Thursday, November 20, 2008

Part IV, Day 14: 080803

Steve was able to arrange a flight Southward for today, so I didn’t see much of him until he shook my hand and we said our goodbyes, around lunchtime. I spent the morning hanging out in the common area of the PCSP dorms / dining room, playing pool with a German post-doc just back from some geology (fossil pollen) on Melville Island, and generally trying to find someone who can drive and ATV and accompany me this afternoon.

Eventually I was able to convince Ann that driving an ATV is very similar to driving a snowmobile. I’d never driven the latter, and she’d never driven the former, but somehow we both decided these vehicles must be almost interchangeable. Ann is an employee of Parks Canada, and has recently been promoted to a supervisory position involving all 4 High Arctic national parks, so she had spent the last week or so flying around to Ellesmere and Banks Islands, to meet the researchers working in those parks. I gather her new job involves monitoring and regulating scientific research in these parks. Permits, and so forth.

We rattled out to Maretta Lake and its associated inflow stream, about 2 kilometres from the PCSP. Maretta Lake was used for some time as a waste-disposal site, and according to the physical-ecology papers I’ve read, is still rather nutrient enriched. It’s still pretty barren, though the inflow stream had some lovely worms. The Daphnia here are so large I was able to capture them individually with my fine forceps.

We also visited a couple of other nearby ponds, which contained a similar assortment of Chironomid larvae and Enchytraeid worms that I’ve seen before. Still, this is essentially what one expects – it would be surprising to find very different things in ponds only hundreds of metres apart.

This is the only photo of the PCSP sign I took, and I didn’t take it until today. Proof, I supose, of my visit here.

After dinner I spent some time talking with some other people here waiting for flights, and it seems likely that I’ll be heading out again tomorrow with somebody, at least. I need to sample from the intertidal, to get something marine; also, the marine environment is my only likely source of amphipods around here.

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