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2015 Summer Arctic Trip

August 7th


Blog post from August 7th:

After a long night of packing, data-entry and spectacular northern lights, we awoke to another great day at the CNSC. We gathered our gear and a day pack filled with what we would need at Nester 1- being sure to pack lightly. We heard a wooshing sound from above the centre and we all rushed outside to see the unbelievable sight of a helicopter landing just outside. Since there are no roads that lead near Nester One (because it is in Wapusk National Park), we would be arriving via an amazing helicopter ride. After a safety briefing, a 4 of us loaded into the helicopter and took off. The flight was surprisingly smooth and incredibly beautiful. Words can't explain the sensation of being on the helicopter, so you'll have to see vlog #4 to imagine it. We saw vast tundra passing underneath, filled with caribou, geese, luscious vegetation and even polar bears. After a 25 minute ride that went by way too fast, we landed at Nester One. Nester One is one of three small research bases in Wapusk. Nester One is comprised of a kitchen building, several sheds, a classroom, a bunk area, two bathrooms, a basketball hoop, and an observation deck- all surrounded by a bear-proof fence. The teachers are staying in bunks and all of the students are staying in comfortable tents we set up just outside. ISAMR is so lucky to have the opportunity to stay at Nester One, as only a few research groups are permitted to do so. It feels surreal to be the only people in the whole park (the size of 3 Rhode Islands). We got a tour of camp and began to get acclimated to life here. We would listen out for a helicopter, when we would rush outside to help unload and greet our friends. After everyone had arrived and settled in, we took a beautiful, short hike to a site to set up transects in a squishy fen. A few of us went off with Jim Roth to check out goose nests to determine the success of the hatch. Then, we headed back to Nester One and had a great dinner of pork chops, potatoes and salad. We had a great presentation from Mark about maps and how we can improve our research with the aid of a GPS and a drone. After a long dinner we went into full data entry and analysis mode complete with fresh-baked cookies and dance music. We're looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning after a long and amazing day!

-Cole Simon, The Park School grade 12