I spent June and August of 2013 living and conducting field research in Kaktovik, AK. Kaktovik is a small (population <300 people) Inupiat village on the Eastern coast of the Beaufort Sea in arctic Alaska. I was part of a team of researchers from UTMSI studying terrestrial inputs to coastal lagoons of the Beaufort Sea. My job was to help with field work and sort and identify benthic infauna. I also began fieldwork for my masters project, which involved collecting muscle tissue samples from large animals such as whales, seals, caribou and geese. All of these samples were given to me by local fishermen and hunters.

In addition to fieldwork, I taught a Summer Science Camp for local children in June. The camp was open to all kids aged 4-9 years. An amazing team of 5 teachers from Port Aransas, TX, Homer, AK and Kaktovik taught the camp. I had a great time getting to know the local kids and learning the Inupiaq names of animals from them.

Home Sweet Bunkhouse!
Home Sweet Bunkhouse!
Looking for polar bears at the bone pile
Looking for polar bears at the bone pile.
Kaktovik from air!
Kaktovik from air!
I used this bowhead whale vertebrae as a stool when I sieved mud samples by the water.
I used this bowhead whale vertebrae as a stool when I sieved mud samples by the water.
Tara and Dr. Jim McClelland collect water samples through a hole in the sea ice
Dr. Tara Connelly and Dr. Jim McClelland collect water samples through a hole in the sea ice.
Sea ice
Sea ice!
Me with Madrik, our neighbor's dog
Me with Madrik, our neighbor’s dog.
Kak_plane
Dr. Ken Dunton examines the plane used to reach distant field sites.
Nathan Gordon plucks a white-fronted goose.
Nathan Gordon plucks a white-fronted goose.
Stephanie and I say goodbye to Waldo Arms
Stephanie and I pose in front of the Waldo Arms Hotel, which also served as the local airport.
Me and Tara, pre fieldwork.
Me and Tara, pre fieldwork.
The RV Proteus
The RV Proteus
Polar bear at the bone pile
Polar bear at the bone pile!
Polar bear
Seeing polar bears never got old!
The Port Aransas crew pose with the Island Moon, the local Port A newspaper
The Port Aransas crew pose with the Island Moon, the local Port A newspaper.
A giant isopod (Saduria entomb)
A giant isopod (Saduria entomon)!
Filtering samples from POC
Filtering samples for particulate organic carbon (POC).
Roy, me, and Dr. Ken Dunton after a cold day in the field
Roy, me, and Ken  after a cold and wet day on the mudflats.
Sorting and IDing benthic critters
Sorting and IDing benthic critters.
Ready for a day on the Beaufort Sea
Ready for a day on the Beaufort Sea.
Tara sieving a grab sample to collect invertebrates.
Tara sieving a grab sample to collect invertebrates.
One of 8 orphaned lemming babies I cared for temporarily.
One of 8 orphaned lemming babies I cared for temporarily (until their untimely death).
Science Camp teachers, from L to R: Brenda Dolma, Stephanie Smith, Marilyn Cook, me, Tracy Burns
Science Camp teachers, from L to R: Brenda Dolma, Stephanie Smith, Marilyn Cook, me, Tracy Burns.
Edwin and Paul did a great job sorting their catch
Edwin and Paul did a great job sorting their catch.
The Great Plankton Race. Danny prepares to "race" his plankton creation
The Great Plankton Race. Danny prepares to “race” his plankton creation.
Flossie and Paul show off their diagram of a marine food web
Flossie and Paul show off their diagram of a                    marine food web.
Lenora examines sand grains under the microscope
Lenora examines sand grains                     under the microscope.
Flossie enjoys the Japanese art of fish printing
Flossie enjoys the Japanese art of fish printing.
Me, Lenora, Flossie, and Tinkerbell near Kaktovik lagoon
Me, Lenora, Flossie, and Tinkerbell (the dog)                      near Kaktovik lagoon.
Roy Churchwell teaches the science campers how to birdwatch
Roy Churchwell teaches the science campers how to use binoculars and identify local birds.
Stephanie, Tara, and me halfway up Mt. Healy. Denali National Park.
Stephanie, Tara, and me halfway up Mt. Healy. Denali National Park.

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