Thursday, June 20, 2013

Earth in the Foreground: How I Managed a Research Trip to Alaska

Flying into a Beautiful, Sunny, Hot Fairbanks
This project requires a good introduction of Ed Moriarty. I first met Ed at a summer camp at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). At ASRA (Alaska Summer Research Academy), Ed was everywhere. He would stop by every module checking in on whatever cool things we were up to. He was also very involved in and taught the Underwater ROV and Extreme Photography Modules for a few years. Ed has done a bunch of cool things in Alaska to spread awareness and get kids excited/inspired about science and technology. 

Recently, we were talking about ASRA, and he had mentioned that he's been dreaming about getting a 24 hour time-lapse video of the sun above the Arctic Circle in Alaska for quite a long time. So, I looked into it, received a grant from the MIT's CAMIT Arts Grants, and started building a device to take a moving time lapse. A couple weeks passed, and I hopped on a plane to Fairbanks, 181 miles below Finger Mountain and our decided video location. Not only is Fairbanks a good location for setting up equipment, but it's also the location of my family's house. Here's the story of my adventures researching back home.