Monday, August 2, 2010

Finally a day that felt like we were in the subarctic!

Today was a cooler day . Cloudy skies and a light mist made work a bit chilly out on the fen this morning; but lower temperatures mean markedly fewer mosquitoes and bulldogs . So no one really minded putting on an extra layer. Max and Dan worked with me, collecting the water quality data. Max illustrated to Amy and Abby why we have given him the nick-name "New-legs" by stumbling .... many times. But he usually manages to stay upright (getting a nick-name here at the Centre is quite an honour ;) ). Abby was very helpful when she showed us all just how deep the organic substrate was - by sinking into it up to her hips. Luckily however, it wasn't nearly as sticky as the mud that Dan sank in earlier in the week, so the extraction process wasn't nearly as involved.

By now, all of the volunteers know their jobs and can do the work well, and quite quickly. We were done with the field work before schedule. This gave us a little extra time to 'shoot some footage' for the incredibly awesome (!) music video that is now coming together nicely. We're trying not to let Ben and LeeAnn see too much because we want to surprise them with it. But they were really good sports when we asked them do their cameo roles.

After another great lunch, we headed to the lab to get the samples and data processed for the day, while Harish and New-legs headed off to Sticky Creek to lay out the last set of traps for tomorrow. There's a slight sadness in the air. We're all starting to notice that we're doing some jobs for the 'last' time, and no one wants to leave here. Churchill (and the Study Centre) has a magic about it that 'catches' you pretty quickly. It's hard to think that this great adventure is almost at an end.

After the lab work was done we headed up to the classroom to work on our video before dinner. After which, the rest evening was filled with two very interesting talks: Amanda (one of the researchers here) gave a great zoology presentation and LeeAnn taught the kids all about the science behind the aurora we saw the other night. Late in the evening we all got into our comfy clothes and curled up on the couches for movies and junk food.


Inadvertent dips

Sunday 1st August 2010

This morning most woke up dreary eyed, exhausted by the previous nights of games, films and laughter. We are now well into our usual routines of rolling out of bed, having breakfast and going into the field followed by lab work and lectures. Today, we visited the boreal forest – a magnificent landscape awaited us, teaming full of wildlife, trees and shrubs. After taking in the sights we set off to work; me and Amy were collecting the fish/frog traps, Abby and Max were the Physical team and Zack and Harish were in charge of water quality data.... Harish was thrilled to be given such an honour! In the field I fell in love with the site and so decided to go for a splash with Max, well we got soaked, but it was all worth it !

Later on in the day, we were taken up to the coastal region of Hudson Bay where we were all able to go for a splash in the bay –much fun followed with people being pushed in and chased (see photos posted yesterday). Moreover, unfortunately we had to leave and go back to start the arduous lab work.

Tonight, we started to create and put together our new song of ‘Lets Get Physical.....DATA!’, we were able to finally sing in tune after hundreds of attempts. We had great fun and this is sure to be the next number 1 hit. Tomorrow we have to start putting together the music video and recording the rest of the song.

Off to bed now I think.....or maybe not


Northern Lights

On the evening of July 29, we witnessed an impressive display of the northern lights. Here is a photo courtesy of Zack.

Just another day on the tundra

July 31, 2010

We woke up this morning still amazed by the mind-blowing experiences of the previous day. After a quick breakfast we put on our waders and set out for more data gathering. The ponds we were assigned to today were quite deep and a few of us became wet pretty quick. This was a good thing though, as it helped us to stand the heat. As usual, the area was gorgeous and we were well provided in magnificent sceneries. A few bug bites later, we were in the car on our way to get a well-deserved lunch. After lunch I started working on the water data with Harish, Zack and Abby started classifying the (pleintyful) fish we had gathered and Dan went to set more traps acompanied by Amy. Dan and Amy had a few misadventures while setting the traps; they had to push the car that got stuck. After work Dr. Cash gave us an interesting talk about evolution, giving us a fresh outlook on the subject. After a game of bananagram and a few adventures with Daniel we went to sleep weary of yet another exilhiarating day.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1, 2010

Today was a day for dips. We had a few inadvertent tip-overs in on of the larger wetlands and this afternoon we went down to the beach to have a look and wade in the frigid water of the Arctic Ocean on a beautiful sunny day. Here's how it looked.....

Our Day Off Adventure

July 30 2010

This was probably the best day of the trip; most people would agree. It was our day off, where we slept in a bit … and some missed breakfast, but toast was good enough. We then got ready and set off for the Bay to see the Beluga whales in a boat called a zodiac. It didn’t take too long to get there, which was quite nice. Soon after, we arrived at the Prince of Wales Fort, which was rather fascinating. When the French invaded the Fort they did this stealthily as the English did not hear a word about the attack until it occurred.

There was a swarm of mosquitoes that invaded us as we approached the Fort, which was a terror. However, this changed as when we came back to the Zodiac and back onto the water we were surrounded by many many beautiful whales, where we have countless pictures.

We then visited Parks Canada Museum which was fantastic where we were approached by a French Guide and unfortunately Dan understood nothing of what he said. We also drove to the Eskimo Museum and found that really interesting and really informative. Towards the end of the day we went shopping great but there weren’t many shops and that was a shame as we still had time to spare. However, it was a fantastic day overall.