The 2016 Green Edge expeditions officially start today with the launching of the ice camp! A crew of 5 people from Takuvik, supported by Eric Brossier’s family has spent the last 10 days organizing the facilities to welcome researchers who will begin arriving TODAY .
The last couple of weeks has involved hard work for the team in place, with everybody running against the clock. Days started with a meeting at 8h40 at the basecamp to establish the day’s priorities for each team and often ended late in the evening. Two chartered flights arrived over the last 10 days. Boxes of equipment, clothing, food and furniture were carried around the community to the laboratory, sea container, basecamp, ice camp and our accommodations by Qamutik.
The ice-camp is set up and CTD inaugurated
Jose Lagunas and Eric Brossier were in charge of setting up the camp located 40 min outside the community. They were supported by local experts like Sammy, a diver in the community, and Aaron, his helper, who made the hole that will be used for the deployment of instruments under the Polarhaven tent. Jaypootie, a great carpenter, was the wood specialist. He helped recover the 4 sections of the floor for the tent and built benches and shelves where they were needed. France Pinczon du Sel, Erin Reimer and Christian Haas also provided manpower support as needed. On May 1, we struggled with regulating the electricity at the ice camp, but aside from that, a heated and energy powered camp is awaiting scientists and 2 CTD (Conductivity Temperature Depth) profiles have been conducted. On the April 29, seawater was collected on the second CTD profile.
The lab: seawater analyzed with brilliance!
Joannie Ferland and Anita Lebaron were in charge of setting up the laboratories in the Inuksuit School and at the camp. Joannie organized the tables around the lab to allocate the space requested by each team of scientists. Then, she and Anita started to sort the boxes by team. Instruments like spectrophotometer, ultrapath, imageflowcytobot, freezer, oven, pure water system, filtration rigs, were plugged in, calibrated and tested. It took Anita the entire week to clean all of the sampling dishes with the help of France Pinczon du Sel and Erin Reimer. Joannie and Anita’s reviewed the protocols and explained the CDOM – Colored dissolved organic matter – measurement to Erin. On the April 29, the first seawater samples arrived! Excitement was high even though it was already 18h30 by the time we started the trial station (remember we started at 8h40). Under green lights and the sound of running pumps, seawater was filtered and analyzed brillantly by all three scientists. After a few hiccups that we had to sort out, the laboratory is now ready to welcome the incoming scientists and the plankton samples from the ocean!
Logistics done with enthusiasm and investment
Andrew Wells and Joannie are responsible for local logistics (accommodation, furniture, communication, clothing, transportation). The mission is considerable but Andrew manages it with enthusiasm and passion! Joannie provides him with some direction, and France and Erin provide the women power. Andrew is doing awesome work out there running around by himself, answering requests that vary from finding a ladder, chairs and groceries to organizing clothing for all 51 participants, setting up the working area with printers etc. He is also the central point of contact for the team this year, getting permission from different authorities in town, welcoming arriving scientists and cheering with leaving ones. He communicates daily with the local coordinator, Joannie, and with the chief coordinator, Marie-Hélène Forget, to provide updates on the progression of the work and get administrative information. He now has a wardrobe organized with all winter clothing to dress arriving participants, a van to drive them to their allocated accomodation, a meeting room to brief them all on the security and life in the community, and rules of the project.
60 people from the community came to the official ice-camp presentation
It is important for the GreenEdge team to integrate the community in the project at all possible level.s Therefore, last Thursday, we officially presented the objectives of the project and the field season logistics. It was great pleasure to welcome 60 people from the community!
Today, May 1, with preparations under control, we were lucky enough to be able to take an hour break to visit a magnificent iceberg north of the community. Everything is surely not perfect, but we are ready to launch the sampling season for Green Edge 2016 studying the phytoplankton Spring Bloom!!
Joannie Ferland and the ice camp team