ALISON Image 7
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ALISON (Image 7)

June 24, 2010
ALISON (Image 7) Shannon Graham, a middle and high school science teacher at Washington School for the Deaf in Vancouver, Wash., places a snow sample in a bag so that it can be weighed and its density calculated in due course at the 34 Mile Pond, an ALISON site. The ALISON (Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network) program is a science education and scientific research partnership between the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and the K-12 education community in Alaska. The ALISON program builds on investigations by principal investigator Martin Jeffries of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, of ice growth, conductive heat flow, and ice decay on ponds in the vicinity of Poker Flat Research Range, located roughly 50 kilometers north-east of Fairbanks. During the course of three winters Jeffries has taken measurements at ten ponds between 29.5 Mile and 36.6 Mile Steese Highway. Unfortunately, these ponds are occasionally visited by snowmobiles, which disturb the snow cover and affect measurements. Jeffries investigation began in October 1999 and it has continued each winter since then. The 34 Mile Pond is 2.63 meters to 4.84 meters deep and almost 5 kilometers from MST Pond, the main observatory at Poker Flat. Measurements taken at the observatory sites will be used for numerical modeling to simulate the variability of lake ice growth and decay at the present time and during the period of meteorological record in the different climate zones of Alaska, and to understand the factors responsible for that variability in order to predict the response of the ice to future climate change. Graham participated in the Poker Flat study under the auspices of Teachers Experiencing the Arctic and Antarctic (TEA). She spent two weeks in Fairbanks in January 2002 to meet Jeffries and learn about the lake ice research program and the research methods used. In March and April 2002, Graham visited Poker Flat three to four times per week to measure snow depth, temperatures and density, and ice thickness at four ponds. The fourth pond was at 34 Mile Steese Highway, where Shannon was responsible for the 34 Mile Pond data entry and analysis, and shared the results and her research experience with her students via her daily journal at the TEA Web site and by video-conference. This research was supported by National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs grant OPP 01-17645. (Date of Image: March 2002) [One of 8 related images. See Next Image.]

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