For a few weeks each July, a handful of Western Shelters help transform a remote stretch of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska into a full fledged climate research operation.
The Polaris Project has been researching the global climate since 2008, and each year prior to 2017 traveled to the Siberian Arctic. Last year, the project relocated to the Yukon River Delta in Alaska and began its use of Western Shelters. The group is composed of several researchers from the Woods Hole Research Center and students from various universities around the country. The group lives on site for two weeks, spending days measuring the amount of ancient carbon locked in the soil. This helps them determine how much carbon is remaining in the ground, and how much is being released into the atmosphere.
Twenty-one researchers head to the camp each summer, with all personnel and equipment flown-in by seaplane and helicopter from the Bethel Airport approximately 50 miles away.
The group uses two CB-16 shelters and a Gatekeeper 20 shelter for its operations, as well as two Single Stall Relief Stations. The shelter that’s used for food storage and cooking is equipped with an electric bear fence to keep the neighbors out.
These shelters and components are owned and set-up by our customer Polar Field. Polar Field serves a unique mission, specializing in expedition design and consultation, frontier logistics and extreme climate operations. Polar Field’s expertise in these areas combined with our heavy duty shelters makes for an expedition that can effectively operate essentially anywhere on the planet.
Thank you to project director Max Holmes for sharing the images and information on the project. We look forward to seeing shots from next year’s expedition!