With my bags mostly packed and my apartment all cleaned I think I finally am beginning to realize that this is my last day in Svalbard. It certainly will not be the last time I see the town of Longyearbyen though. One thing I have learned from being here is that once you come to Longyearbyen you simply have to come back. Most people met came here to take one class or do one research project but always ended up coming back. I the reason for this lies in both the beauty and opportunities that cover all of Svalbard. I'm not sure where else you could hike a snow covered mountain in the middle of July with reindeer grassing in any field you cross, or another place where the a rifle slung across someones shoulder is required to walk out of town. To come to Svalbard is to see a very unique part of the world, although it is certainly not a place made for everyone. Here you must work to see the beauty by climbing the mountains, or suit up in a Survival Suit to brave the Arctic waters. It truly is the ultimate place for adventures and I am sad to leave here. The piece that makes it all okay is the simple truth that I was given the chance to visit Svalbard and I fully embraced that chance. When I look around I am surrounded by the peaks that I have conquered and when I look out across the water I wish for a orange onesy and another Adventure. I have climbed these hills by foot, with the help of a Swedish tank, by snowmobile, and I truly don't think I could ask for anything else. I have loved my time here in Svalbard and will never forget it.
Now for the last few days I have been preforming the final testing and have hopefully collected everything I need to be able to put together a report explaining what I have accomplished. In terms of what it looks like well....
This shows on the right side the spectrometer which will detect the light that is seen by the sensor which is mounted on the left side at the end of that silver tube. The system on the left side is what I have been working on and as you can see the sensor is placed inside the integration sphere right now as it would be for testing.
Sorry for the blurry photo but I figure it still shows the basic setup. You can also see the sensor looking at -80 degrees on the vertical axis during some of the testing.
Next is simply a picture of the beautiful days that we have been having here.
Next on my last day I decided to do some touristy things one of which included visiting the Svalbard museum, so I got to see this bad boy.
This particular bear weighed 1212 lbs and ended up being taken down at close range with a magnum 500 revolver and that was all I could decipher from the Norwegian sign. Also at the Museum were some interesting picture of Longyearbyen while it was just a mining town.
The first picture was taken in the 1930's and the next picture is one that I took from a similar position this week. It is easy to see both the similarities and the differences. The landscape is very much the same but it was interesting to see how much they have contained the river through the center of town.
Now for another comparison, the beginning of my trip to the end of my trip.
This is what the mountain providing the backdrop for Longyearbyen looked like when I got here in may.
This is what it looks like now at the end of July
I do have to say that this mountain it probably what I will miss the most about Svalbard. One simply because of its utter beauty whether it is covered in snow or not. Two for the amazing scene that it makes out of Longyearbyen no matter where you stand. Three because it was probably the first thing I saw everyone morning when I walked out of my apartment and whether it was blue sky or cloudy. Some day I will come back and climb to the top of those peaks that beckon to me every time I see them.
I will end with what happened in the lab after the final tests were finished.
Thanks UNH and UNIS for this opportunity.