With an entire summer dedicated to researching one of the coldest places on earth, I often found myself wishing for a little more summer and a little less of Monterey’s fog. I love the idea of sweater weather as much as the next hippie environmental policy grad student, but occasionally a body needs some sun. Good thing there is plenty of that to be found elsewhere in the wide West of the US.
Balancing research with travel took a delicate touch. Starting with trips close to home, and offsetting them with weekends spent poring over data and spreadsheets, I managed to sneak in three good bits of summer vacation while still staying up to speed on (nearly) everything related to the Arctic economy. Pinnacles National Park, Santa Barbara, and finally Glacier National Park filled my trip list with a little of everything in terms of weather, environment, and most importantly friends and family.
The challenge of collecting data on the Arctic is…no one else has really done it before. There appear to be multiple groups who have attempted or are concurrently attempting it, but as far as what is available out there on the wide world of the interwebs there isn’t much. Which is awesome. Or terrible. It depends on who you ask. The most revealing portion of all of this, though, is the willingness and openness of all the researchers out there to share what bits of data and knowledge each has individually accrued in order to help out the greater good; i.e. the coming together of diverse insights in a timely manner to inform those responsible for making decisions that affect us all.
Up next: crunch time…