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2019 International Arctic Field Course

Authors: Tara McAllister*, George Washington University, Kelsey Nyland, George Washington University
Topics: Polar Regions, Cryosphere, Field Methods
Keywords: permafrost, field methods, education, climate change, periglacial environments
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The International Arctic Field Course brought together an international group of 16 graduate and undergraduate students from diverse disciplines, including geography, international affairs, geocryology, and architecture to examine permafrost and urban sustainability in Alaska and Yukon, Canada from July 20th to August 6th. The trip was uniquely designed to afford students the opportunity to see a diversity of Arctic environments and communities with a chance to focus on either physical geography or urban sustainability. For the first week of the course the group met in Anchorage and traveled together to Fairbanks. Students visited local museums, universities, and research centers for a general introduction to the region, its history, and challenges within a warming climate. Then, the course broke into two groups, one, that continued north on the Dalton Highway to Toolik Field Station to study permafrost, and the other that traveled to Whitehorse, Canada to compare urban sustainability practices and initiatives between Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Whitehorse. At the end of the course these two groups came back together in Anchorage for a small student conference to share what they learned while apart. This presentation will focus on the permafrost group within this field course that made a complete transect of Alaska from Anchorage to Deadhorse learning about different landscapes and their development, permafrost monitoring methods, and permafrost specific construction and engineering methods.

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