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Photo: Students and Teachers measuring lake ice

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NEWProject Jukebox

Project Jukebox is an interactive, computer-based program developed by the Oral History Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library. It is designed to access oral histories and their associated photographs, maps, and text. The digitized recordings provide rapid access to specific segments of each recording. Since the program is interactive, users can navigate to different topics, individuals or activities. It also has some capability of searching by topic or key words. )

The OLCG project is currently working with the Oral History program to create a series of Project Jukebox - Climate Change programs documenting local knowledge and observations on this topic. At present, one interview with Caleb Pungowiyi and one with Kenneth Frank have been digitized and can be accessed on the Climate Change Jukebox site.

We would like to expand this Jukebox program to include other parts of the state and are currently seeking OLCG teachers who have a desire to be involved in development of a new Jukebox at their site. We would like these programs to represent the collaborative efforts of students, teachers, community members and scientists as they investigate a question or questions of interest to them. We have the financial backing to bring a range of expertise to this project and to fully support these efforts. While the process for developing such projects will differ with each location, the following steps characterize the kind of project we envision.

  • Meet with a community focus group to identify observations and concerns about climate change and to identify one or more student/community questions or projects that reflect these observations and concerns.
  • Work with teacher(s) and students to develop and implement a plan for investigation of chosen questions including such things as:
    • interviews of local Elders and community members
    • experiments/measurements to be done
    • literature/research review
    • analysis and synthesis of information gathered
    • presentation of investigations and findings back to focus group and community
  • Document all phases of the process
  • Work with students and focus group to design Jukebox presentation that reflects the entire process as outlined in item #2 above including such things as interviews, experimental procedures and data, analysis and synthesis statements, graphs, photos, maps, artwork, essays and so forth.
  • Host a student-led review of the Jukebox with the community.
  • Post Jukebox project on OLCG web site and distribute CD's to students and focus group as well as other relevant parties.

For more information contact Sidney Stephens (ffss1@uaf.edu)

Scientist Projects

In addition to connecting Alaskan students and teachers with GLOBE scientists and international monitoring efforts, OLCG participants are invited to participate in two additional monitoring projects, based at UAF. For information contact either the scientist listed or Martha Kopplin, OLCG Project Administrator (mkopplin@northstar.k12.ak.us)

Snow and Lake Ice Monitoring

Tree Ring Studies (link to section)

Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network(ALISON)

With Dr. Martin O. Jeffries, Research Professor of Geophysics, University of Alaska Fairbanks
"We had a lot of fun working with Martin Jeffries on that lake ice research. I think I probably enjoyed it the most since I was taking his Monday night class and getting a lot of background. But the kids liked being out on the ice collecting data. They got the opportunity to work with teachers visiting from other states. At one field session they met the teacher who works with Martin in Antarctica."
- Deb Bennett, Fairbanks OLCG Teacher

The overall objective of our snow and lake ice research (funded by the NSF Arctic Natural Sciences Program) is to understand the spatial and temporal variability of lake ice growth and decay in Alaska, and the potential impact of climate change. This involves field measurements and numerical modeling.

The field investigation involves regular measurements of snow depth, snow density and snow temperature, and ice thickness. With the snow depth, snow density and snow temperature data we can calculate the temperature gradient, snow thermal conductivity and thus the conductive heat flow to the atmosphere. With such data gathered on a regular basis we can watch the snow depth and ice thickness evolve, and the heat flow vary during the course of the winter. Here in Fairbanks, "regular" means weekly for our NSF-funded study at frozen ponds at Poker Flat.

One of the objectives of making the weekly field measurements and obtaining the snow and ice temperature data is to use them to help to calibrate and validate a numerical model of lake ice growth and decay. With a well calibrated and validated model, we can simulate/investigate lake ice growth and decay anywhere in Alaska as long as there are meteorological data available to drive the model. And we can use the model to simulate the impacts of climate change on lake ice.

Teachers can be of great assistance to us, as they can obtain data from different locations around the state. These data will help us to understand the current spatial and temporal variability of ice growth and decay as determined by the weather/climate variability, and the contemporary data help with model calibration and validation. We look upon this as a mutually advantageous arrangement, as the teacher[s] become involved in a research program and learn about the nature of scientific inquiry and develop new ideas for locally relevant classroom science activities , and we obtain useful scientific data.

During fall semester 2001 and spring semester 2002, a total of 18 Fairbanks K-12 teachers participated in the fieldwork at Poker Flat. This was a requirement for a UAF class in which they enrolled: ED593, "Snow and Ice Research and Curriculum in K-12 Classrooms." In December 2001, a group of GLOBE teachers visited Aurora Pond in Fairbanks on a very cold Sunday to see what a lake ice observatory looks like. During March and April 2002, Shannon Graham, who teaches 11th and 12th grade sciences at the Washington School for the Deaf, Vancouver, WA, worked on the lake ice project under the auspices of the NSF program "Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic (TEA)".

During March and April 2002 we also worked on Aurora Pond with home-school students, Tanana Middle School 8th grade students, and all the deaf students in Fairbanks' schools. We visited University Park Elementary School where the Gifted and Talented students and a class of 4th graders made snow measurements in the school grounds. And we went to the Howard Luke Camp with Denali Elementary School 4th and 5th graders. Conclusion: teachers and students can do lake ice and snow science, and enjoy it!

Martin O. Jeffries
Research Professor of Geophysics
Geophysical Institute
University of Alaska Fairbanks
P. O. Box 757320
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320
e-mail: martin.jeffries@gi.alaska.edu
Phone: 907-474-5257
Fax: 907-474-7290

Tree Ring Studies

With Dr. Val Barber and Dr. Glen Juday, Forest Sciences Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Schools that are participating in the OLCG program are invited to become involved in a tree-ring study at their school or a nearby site. The study will involve a class in the following activities:

permanently tagging trees (so we can relate each sample back to its location in the field and follow these trees in the future),

  1. drilling trees with a tool called an increment borer,
  2. gluing extracted wood cores to mounting sticks,
  3. sanding the wood cores smooth
  4. viewing the cores under a binocular scope
  5. counting and marking the rings.
  6. data analysis and correlation (older students)

The cores will be measured at the University of Alaska Tree-Ring Lab, and classes can plot the data once they are available. The outdoor work of drilling the trees can be done as long as temperatures are above freezing or even slightly below. We would like to have about 10 good cores each from white spruce, black spruce, paper birch, and aspen from each locality. The tree-ring study is still worth doing if only 1 or 2 species are available at a site. We are trying to build a network of 10 or more new tree-ring sites.. School grounds are very good places to sample, as long as they have a reasonable chance to remain in tree cover. Otherwise, nearby natural resource properties (parks, managed forests, wildlife areas, etc.) are useable sites. Teachers should take the responsibility to get permission (if any is required) for tagging and coring trees. Background information about the minor impact of the coring on trees is available.

From this project we hope to learn the age and growth history of trees at local schools and other sites, the years of region-wide increases and decreases in tree growth, and the response of trees on different sites to recent changes in climate.


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The Website for National Science Foundation Grant No. ES1-9910219

Last Modified on October 21, 2003 by Sidney Stephens

University of Alaska Fairbanks link