Herschel Island Expedition 2019 – Blog Post 1

This year’s team consists of 7 members including Michael Fritz, Sebastian Wetterich, Konstantin Klein (all AWI Potsdam), Maarten Boersma, Cédric Meunier (both AWI Helgoland), Saskia Eppinger (TU Munich) and Taylor Priest (MPI Bremen). The expertise across the team is diverse and therefore we are hoping for an exciting range of studies to be conducted over the coming weeks, covering areas of terrestrial geophysics, ground-ice sampling, optical oceanography and marine planktonic ecology, incorporating bacteria, fungi, phyto- and zoo-plankton.

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Over the first few days the team morale has been very positive and optimistic, despite the 8 hour time-difference causing sleep patterns to be slightly out of the ordinary. This time spent in Inuvik is an essential stepping stone for the onward trip to Herschel Island, allowing for valuable personal and scientific preparations for the journey ahead. Some of the main tasks that have been achieved this week involved equipment being checked, boxes being unpacked and re-packed, extensive cooking marathons in the kitchen and a completion of our rifle training with two experienced Inuvialuit’s from the Aurora Research Institute. A number of fruitful meetings have also taken place, discussing sampling plans and determining the most efficient way for team members to collaborate and compliment each other’s research.

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 Our movement from Inuvik to Herschel Island has been planned, and aims to take place on Friday 26th July. To ensure a punctual departure with minimal obstacles, the first loads of boxes and equipment have already been taken to the Aklak Air hanger this afternoon and all other aspects of the preparations are being completed on schedule. Stay tuned and next week we will offer some more details on exactly what research is planned and how this is going to be achieved along with, hopefully, the report of the first few successful sampling trips.

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