NASA Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition Field Report: High Heels & Wrenches - 18 August 2006

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



Today’s Notes were written with the assistance of Henrik.

I have also entitled today’s Notes “High Heels and Wrenches” on the bequest of Oliver. The title comes from a lovely photo Kjell took of my preferred fieldwork accessories.

Yesterday afternoon as we were leaving the outcrop, it started snowing. At first it was small icy stingers, but by the time we got back to the ship it had grown into light fluffy clumps. This morning fluffy snow was falling from light clouds broken by spotlights of sunshine.

Almost everyone went on shore this morning to hunt for more stromatolites, stylolites, and snow algae. I stayed on the ship to run the final collection of group samples through the GCMS and make sure our sample collection was complete for further analysis when we get home. In the afternoon I was able to go ashore, yay!!

The AMASE 2006 expedition is soon coming to an end and to mark the occasion, a new tradition was introduced tonight. The Lance crew had built a pool out of pallets and a tarp on the aft deck. The pool had been filled with ice-cold sea water from the fire hose and we all went in -more or less by our own free will. It was freezing! But my body developed a pleasant glow once I had warmed up afterwards. Tonight everyone who jumped in received a diploma stating that we had been swimming in ice water at 80 degrees north. The diplomas were signed by boat captain Otto Karsen, Expedition Leader Hans Amundsen and Science Leader Andrew Steele. Tomorrow the Lance crew is heating the tub for a more enjoyable hot tub experience. The crew of this boat is amazing – who else would have built an ice bath/hot tub on a boat in the arctic?!?

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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