2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
Paper No. 97-26
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

GLACIER FIELD SURVEYING COURSE EXPOSES ALASKAN UNDERGRADUATES TO GLACIER-CLIMATE RESEARCH METHODS

HEKKERS, M.L.1, SHINN, Jennifer J.2, SAUER, D.1, and CONNOR, C.L.3, (1) Natural Sciences, University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801, (2) Environmental Sciences, University Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801, jshinn6@uas.alaska.edu, (3) Natural Sciences, Univ Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801

GEOL 315 Glacier Surveying Field Methods is a 3-credit course for students majoring in Environmental Science or Geography at the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau. Six class meetings during the spring semester introduced students to glacial processes and field techniques pertinent for monitoring local glacier change. Students spent 5 days living in tents on the Mendenhall Glacier collecting data and observations to gain a better understanding of the dynamics, climate, and hydrology of the temperate glacial environment. Students each took responsibility for their own data collection which included calculating ice depth with ice-penetrating radar and measuring ice surface velocities across transects using repeated DGPS measurements at surface monuments. Students deployed a meteorological station and conducted energy balance modeling that enabled comparisons with 1) ice ablation from a series of ablation wires steam-drilled into the glacier surface and 2) continuous evolution of supra-glacial lake levels using a pressure transducer. Supraglacial and englacial streamflow experiments were also conducted. The students analyzed data and presented their results for faculty and staff. Findings will add to the annual Mendenhall Glacier mass balance campaign and outreach to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The course led several students to paid undergraduate research positions. A concurrent companion course, Glaciers of Southeast Alaska, provided background on the on the geography and dynamics of glaciers in the region.

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 97--Booth# 78
Geoscience Education (Posters) II
Minneapolis Convention Center: Hall C
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday, 10 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 257

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