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This past week I flew to Deadhorse on the way to Barrow, and had a few minutes to get out and mingle.  A fellow in the airport, apparently fresh off the field, was speaking of overflowing drill mud (which comes out of the oil drilling platforms into large tanks for eventual disposal). Fascinating discussion as we boarded about how the waste is contained (and the problems when things go bad). From there I continued and flew to Barrow to put on a couple workshops .  They have had cheap natural gas there for almost a century I was told, which is good for the most northern American community in the Arctic!  Great workshops, and a good tour the next morning to look for Polar Bears (none seen) as well as to look for some of the whaling boats out on the ocean.   From there a several hour flight through a couple coastal village delivered to Kotzebue for the Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference; we kept a lookout from the air for a whaling crew that radioed in success yet were not able to make one out.  There were a lot of familiar faces in town as concurrently the borough mayor was hosting a regional Energy planning session (as well as a Arctic biological science conference taking place). This community had wind turbines and a good amount of trucks around, probably from a high hiring rate for the local Zinc mine.  In all, the ice was breaking up, flying into Nome to put on a workshop there were definite signs of greening up with an early Spring showing!