The day was full of positives and negatives, but in the end we were all back at camp safe and sound, thankful for yet another fulfilling day out in the tundra.
Everyone started the day off with at least 9 hours of sleep and breakfast prepared by the adults! In addition to being well-rested, waking up to the fog that embraced camp brought peaceful energy to the morning. As we got ready for another day in the field, we sat around the steps outside the kitchen to acknowledge the importance of our overall well-being especially for the next few rigorous yet exhilarating days of research.
We headed out on an approximately four kilometer hike to our first site and went straight to collecting data. Each day the group gets more efficient at setting up transects and putting together the necessary equipment. We’re also starting to see what our strengths are in our work, and becoming more confident in the research we do. Mistakes still happen, but it’s important that we keep moving forward and make efforts to overcome obstacles as such. An example from today would be that errors were made on the data collection sheets themselves, enough to make a very significant impact on the results. The group handled the issue well, and the mistakes were eventually fixed in the end. There wasn’t any shame in what happened as we immediately addressed the problem, which is key to pursuing a career in science as well as the social components that accompany it. We carried out nonetheless, and briefly returned to camp before going to our second site. Although most of us were tired, we remained focused on our research and were very enthusiastic about giving help to anyone who might need it.
On our way back from our first site, one of the most unbelievable things happened that we were all incredibly lucky to be here for. We passed by Jim and John who were also doing their research, and followed them to see at least seven foxes, six of which were pups. We approached them slowly, getting closer to their den but being extremely careful not to make loud or fast sudden movements to frighten them. Many students took pictures, and completely enjoyed seeing the wildlife whose home we were visiting. I must emphasize that we are the lucky few privileged enough to see something so unreal. Being so close to the foxes to a point where you can clearly see its facial features and hear little movements is a memory we will truly never forget.
For dinner, we had homemade and personalized pizzas, all of which were prepared by Jill, Julie, and Myriam. We ate together as a family in the kitchen, had lots of conversation and even played a game around the table. Once we finished, we sat down for a presentation from Myriam, another teacher from Winnipeg, who talked about her recent travels in the arctic as part of a voyage put together for Canada’s 150th anniversary. We finished up just in time to do dishes, settle out the plan for tomorrow, and still have enough time to wind down under some northern lights.