Live from Summit



Field notes is the blog of Polar Field Services, the company responsible for running Summit Station. Follow along stories related not only to Summit, but other happenings in the Arctic, from the team which undoubtedly is most aware of US Funded research activities!


Not only about Summit, but follow along on the research adventures of glaciologist Bob Hawley. Not only one of Greenland’s most knowledgeable researchers, but also a member of the initial winterover at Summit in 1997 – before the days of ‘live from summit’. At that time, the winter deployment was nine months with a crew of four, and no internet or satellite phone!

2014 – Vas Petrenko and the University of Rochester Ice Core Expedition Blog

2013 – A student group from Dartmouth College who has been working on a solar-powered autonomous robot, the Cool Robot, visited Summit in June, 2013.  This is a blog about their experience with the robot and their visit to the station.

2013 – The Sunlight Absorption on the Greenland ice sheet Experiment (SAGE) visited Summit as part of an effort to understand the drivers of the spatial variabililty of the ice sheet albedo across Greenland. Drs. Chris Polashenski and Zoe Courville embarked on a 45-day traverse from Summit Station to the west coast of Greenland and back, along with field assistants and twin brothers Mike and Nate Stewart.  This blog documents their adventures and non-adventures alike.

2012 -Adventure Learning @

Adventure Learning @ Visited Summit in 2012. Learn more of their adventure here.

2011 – iiSPACS Research

During the summer of 2011 the Dartmouth iisPACS team visited Greenland to collaborate with teachers in Greenland and set up precipitation collection and weather stations. For more about work done at Summit Station, school visits at Ikerasaarsuk, and other research please visit our blog.

2011 – Anchorage Daily News

Scientists study Greenland melting dynamics, By CHARLES J. HANLEY, The Associated PressRead more: Linkand see more: gallery

2010 – Matt Shupe reporting for CIRES

At 10,000 feet high in the middle of the Greenland Ice Sheet, blog author Matthew Shupe and colleagues plan to install a powerful suite of climate and weather instruments to better understand how clouds contribute to rapid warming and melting in the region. Follow their efforts during May and June as Shupe writes from the field …

2010 – VAUUAV: John Burkhart and team reporting for NILU

The Variability of Albedo Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles campaign was at Summit Station during the 2010 season. Follow along the notes from their 2009 and ongoing field seasons making spectral measurements using UAS.

2010 – IGERT

T: Follow the adventures of Dartmouth College’s IGERT students as they travel around Greenland learning about interdisciplinary research. It’s not specific to Summit, but includes a visit, and lots of information about research on the island. …

2009 – NASA Cryospheric Sciences Branch Summit Reports

This research is taking place at Summit Station, Greenland from November 2008 to mid-February 2009. …

2009 – Lara Koenig’s blog from Summit Camp

NASA glaciologist Lora Koenig at Greenland Summit Camp, January 2009. … A skeleton crew of four spends the winter on the Greenland Summit. …

2009 – A news update regarding Xavier Fain’s Mercury research at Summit

Although it’s commonly believed that manmade emissions of mercury over the last century have disrupted the global mercury cycle, the first continuous monitoring of mercury levels only began during the 1990s, in Europe and the Arctic. Now a team from France, the US and Italy has produced the first continuous record of gaseous elemental mercury in the boreal atmosphere for the last 70 years, by studying air from inside a perennial snowpack, or firn, in Greenland.

2008 – FIRN Studies at Summit, CRREL

The polar ice sheets are sensitive indicators of our current climate, and are natural archives of evidence of past climate. Because instrumental records of atmospheric chemistry do not exist very far into the past, we must make the best possible use of natural archives of past atmospheric composition. This collaborative project aims to improve the understanding of the processes by which evidence of past atmospheric composition is archived in the firn to become trapped in bubbles in the underlying ice. We aim to establish quantitative relationships between firn structure and interstitial processes at Summit, which will also enable us to understand mechanisms that may impact firn air composition at other sites.

2008 – Radical Chemistry over Sunlit Snow, Summit Greenland | PolarTREC

Craig Beals joins researcher Barry Leafer as part of PolarTREC. Follow along as he experiences research at Summit. ~IPY~

2008 – Yetibot

A student team at Dartmouth’s Thayer engineering school that is building an autonomous robot that will be used to perform Ground Penetrating Radar surveys. We’re working with professor Laura Ray and Steve Arcone at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and funded under a grant from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

2007 – Summit Greenland SHOX

This is a blog by the scientists involved with the Greenland Halogen and Hydrogen Radical Photochemistry Experiment during the Summer of 2007. Another name for this study is SHOX for the Summit Halogen HOX experiment.

