Thursday, April 4, 2013

USNA Short Tour

Today was the last day of the Polar Technology Conference with most of the presentations dealing with stations such as Summit in Greenland or the South Pole. Lots of work being done with solar and wind due to the incrediby difficult task of shipping fuel for generators and those same generators having a negative impact on what the scientists are trying to study. Our host, LCDR John Woods, took the handful left at the end of the meeting on a short tour of the academy. This is the main entrance to Bancroft Hall, possibly the largest university dorm as it houses all 4,200+ students. I don't remember the main entrance to any dorm I've been to looking like this.

This is the room at the top of the stairs in the upper picture. It is Memorial Hall and honors all midshipmen killed in action. Below this room is the dining hall which can seat 4,500 people. One of the phrases that kept coming up during the meeting was sequestration as it related to new and continuing funding of polar projects. It seemed rather ironic given the almost lavish environment with the buildings and landscaping.

This is the main entrance to Bancroft Hall, aka student housing. The University of Alaska has a long way to go to meet this standard. Everyday at 12:05, some percentage of the student body assembles here with a drum and bugle corp then before they head off row by row to lunch.

 

Since our guide was an oceanographer, he showed off some of their facilities like this wave tank to test hull designs. Quite an impressive facility for an undergraduate university. He also showed off their fabrication shop, the lab where their CubeSats are designed and built and some other science and engineering labs. He is trying to get the USNA to enter the Clean Snow machine Challenge.

One of the last talks was about the NSF funded clean snow machine competition. The winning electric snow machine will be shipped to Greenland with team members to be used in the field at Summit. This year, the winner was McGill University from Montreal with the University of Alaska Fairbanks coming in second.

And I may as well show another ship model in the engineering building.

 

10 comments:

Conchscooter said...

Bloody hell you must have a lot of frequent flier miles. Do they greet you by name when they make you take your shoes off at the airport in the ridiculous Richard Reed Memorial shore dance?

RichardM said...

No, the miles get used about as fast as they accumulate but I do tend to run into the same Alaska Airlines ticket agents, some TSA and even flight attendants over and over again. I signed up for the TSA PRE program a while back which, at some airports, let you skip the whole shoes off-unpack your carry-on routine.

Trobairitz said...

WOW on that resident hall. That place is huge and so swanky.

Does this mean your conference is done and you are heading home again? I bet your wife will be happy to have you home.

Unknown said...

Richard:

that Student Housing looks more luxurious than a 5 star hotel.

I can't imagine how large the kitchen is to be able to feed 4,500 students in one sitting. I know, thinking about food again . . .

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Yes the conference is done and I am on my way home today. Currently sitting in the Anchorage airport using their free wi-fi. I was impressed by the interior of the building. They had a sample dorm room and it wasn't extravagant at all but fairly roomy.

RichardM said...

But it isn't a hotel, you can't just leave when you want to go somewhere. The kitchen supposedly prepares over 15,000 meals per day and if what we were served was an example, it was pretty good.

VStar Lady said...

Wow - unbelievable accomodations for students. If Queen's (Kingston) had those digs, I may have decided to stay for a lifetime.
Applause to McGill (a bit of a rival) for a great showing with the 'green-(snow)machine' design.
Richard, you're going to have to start a new blog ... Posts from the (air)Ports.

RichardM said...

many of the buildings are very ornate but that is indicative of the time when they were originally constructed. And they take good care of what they have.
Your comment did get me started on a list of airpots visited...

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Wow again...what a place that is. I had no idea but I suppose should have guessed. As you mentioned, its age and origins make the ornateness very believable. If I ever return to that area, I'll do what I can to visit the place.

RichardM said...

If you are in the area, it's a worthwhile stop plus there's the historic district. Annapolis claims the "Sailing Capitol of the World" along with dozens of other cities.