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Blog Samoylov Expedition 2015: Research and engineering

While doing science surely requires an extensive amount of thinking, the fact is that large part of the work is very practical and technical in nature.

The state of the art instrumentation used today in science requires a highly skilled technicians and engineers, who, while preparing and operating the instrumentation, also have understanding on the natural processes behind the data. It is thus more of a rule than exception that the engineers working in science have at least master’s level education also in natural sciences on top of their technical skills.

We have three engineers in our group on Samoylov, and without exaggeration it can be said that very little would happen here without them.

MMGamez Samoylov 2015 29.unnidMolo with a permafrost drill. Picture: M. M. Gámez, UHAMMolo, alias Günther Stoof, has participated regularly in the Lena delta expedition for the past 15 years. He has thus great experience in basically everything that might come up both in and outside the work here on the island. He is really the backbone of the German groups on Samoylov and as a fluent Russian speaker an important connection between the scientists and the station staff.

Niko Bornemann is an engineer in Julia Boike’s SPARC group and another very important part of the AWI Samoylov crew. Niko is responsible for all running instrumentation of the group and usually visits Samoylov more than once per season. This ongoing expedition is already his seventh visit here and the second one this summer. With his calm and patient manner he deals with anything that comes up in the equipment and is the helping hand also for other groups, whenever there is a need of fixing something.

Peatland Pete, alias Peter Schreiber, is the newcomer in the AWI crew, being the second engineer of the SPARC group. He is, however, not a newcomer here on the island having participated in Lena delta Expeditions since 2009 as part of the University of Hamburg group. At AWI his main task will be a development and installation of a high tech measurement station on Samoylov, which consists of a tower for bio-meteorological measurements, trace-gas measurements and environmental parameters. In addition, he will be in charge of a container that will be built in the field to house instrumentation that either does not tolerate or is otherwise difficult to install outside. The new tower as well as the container will be part of an international research infrastructure project.
P1000978.smallEngineers work on an expedition is usually very diverse; one part is technical preparation that takes place already at home before the expedition and at the workshop on the island. Here is Pete at the workshop on Samoylov. Picture: L. Viitanen, AWI Niko taking the balloon to the garageAnother part of the work is fieldwork, which can include almost anything from preparing instrumentation in the field or collecting data to parking balloons, like Niko does here. Picture: L.Viitanen, AWI
Pete working on the 10m high eddy towerThe working conditions vary also quite a lot. Here is Pete working on a 10m high eddy tower. Picture: Peter Schreiber, AWI P1000950 smallNiko and Pete working on the balloon. Picture: L.Viitanen, AWI