Field and CPL Updates

2008-2009 Antarctica

November 12, 2008
Update provided by Matthew Kippenhan
project update image
Cargo being unloaded at the WAIS Divide field camp. The New York Air National Guard provides deep field support with their LC-130 ski-equipped airplanes. Photo: Chad Naughton/National Science Foundation

A lot of activity in McMurdo and at the camp have been happening these past two weeks. Camp opened via Basler several days later than scheduled and field reports have been positive in terms of winter-overed cargo and opening conditions. Modules, equipment, and cargo was buried as expected and the crew spent many hours digging out to get the basics up and running. The CAT 953C tracked loader is showing signs of track damage that is of concern for us and forces the tractor into lighter duty. We are preparing for the necessary repairs but hopefully the overall impact will be less than first anticipated. The Camp Manager is Ben Partan and he is assisted by the Camp Supervisor, Theresa Tran, and the rest of the great crew.

FEMC tradespersons under the guidance of the Science Construction foreman, Ben May, arrived two days ago to begin the major camp construction effort. Their LC-130 arrival was delayed due to other aircraft obligations and of course, weather delays. However, now that they are on site, despite the poor weather today, they are able to start building the summer camp in full earnest. Typically, it takes a few weeks to complete the camp construction to 100%, so there will be delays to their schedule, likely 5 - 7 days. Good weather during this intense time may allow them to catch up in a few areas.

The arch facility remains closed for the winter until the Construction Superintendant, Billy Texter, arrives with his crew. They will focus immediate efforts on opening the arch and generator modules. They are expected in camp this Saturday, 15th November. Billy will be in contact with McM in regards to construction progress and when the arch can be occupied by science personnel. For those of you deploying this season, please be prepared to be in McM a few additional days due to the cumulative delays across the board.

Sharon Lewis, WAIS Divide Cargo Coordinator, is back to provide excellent support of passenger and cargo movements for the project. Please contact her upon arrival to review cargo priorities etc. She is back in bldg. 140 and already on top of things as usual. Cara Ferrier and Brian Johnson are your field science POCs, their offices are upstairs in the SSC. Cara is in daily contact with the camp and helps tremendously with keeping things running.