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ALISON (Image 5)

Students measure and record snow depth and the temperature

ALISON (Image 5)

Two high school students from Innoko River School, Shageluk Village, Alaska, measure and record snow depth and the temperature on the ice surface at the bottom of the snow at Shageluk observatory. The observatory, which is operated by teacher Joy Hamilton and her high school class at Innoko River School, is part of the ALISON (Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network) program, a science education and scientific research partnership between the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and the K-12 education community in Alaska.

The ALISON observatory in Shageluk is located on Shageluk Lake (also known as "Swimming Lake"), about 4 kilometers North of the village and close to the airstrip. Shageluk Lake was once a channel of the Innoko River that was cut off as the river shifted course, as all rivers tend to do in this region.

The observatory was set up on Jan. 21, 2003. The average ice thickness, determined by drilling 21 holes done by hand was 0.57 meters, and the average snow depth was 0.12 meters. Measurements taken at the observatory 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.

This research was supported by National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs grant OPP 03-26631. (Date of Image: December 2003) [One of 8 related images. See Next Image.]

Credit: Photo by Martin Jeffries, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

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