Hello from Juneau! This is Molly Peek, Lead Logistician for this field season, checking in from the JIRP headquarters at the Eagle Valley Center (EVC) in Juneau. It is the 4th day of Staff Week and the JIRP staff are hard at work at the EVC setting up for the summer, doing Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) training, planning helicopter trips, and getting ready to welcome our students in 12 short days!
The 2018 Field Season is shaping up to be a wonderful one, already saturated in Alaska magic: despite an original forecast of 10 days of pouring rain, we have already had four days of sunshine (with only a little bit of that Southeast Alaska fog and rain)! After long days of first aid training, the staff have enjoyed beautiful walks through the woods to see whales and eagles at the beach. Dixie, the dog of our Program Manager Annie, has also benefited, getting plenty of sticks thrown for her and a few cold swims in the ocean.
As the field staff learn about wilderness first aid and prepare to hike up to Camp 17 for glacier safety training, Annie and I are busy setting up the Juneau office for the summer. Coordinating student gear rentals, organizing faculty research schedules, and planning summer helicopter flights are high on our to-do lists this week. We are also enjoying overhearing WAFA instructor Steve educate the field staff and share some of his best stories of backcountry medicine.
While life during Staff Week can be quite different from routines in the heat of the field season, we are still enjoying some of the best parts of the JIRP lifestyle. Staff dinners have been delicious, with homemade ice cream from frozen dessert enthusiasts Allie Strel and Alex Burkhart (future JIRPers: we can’t promise this kind of deluxe food on the icefield, but I can assure you that the passion for food will be the same).
We are looking forward to the arrival of students and faculty next week to officially kick off the 2018 field season! Keep checking the blog, as well as Facebook and Instagram (@JuneauIcefieldResearchProgram) for updates throughout the summer!
2018 Staff Week by the Numbers
Instagram Posts: 2
Planned Helicopter Flights: 15
Days left in the Field Season: 71
On-glacier projects: 6
Icefield Camps: 11
Costco Runs: 2
Cans of Spam eaten: 0
Whales Spotted: 4