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Stantec will provide engineering support at the Toolik Field Station, located in the mountains of Alaska, and the Summit Station in Greenland, located on an ice cap over three kilometres thick. While the Toolik station is accessible by road, Greenland’s summit station is more difficult to get to.
“There are … research facilities, dorms, garages, dining halls, common areas in both of those places where people go and stay to conduct their research,” said Brown. “Maintaining those facilities, operating and maintaining them, is a massive challenge. It’s like trying to maintain the (International) Space Station and that’s maybe a little bit of an extreme example, but it gets to that point.”
Brown said for materials to get to the station in Greenland they have to be staged in the state of New York, then flown to an Air Force base in Greenland or in the small community of Kangerlussuaq. The equipment is finally flown to the research station where planes land on an airstrip made of snow and ice.
Calling it a modern version of the Silk Road, Brown said it can take weeks or even months to move equipment that far north.
Stantec will be coordinating the logistics of transporting equipment such as front-end loaders and forklifts as well as large telescopes and fuel tanks.
“You can’t just trip down to the Home Depot, the effort to get stuff there,” said Brown. “I mean, if you miss something, you’ve got a problem.”
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