If you've followed this blog for a while, you'll know much of my field work ends up being in the Arctic. More specifically, the European Arctic. Svalbard. I've made 5 trips to the archipelago since 2011, and I don't ever plan to stop. After my first few trips, I got a handle on what life looked like in the high north and started adjusting my habits accordingly. Whenever I'm in Svalbard, I wear thin base layers of synthetic fabric covered by heavy wool sweaters. I pull on snowpants and fur boots before going outside. I make sure I always have a hat.
I really do love the cold, and now that I'm living on Cape Cod, I'm reminded of my love for winter all over again. The Cape got 14" (35 cm) of snow last weekend, so my world is almost entirely white. I've adopted what I call the "Svalbard protocol" - thin base layers, heavy wool sweaters, snowpants, fur boots. I feel like I'm back in my favorite place on Earth, and it makes my heart sing.
I was channeling Svalbard in another way today, as I continued to work on building the apparatus for my succession experiment. Working in the Arctic has taught me several things, paramount among them that anything is possible with the right gear. It's a good lesson, considering that lately, I'm using a lot of gear. So far, I have used a table saw, a chop saw, a jig saw, and a drill press to get my lexan and PVC into squares of the proper size which I could then attach to one another. It's a long, repetitive process, but actually kind of satisfying. I'll post a picture of my creations once they're finished, but for now, I am taking things one step at a time (another lesson from the Arctic) and living by Svalbard protocol.