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Here are some of the articles that have been recently posted to the PASSCAL website:

Training at PASSCAL

In addition to loaning and maintaining devices from the instrument pool, and providing vital assistance to PIs in the field, PASSCAL also trains PIs and their colleagues at our facility in Socorro, New Mexico.  These training sessions can be intense, and typically last three days. The instruction is focused on the specific technical areas requested by PIs (such as data archival methods, or mastering the intricacies of specific sensors).

Training is important for both novice and well-seasoned PIs.  It provides hands-on interaction with the many types of instrumentation, software, and data handling that PASSCAL supplies, as well as the opportunity to ask questions that normally wouldn't come up until the PI is deploying equipment in the field.  Training at PASSCAL provides PIs with the opportunity to have their questions answered immediately by our on-site knowledgeable staff.

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Facility Plan for Polar Seismic and Geodetic Science is Available

The seismic and geodetic Polar communities have worked with IRIS and UNAVCO to provide a plan for the growth, development, management and governance of Polar support services for the NSF facilities. This plan is now complete and posted on the IRIS webpage.

Here is the executive summary from the report:

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Installing a "Cold and Dark" Seismic Station in the Yukon

On October 8-13, 2012, a three-man team from the EarthScope Transportable Array and IRIS/PASSCAL installed a prototype "cold and dark" seismic station at Eagle Plains, Yukon Territory, Canada, just 30km south of the Arctic Circle.  The station installation developed new methodologies for drilling a shallow, 55" deep borehole in exposed bedrock. Protection for electronics, power, and communication subsystems (from the elements, and from large wildlife) was provided by an all-weather hut bolted to bedrock.

AGU 2012 PASSCAL Data Archiving Workshop

December 2, 2012
San Francisco-Palomar Hotel

An IRIS PASSCAL data-archiving workshop will be offered prior to the 2012 Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco. This workshop will serve as an opportunity to help PIs and archivers familiarize themselves with the data group, the support provided by the data group, and the software utilized in the archival process.

PASSCAL Intern Spends Summer on the Ice

IRIS/PASSCAL summer intern Alan Shi has some interesting stories to tell about his last few months with the PASSCAL Instrument Center in Socorro, NM.  The season began calmly enough, and Alan enjoyed developing a testing enclosure to verify that field equipment boxes such as the MEVO (Mt. Erebus Volcanic Observatory) boxes were distributing power properly, as well as performing ruggedness-testing of memory sticks before their use to collect data in arctic regions. But, the most impressive part of Alan's summer by far was his deployment to the rapidly-changing ice sheets of Greenland.  Here are some recollections and photographs of intern Shi's experiences on the ice.

 

Mendenhall Glacier, Up Close and Personal

IRIS/PASSCAL has been a key supporter of a novel deployment of equipment at Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska.  A team of researchers from the University of Alaska Southeast, the University of California Santa Cruz, and the Alaska Science Center in Anchorage have been performing an ambitious analysis as part of a low-budget cutting-edge project. Above, a Trillium Compact AT is lowered directly into a borehole in the glacier.

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IRIS Orientation Week Kick-starts a Busy Summer for Student Interns

For the last few years, several students have gathered at the PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC) for the IRIS Undergraduate Internship Orientation Week.  In the IRIS Undergraduate Intern program, fifteen students fan out to conduct seismological research at thirteen
host institutions.  The program is organized and run by Michael Hubenthal of IRIS.  This year, the staff for the week-long orientation program included Rick Aster (NMT), Greg Chavez (PIC), Kent Condie (NMT), Katie Foster (U. of Wyoming & Program Alumnus), Bruce Harrison (NMT), Michael Hubenthal (IRIS), Hunter Knox (Sandia National Lab), Jesse Lawrence (Stanford University), William McIntosh  (NM Bureau of Geology), Sandra Saldaña (Noble Energy), John Taber (IRIS), and Dave Thomas (PIC), along with Student Assistant Rob Anthony (NMT Grad Student & Program Alumnus).

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Flexible Array experiment researchers brave alligators in the name of seismology!

 

The alligator photographed guards SESAME's station E22.  Locals report the alligator likely made a short traverse through the forest from a nearby river, where alligators are commonly spotted, to call the pond home.

IRIS/PASSCAL Dedicates Seismometer Testing Observatory to Jim Fowler

On March 28th, 2012, a beautiful Spring day, staff from the IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), US Geological Survey, Sandia National Labs, and students assembled for the surprise dedication of the IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center seismometer testing vault to Jim Fowler, founding Program Manager for IRIS/PASSCAL (see "IRIS/PASSCAL Celebrates Career of Jim Fowler", March 9th, 2012).

Before a large gathering of more than 75 people, Bob Woodward, IRIS Director for Instrumentation Services emceed a series of speakers that included Rick Aster of NMT/EES and David Simpson, President of IRIS.  David Simpson presented Jim's wife, Cynthia, with a bouquet of flowers in recognition for her contribution during Jim's 25 years of service.  Jim was then invited to the podium, where he thanked the staff of IRIS/PASSCAL and IRIS for "the easiest job he has ever had."

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8th annual Polar Technology Conference coming to Vermont in April 2012

The 8th annual Polar Technology Conference will be hosted by IRIS/PASSCAL on 3-5 April 2012 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont, USA.  Several staff members will be in attendance from both IRIS (Robert Busby, Kent Anderson, and Katrin Hafner) and IRIS/PASSCAL (Paul Carpenter, Jason Hebert, Allan Sauter).

The primary purpose of this conference is to bring together Polar Scientists and Technology Developers in a forum to exchange information on research system operational needs and technology solutions that have been successful in polar environments.  This exchange of knowledge helps to address issues of design, implementation, and deployment for systems that are to achieve their research goals in the Polar Regions.

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