It was a long and full day in the fresh air of Svalbard. Our day began with a bit of a glitch as the cruise ship came in early blocking our marine research boat from leaving the docking area. Plans were altered and we all started out the day with a stunning 10 km ride west of Longyearbyen along the fjord to Bjorndalen. In Bjorndalen we were shuttled by zodiac boat along the water to bypass a river, and arrived at out terrestrial study site.
Birds seen before the field work even began included: arctic skua, black-legged kittiwake, arctic turns, black guillemots, northern fulmars, Brunnich’s guillemots, common eiders , a king eider, and hundreds of little auks. A pretty impressive selection of arctic birds!
During the morning and into the early afternoon we hiked up the slope below a little auk nesting colony. We sampled soil, invertebrates, and collected Bistorta vivipara specimens along a nutrient gradient down the slope. All data collected will be used in a future terrestrial biology project (stay tuned for more information!).
After a lunch complimented with hot beverages, chocolate, and cookies, we headed out on a research boat to continue field work. On the research boat we measured water salinity, visibility depth, and temperature; then collected zooplankton, phytoplankton, and water samples. Marine data collected will also be used in a future biology project connected to little auks. (stay tuned for more info on this one too!)
The day ended in a nice leisurely ferry\taxi ride back to Longyearbyen, where we dined on the beach in classic barbeque style. Steak, sausage, potato salad, roasted corn, and for those adventurous vegetations a peanut-tasting veggie pattie!
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Tuesday, 23 June 2009 12:42
IPY Polar Field School- June 23rdWritten by lizthomas
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