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2015 Summer Arctic Trip

August 11th


Blog post from August 11th:

Today was the last full day ISAMR spent in Nester One. Tomorrow we wake up at eight to load our things into the helicopter before flying back to the CNSC. We woke up to a clouding sky and strong winds, and after an amazing breakfast, we packed up our backpacks for a day on the tundra. We decided to spend our last day at the beach, having finished up our Wapusk field work yesterday. We walked out during low tide talking and searching for fossils in the rocky sand. The JCR girls happily started up a beach bond fire for marshmallow roasting. We ate our lunches and danced on the beach. Off in the distance we spotted two polar bears. The windy walk home ended our final day out on the tundra.

We arrived back at Nester One with time to clean up our messes and finish up some tasks given to us be Nester One’s caretakers. I happily cleaned the bathroom with Leah H When we finished we entered data until Jill Larkin, the fantastic JCR leader, gave us a presentation on her job working for Parks Canada and how she started working at Wapusk National Park. The fascinating presentation covered everything from her time as a substitute teacher when she was right out of high school, her work on the research centers and lodges in Wapusk, and the projects she has worked on to conserve the culture and wildlife of this vast land.  We ended the day with pizza using the leftover tortillas and blueberry crumble using the blueberries picked from the tundra. The berry’s Latin name is vaccinium uliginosum. That information is thanks to the plant id book that I spent at least three hours flipping through on the train to Churchill. Now I’m staying up with the rest of the students listening to music in Nester’s cozy kitchen trying to make the most of my last few hours awake in the park. I’m hoping for the northern lights to make a second appearance and praying for a fog to roll in tomorrow morning to delay my helicopter departure by one last day. I will admit a shower at the CNSC sounds amazing, but leaving will still be difficult.

Update: Both northern lights and shooting stars made an appearance.

-Cece Charney, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute grade 10