08 February 2009

2009 NASA/ SETI Mojave Expedition a Success!

02 February 2007

Image: 2009 Mojave Desert Expedition Team (sans Doug Billings). Kneeling (left to right): James Rice, Sabine Airieau, and Jut Wynne. Standing (left to right): Denise Hill, Greg Flores, Tim Titus, Dave Decker, Dan Ruby, Amanda Stockton, and Queeg. Credit: Polly Kinsinger.

After holding a team meeting after work yesterday, we identified our remaining tasks for this expedition. This morning, we got up in good spirits and completed all our scheduled work with the exception of one cave – Drop Cave. Doug was going to finish up the map this morning; he was going to return from LA. However, his car was broken into the night before, and was unable to return promptly. So, we had to table completion of Drop Cave.

All other mission critical objectives were met. This has been an outstanding team. It has been both an honor and a pleasure to work with such a dedicated and hard-working group.

We are now studying five caves and five non-cave features in the Mojave! Instruments are now in the ground and logging data as I type. Christina Colpitts (2008 Atacama Desert Expedition medical specialist/ safety chief) and I will return in mid-March. We will meet Doug in the Mojave, and we will finish up Drop Cave. It should take us one day to finish up.

Image: Pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus ) disturbed while roosting. Oddly, these bats have a distinct smell. They actually smell like tortillas. Credit: James Rice.

I am know working on entering in all the information collected when we deployed sensors. This information will assist us in relocating them to upload the data. We will upload data from these sensors in one year. Dan Ruby will begin the process of developing our volumetric maps of each Mojave cave, while Dave Decker and Doug Billings will draft our cave and non-cave feature maps.

This project is on track and all team members are happy with this progress. Thanks again to the 2009 Mojave Desert Expedition Team for making this expedition a success!

Image: Our study area. Credit: Dave Decker.

1 comment:

Brett said...

Hmmm... The "Tortilla Bat." I think I smell a new chapter in your dissertation!