2007 – Voyaging Teacher

Mike Pastirik’s blog as a teacher from Georgia, USA working with Jack Dibb and Greg Huey during the photochemistry campaigns.

2007 – Oregonian Goes to Summit

Scientists travel to Greenland’s remote research stations aboard C-130 Hercules aircraft, known as Hercs, flown by the New York Air National Guard. Reporter Michael Milstein of The Oregonian recently went along.

2007 – six weeks at Summit

Katrine Gorham’s blog from six weeks at Summit working with Don Blake’s group from UC- Irvine collecting ambient air samples for analysis of hydrocarbons

2007 – Snow Structure and Past Climates at Summit, Greenland | PolarTREC

Jo Dodd joins research Mary Albert as part of PolarTREC. Her stories are found here along with many other resources from teachers exploring the poles. ~IPY~

2007 – POLAR-PALOOZA Blog » All Aboard for Summit Station

Kathy Young, veteran manager and all around expert on Summit speaks with the PODcast crew from POLAR-PALOOZA ~IPY~

2007 – POLAR-PALOOZA » PODcasts from around the Arctic


Note the series starting with ‘Getting to Greenland’ and finishing with ‘Cap’t Jack and the Halogen Hunters’ ~IPY~

Videographers travel to Greenland enroute to Summit Station aboard the the 109th New York Air National Gaurd’s (NYANG 109th) ‘Hercules’ LC-130. The NYANG 109th have the only ‘Herc skibirds’ in the world and provide all flight operation support for the Antarctic as well as in Greenland.

Flying from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland up to Summit Station.

Summit’s most veteran research Jack Dibb describes the importance of research at Summit beginning with the collection of the GISPII ice core continuing through to the discovery of the reactive nature of snow.
Watch and learn as the students and investigators discuss their individual research projects, which collectively are designed to determine what is producing unexpectedly high concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) this far north in the Arctic.

2006 – JISAO Ice Coring
Firn Studies at Summit, Greenland – Mary Albert, CRREL, USA

Senior researchers, post-doctoral and graduate students, and
undergraduates will make high-resolution measurements of the profiles
of gas diffusivity, permeability, density, and accompanying
microstructure at Summit from the surface to pore close-off, and
compare the results to the diffusivity profile inferred from
measurements of firn air chemical composition. The U.S. partners are
Dr. Mary Albert of CRREL, Dr. Jeff Severinghaus of Scripps Institution
of Oceanography, Dr. Mark Battle of Bowdoin College. We are partnering
with Dr. Christophe Ferrari and PhD student Xavier Fain of LGGE
(France), who are measuring gaseous mercury in firn air at Summit.

Tumbleweed and other technologies – Alberto Behar, NASA, JPL

Technologies developed for space exploration need extreme environments for testing prior to deployment. The research platform at Summit provides a perfect environment of technology testing. See the projects at NASA, including the Tumbleweed, which have been deployed at Summit.

SUmmit Radiation Experiment 2007 – Peter Munneke, IMAU, NL

The aim of the experiment is to measure simultaneously all essential elements in
the interaction between radiation on one hand, and snow and the atmosphere on the other. SURE 07 is expected to contribute to our understanding of the radiation and energy balance of a summer ice sheet surface, and what atmospheric and snow-related processes govern these balances.

JISAO postdoc Meredith G. Hastings and graduate student Justin Wettstein collected a 100-meter ice core, surface snow and ambient air samples during a month at the summit of Greenland.

Winter 2004 – 2005 (Temporarily Offline)

Toby and the Hot Sox provide updates and photographs from the midwinter ’04/5 phase II season. In this collection there are photos of the crew of four dealing with Summit Station as it became completely buried… the following Spring the NSF provided funding to raise the station as it became clear it was no longer sustainable below snow grade.

2004 – Snow Photochemistry

Jack Dibb’s team provides frequent updates during the 2004 field season during a snow photochemistry experiment.

2003 – Snow Photochemistry

The UC Davis team provides frequent updates during the 2003 field season during a snow photochemistry experiment.


There are numerous collections of photographs from Summit on the web. A few links are provided here.

Coastal Eddy’s Photos

Ed Stockard, logistician extraordinare has been working for Veco Polar Resources (now CH2M HILL Polar Services) from many years providing essential support to the operations at Summit. While there, he’s had the time to collect some incredible photos from the coast. Highly recommended coastal photos of wildlife, icebergs, and more!

Reto Stöckli’s Photos

Reto Stöckli visited Summit Camp in 2005. The photo album gives an insight into daily life on 3200m a.s.l.: 24 hour-per-day research activity under the arctic midnight sun, tasty food from the wonderful camp cooks and hard work of building the 50m high ETH micromet tower.

Education content

The New York Times > Science > Environment > Science Special Report