The National Science Foundation (NSF) Rigor 1951762 Risk Assessment / Planning Call was yesterday. Our team participated in a call with risk management leaders from the NSF along with local community expert liaison from Utqiaġvik, Alaska. Now we are messaging back and forth to ask more questions. After realizing a bit more about just how remote we will be when flying the local SAR (search and rescue) helicopter out on the drift ice, approximately 50 miles from land to deploy environmental sensor buoys, I have asked for more training. Specifically I need to learn more about the following:
I have been thinking about the unforeseen advantages of having had to wait two years living through Covid-19 to be able to join the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP) science team on the Arctic Ocean sea ice. I was supposed to have deployed with them April 1, 2020 for nearly two weeks, and of course did not go due to stay-at-home orders.
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Tomorrow, if everything was going as it was only 3 weeks ago, I would be embarking on an adventure of a lifetime with a science expedition team to place real-time weather buoys on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. We would be making it possible for satellites to transmit observation data through the atmosphere at incredibly high speeds to then tell a master computer what the current conditions of the Arctic Ocean are every few minutes. These observations of the natural world, in such a far remote locations, are critical to crafting weather forecasts, informing marine ship captains, understanding climate change, and helping native people who live within the Arctic Circle with daily weather forecasts that ultimately influence their livelihoods of whaling and living on and from the sea.
Instead, I'm working to submit this week's natural world observation data here from my neighborhood through a citizen science observation program, NASA's Globe Observer app. Also, in light of the April expedition not happening, a couple weeks ago I took on the weekly maintenance and operation of the IMPROVE air quality monitoring station on top of Aspen Mountain in. IMPROVE stands for Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments. And with Colorado's Stay-at-Home public health order, I can still do all this important science. Science is essential! I'd like to tell you a bit about each of the projects.