On the Shore of the Arctic Ocean

It was a privilege to spend the 2014-2015 academic year and summer on sabbatical at the University of Hawai’i in Honolulu. During the last week of July, I stood on the spectacular beach at Kailua near sunset and said to myself “wow, wow, wow”. A week later, on my way home, I stood on the dramatic shore of the Arctic Ocean in Barrow Alaska, the northernmost U.S. settlement in a 45°F rain, a comparably singular experience. The sun set that the day for the first time since May, but due to the cloud cover, I never saw it, as an undirected light illuminated the sky and mud and utilitarian buildings. I returned to the beach the next day, and the heavy winds of the night before had littered the shore with meter-sized icebergs. The native Iñupiat people still practice subsistence whaling, and Barrow is home to some Pacific islanders, including Hawaiians.

On the shore of the Arctic Ocean, Barrow Alaska, August 2015, 45°F and raining

On the shore of the Arctic Ocean, Barrow Alaska, August 2015, 45°F and raining

About John F. Lindner

John F. Lindner was born in Sleepy Hollow New York and educated at the University of Vermont and Caltech. He is a professor of physics and astronomy at The College of Wooster. He has enjoyed multiple yearlong sabbaticals at Georgia Tech, University of Portland, University of Hawai'i, and North Carolina State University. His research interests include nonlinear dynamics, celestial mechanics, and variable stars.
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1 Response to On the Shore of the Arctic Ocean

  1. Very cool, John. This could be an entry on the Wooster Geologists blog! Now if only you put one of those beach pebbles in your pocket and brought it back to Wooster for me …

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