The Science on the Penny Ice Cap Expedition (SPICE) took snow albedo measurements with a 30lb spectroradiometer at the same time the Terra satellite was orbiting overhead. Its MODIS instrument is suspect, and our measurements will help determine just how suspect they are. We also took snow samples to make black carbon measurements.
We flew ourselves to the Arctic in a small plane, far from fuel and support. We climbed and skied up Coronation Glacier to the Penny Ice Cap and back. The entire expedition took 31 days.
- Show that a lean expedition approach at high latitudes in a remote and hostile environment is a viable way to conduct scientific research.
- Gather ground truth data to help test and calibrate a faulty instrument (MODIS) on a key Earth Sciences NASA satellite (Terra).
- Measure dust and black carbon in snow and ice samples to help build and improve melt models.
- Draw entrepreneurial insights from the challenges of putting together a lean science expedition with no traditional funding sources.
- Draw leadership insights from the interpersonal challenges of an expedition team in a remote, hostile environment.