Blog

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

© Chris Linder

Blog Posts

  • Our last days… LAB work!

    July 22, 2008 Upon return from a truly spectacular trip up North to the tundra, we’re back in Cherksiy and have spent the last few days in the labs analyzing and sifting through the countless water samples, tree rings, soil layers, organic matter, and gases collected since our expedition here began.…
  • Into the tundra!

    7/21/2008 Yesterday afternoon, the students and PIs were given the options to either embark on an adventure up north by boat for a few days, or to work on data in Cherskiy.  The majority of us chose to travel north with hopes of seeing arctic tundra, reindeer herding camps, and possibly the Arctic Ocean! …
  • A Journey Back to the Pleistocene!

    July 18, 2008 Today we went on an excursion to Pleistocene Park, Sergei Zimov’s largest experiment.  The park consists of roughly 40,000 acres of forest, shrubland, lakes, streams, and if Sergei has his way, grasslands.  At the park there is a cabin that houses two people that work at the park, various outbuildings to store equipment, and a personnel carrier that plays an integral role in Sergei’s ultimate vision.…
  • Off the river and thinking about mammoths

    July 17, 2008 Author: Sudeep Chandra As you may have gathered from the other blogs, we have just returned from a multiday trip up the Kolyma, a river that flows into the Arctic Ocean. We hired a ship to move the barge on which we are living, teaching, and collecting samples. …
  • Kolymskoe and river water sampling

    7/16/08 Today began by splitting into our study groups. The filled-in lake (which are called alas) group went back to Duvannyi Yar and found a large alas to take some measurements in. The permafrost group analyzed their data collected from Duvannyi Yar.…
  • Arrival at Cherskiy station, 70 km from the ocean!

    July 14 2008 Author: Sudeep Chandra We arrived at the Cherskiy Research station a few days ago.  Check out our location by typing in “Cherskiy Russia” on Google maps. The ride in an old Russian turbo prop plane went much better than I had imagined. …
  • Life on a Barge

    July 14th 2008 Our boyant “hotel-like structure” is being pulled up the Kolyma, en route for Duvannyi Yar. Valentin was especially excited, since he is a scientist from the Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk. We were told stories of huge exposures of permafrost, slowly thawing into the river, revealing mammoth, horse and bison bones buried for thousands of years.…
  • Reflections on a meat donut

    July 14, 2008 Day three on the barge, and we are currently in the middle of the Kolyma river. The barge is being pulled along south so we can experience the range of environments along the river, and eventually bear witness to dynamic changes in permafrost when we reach Duvannyi Yar.…
  • Our First Day of Travel

    7/13/2008 When we woke up this morning we were slowly moving south along the Kolyma River.  Our destination is a two-day trip to Duvanniy Yar, a place were there are large permafrost exposures.  This morning we were confined to the barge as we moved upstream. …
  • Coring Trees and Scaling Fish

    July 12,  2008 Waking up early to help Sudeep organize his chlorophyll data, Kate and Boyd were busy analyzing and differentiating the data based on date and lake samples in the hopes of creating a baseline for samples taken this year as a part of the Polaris Project.…
  • New pictures

    There are a few new pictures on the site. We are trying to get them up as fast as the connection here allows. -Andy Bunn, WWU…
  • Day 1 of fieldwork!

    This morning began with fresh minds, fresh rolls (with jelly!) and a talk given by Katey Walter about her research on methane emissions from nearby lakes.  These emissions have been increasing recently due to thawing permafrost.  We located some of these lakes on  a map, and then headed out for a tour of the surrounding area including these very lakes!  …
  • Finally in Cherskii!

    July 10th After an early morning wake up (4:30 am) and breakfast on the way to the airport, we left Yakutsk in a small prop airplane.  While there had been quite a bit of disagreement over Cherskii’s time zone and the duration of the flight, we were all very excited to finally get to our destination.…
  • Data analysis and swimming in the Lena

    July 9, 2008 (We were unable to post this due to disabled internet connection in Cherskiy) Waking up fairly early to a delicious breakfast in our hotel (thank you Katey and others), we began our day with a quick trip to a local internet cafe to check our emails and to see if we could connect with the outside world.…
  • Well wishes from the States…

    Hey team, Holly here. I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m still alive and I made it back ok…just ten pounds lighter (new Russian dieting technique?). Turns out that food poisoning was likely (I think it was that soup that Katie and I both ate in the airport…but she only had a cup).…
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