NASA Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition Field Report: Keeping It Clean - 14 August 2006

Status Report From: AMASE 2006
Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2006



There are a couple quirks I’ve noticed living on the Lance. One is that when we are anchored in a fjord, the entire ship slowly spins around the anchor. It doesn’t spin enough to sit still and notice, but every time I walk onto deck I have to re-orient myself with the shore.

Today our three-day spell of gorgeous weather in Bockfjorden ended. It was cold and quite windy. Our work on the lower slope of Sverrefjell has finished and we are moving to the other side of the fjord to the Devonian Redbed deposits. Steelie, Terry (of the JPL rover crew, he actually is one of the MER drivers back at JPL!), and Jake went out to scout a suitable deployment site for the cliff-bot in the Redbeds. In the meantime, a large troupe of us had to go back to the lower slope of Sverrfjell where we had cached the heavy rover equipment and carry it to the shore and boat it across Bockfjorden.

We also spent some time doing environmental cleanup. Norway and Svalbard cherish their beautiful and pristine lands and have worked very hard to keep them preserved. Most of our field sites are within protected preserves and parks and access is very limited. To be allowed to work here we have had to get permission from the Governor of Svalbard. As an expedition, we also take the preservation of these sites very seriously and spent a while this morning combing our lower slope site replacing rocks, mosses and removing tracks we had created over the last few days. We try to leave the sites as pristine as possible to preserve them for future generations. It saddens me to think that our careless actions today can prevent my children from experiencing the natural beauty of Earth I have been fortunate enough to witness.

Kirsten Fristad
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

About Kirsten Fristad in her own words...

My name is Kirsten Fristad. I am a budding planetary scientist working in the highly talented Sample Analysis of Mars (SAM) Lab at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. I graduated from Macalester College in 2005 with a major in geology and core in astronomy knowing I wanted to pursue a research career in planetary science. Through summer internships with several planetary scientists, I developed a background in analyzing martian and lunar planetary remote sensing data and Mars analog field work in Alaska. Since starting at Goddard in May, I have been organizing the Goddard/SAM Team contribution to AMASE 2006. I will continue working in the SAM lab until fall 2007 when I will commence graduate studies in a yet to be decided location to pursue a PhD in planetary science.

Before starting at Goddard in May 2006, I worked and traveled around Australia, coached high school hurdlers, and pondered the mysteries of the universe. Aside from pondering, I love to laugh, dance, listen to music from the '80s, and travel to remote locations. I'm really hoping I can make a career of this expedition thing.

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