crisp after the rain. Flowers are blooming across the landscape.…
  • Now Team BARGE

    Well, team BA has officially converted to team BARGE (Bacteria Analysis Research Group Extraordinaire)! Yesterday was an exciting day for us as we got a mini experiment started with some sample water off of the barge. Right now we’re mainly testing the BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) probe and making sure we know how to use it correctly before we start in on our larger projects.…
  • Improvisation In The Field

    This is Elliot and Emily checking in. We are part of the “bug team” studying the diversity of benthic invertebrates (bugs that live of the bottom of lakes and streams) and their role in carbon and nutrient processing. Our project has two main parts.…
  • An Oasis in the Siberian Arctic

    Research in the Arctic is tough – more often accomplished with duct tape than high tech instruments, which are typically sequestered in laboratories far removed from the Arctic. One of the challenges for foreign researchers working in Russia is that sample export is very difficult and expensive. …
  • Introducing the Terrestrial Team

    Hello everyone! In the past 48 hours members of the Polaris Project have coalesced into different research teams. Sam and I are the terrestrial team, determined to quantify how different watershed characteristics affect the contribution of nutrients to thermokarst lakes. Watersheds influence the water quality of aquatic ecosystems.…
  • the Affiliated 5 hit the top 10

    Today the “affiliated five” group (Scott, Michelle, Mike, Heather & Kami) went on a nearly 300km journey by boat with Captain Zimov. We headed south on the Kolyma, and then up the little Anui tributary and back down the big Anui before heading home again to the Science Station.…
  • Meet the Stream Team!

    Even though we’ve only been here for a few days, our projects are already underway. The Stream Team (Erin, Kate, and Travis) is continuing work from last summer’s progress towards understanding nutrient and carbon processing in small streams in the area.…
  • Team 005

    Today has been a day of all different types of excitement for Team 005 who’ll be working will Bill Sobczak (Cassandra, Melissa and myself). After some really productive time spent with the PIs yesterday, everyone has begun closing in on their project for the coming weeks.…
  • 10 reasons you know you are living in an Arctic science station…

    10 reasons you know you are living in an Arctic science station 1)      Instead of band posters decorating the walls, there is satellite imagery of the area. 2)      The fish tank is filled with species caught from the river we’re living on.…
  • From the Barge:

    Five days of traveling, 27+ hours on five planes, and a night with no nighttime finds us on day two in Cherskii! Going into the project I anticipated the amazing research and field experience that I would gain, and trust me I have in no way been disappointed, but already its turned out to be so much more.…
  • Swimming in the Arctic

    Four flights, five days, and sixteen time zones later, we have finally arrived at our barge home. Although it was fun to explore Yakutsk and Moscow, I am relieved that I won’t have to pack again for twenty days. The barge is comfortably compact and provides stunning views of the Panteleikha and the mountain beyond.…
  • Almost there…

    As other people have posted, a defining fact of our lives right now is that my computer clock says 6:45 AM and my wristwatch says 9:47 PM (who even knows where those extra two minutes went). Everything has been sort of surreal due to countless hours of flying and sleep deprivation sandwiched around brief moments of exploring two very different parts of Russia.…
  • First Impressions of Russia

    We’ve just landed in Yakutsk and have made it through fourteen of the sixteen time zones that we’ll be crossing. Even with all of the jet lag and time spent waiting in the airport, the trip has already amazed me. I should explain that, in addition to majoring in Biology at Holy Cross, I’ve also spent the last three years studying Russian.…
  • Privyet!

    We’ve successfully made it to Yakutsk!    Right now, Andrew, Sudeep, John, Kate B, Polaris Alum Anya (2008), and I are sitting in the third floor lobby of our hotel, all on our laptops, trying to determine how long our internet will last (150 Mb limit).  …
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