Greetings from the Arctic,
Over the past two weeks we crossed the Arctic Circle and were welcomed by our first snow fall of the summer! Welcome home honorable Polar Bears and returning science party members.
The crew and scientists enthusiastically began our first mission of the summer, entitled NASA Icescape II. The science party is comprised of 48 scientists, representing 19 different institutions and the focus of their research is to learn more about the refractive properties of sunlight in the Arctic environment, as well as changes in the Arctic Ocean chemistry and ecosystem related to climate change. We started the mission strong with a productive first on ice station, studying the properties and development of first year ice. The scientists described it as "one of the best ice stations ever!"
The diverse equipment used to collect and profile data are: the Conductivity-Temperature-Depth Rosette (CTD), Profiling Reflectance Radiometer (PRR), Van Veen Grab, Thorium Pump (Th Pump), and Inherent Optical Properties Sensor (IOP). The CTD measures the conductivity, temperature, and depth of the water, which is used for biological and chemical testing. The PRR measures the surfacing and descent of light in the water column. The Van Veen grab is used to capture samples of the Arctic Ocean floor sediment. The Th Pump is a water filtration device that measures the Thorium isotopes in the water to determine particle cycling and microbial activity. Lastly, the IOP measures the basic optical characteristics of water as it interacts with light.
Over the course of the week we congratulated several crewmembers on professional achievements and awards. We congratulated MKC Malloy on earning his permanent Cuttermans Pin, after completing five years of cumulative sea time. We also Congratulated FS3 Gomes on her selection by the Chief’s Mess as the Sailor of the Quarter. A significant award that highlights a crewmembers professionalism, expertise, and exceptional hard work that had a resonant effect throughout the crew. Bravo Zulu on a job well done and on your professional achievements!
We ended last week on a high note as the Junior Officers prepared spice rubbed beef, chicken, seafood and sesame marinated tofu kabobs, for Saturday night morale dinner, and the evening culminated with the showing of “Battle Los Angeles” on the big screen in the Hangar. This past weekend, the scientists prepared assorted handmade pizzas and wings for morale night. Towards the conclusion of dinner, the crew and scientists alike gathered around as four scientists entertained the mess deck with live music, a genuine and new addition to morale night, followed by the showing of “The Fighter” in the Hangar.
Bravo Zulu to the Crew on a great start! The crew continues to tirelessly work alongside the science party, preparing excellent meals in the galley, monitoring day and night maintenance of equipment, and assisting with on-ice surveying, managing the safety of personnel, safe operation of the science equipment and diligently ensuring execution of day to day operations throughout the ship.
Until next time,
ENS Holly McNair
Public Affairs Officer