Clay Prater on the spring sampling for the Dusty project
The spring field season in Greenland kicked off with plenty to do. Rebecca and Clay came up early to set up the lab and collect dust samples. It was a good idea to begin with dust sampling as we saw snow cover on some of the lakes flying in and the ice-free season seemed to lag behind a couple of weeks compared to last year.
As you might expect, the winter winds (and possibly some hunters) can play havoc on our dust sampling equipment, so we spent a bit of time mending our traps while sampling dust at each lake. Rebecca’s knot tying skills were especially handy here!
After the dust sampling, we were joined by two veteran volunteers James Shilland and Maddy Giles for the lake work. With their help, we collected water quality and biological samples across our focal study lakes.
We also brought back water from each lake to setup dust bioassays to see how nutrient additions from dust influence microbial production.
One day while working we were lucky enough to get treated to a proper Kangerlussuaq dust storm . After seeing thick clouds blanket the valley, it’s not hard to imagine the importance of dust inputs into lakes in this region.
Towards the end of the trip, we were joined by Bror Holmgren from who helped finish up last-minute field work and take down the bioassays. Luckily, he didn’t hold it against us that England knocked his Swedish team of the World Cup!
Overall, our campaign was a lot of fun and we collected some important data. Now we will rest and recharge before heading back out in August.