An international, billion Euro project like the European XFEL obviously involves a fair bit of politics and diplomacy, but also paperwork and bureaucracy. We’re coming up to a big meeting of the European XFEL Council, and a fair bit of documents need to be prepared for that. Since we’ve been insanely busy and are still somewhat short-staffed on the administrative side, I found myself pulling a 12 hour non-stop hardcore shift at my desk yesterday getting everything finalized, formatted and sent out.
In the middle of this, sometime mid-afternoon, I had a very unexpected e-mail to my XFEL account from a friend who is out on a research cruise along the eastern Antarctic Peninsula for the LARISSA project.
According to my friend, they’ve been having a lot of problems with weather and sea ice on this cruise and have not been able to really get close enough to the Larsen B ice shelf. The sea ice they have found in the Weddell Sea has been 3 to 4 meters thick in many places, which is just a bit too much of a push for the ol’ NBP. They are doing their best, but it’s tough going and nerves are wearing a bit thin – which happens every time you have a number of PIs in the field with only a short window of time and opportunity to meet the science objectives. The NBP’s current position is near Cape Foster on the southwest corner of James Ross Island and there’s a blizzard outside.
Today I had another very unexpected e-mail from a former colleague who mentioned the Antarctic Photo Library, which features jewels like this:
…so over the next few days, while I sit in more preparatory meetings for that Council meeting at the end of the month, my mind may start wandering. But that’s ok, just as long as it comes back in time if someone asks me a question…
This post was first published on Nature Network, which has since been discontinued. The post has been moved to SciLogs.