Taking Service to the Next Level-Rebuilding Stations After Bear Vandal Visits

In the previous blog entry, service team #1 described how to service a seismic station when everything goes pretty well. That was the case for sites serviced out of King Salmon and Sand Point. Kodiak is an entirely different story! So far service team #2 visited 6 sites on Kodiak Island, and 3 were pretty much trashed by bears, that’s 50% of the sites! Before you see the impressive damage a bear can do, let me say that we left all 3 of these stations running, thanks to heroic efforts by UCSC instrument specialist Dan Sampson. He earned his trip to this paradise of an island.

This is station KT10 at upper Uyak Bay when we arrived. Bears had knocked over the box so that water got in, they ripped cables to the sensor, power, and the GPS antenna. The batteries were still good so we replaced everything and got this station up and running. By downloading data stored in the baler we could tell that bears vandalized this station in early August, so we only lost a few weeks of data.

Station KT10 on arrival


Below is station KD05 at Uganik when we arrived. Here bears had pulled the sensor out of the ground (buried at least 1 meter), picked up the box and moved it several feet away. Again, there was extensive damage to all cables, Dan had worked some magic the night before wiring some new power cables, so we were ready for this. We reoriented the sensor and left the station running. After fixing these two badly damaged sites, the third vandalized station seemed easy. At KT09 (Uyak Bay) all we needed to do was replace a destroyed GPS antenna and cable. Fortunately, Dan knows how to splice GPS cable, so we had a spare!

Station KD05 on arrival


Dan showing off his newly spliced GPS cable


Now that I reported the bad news and on how hard we are working. Let’s focus on some of the fun and beautiful parts of a service run.

  1. Get to ride in float planes


2. Get to see amazing scenery


3. Get to see amazing scenery


4. Get to see amazing scenery…. I think you get the picture.


Susan Schwartz, UCSC


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