March Downstream Science & Outreach

3 March 2021

Getting geared up for our big spring science trip! This is a scaled back version of our original plan to travel between Fairbanks and Bethel collecting ice data and visiting multiple communities along the way. With all that's happened in the last year, really excited about this alternative plan and think we'll be able to do some very cool and important work in both realms of our project.

Main goal of the trip is to collect data on variety of ice types on Tanana R and its tributaries and see how late freeze-up zones compare to other river ice. Synthetic aperture radar imagery is guiding our selection of locations and we'll use these field observations to get a better idea of what satellite data is telling us and how to scale it up to larger regions.

Study area as seen by SAR from satellite

We'll leave from Fairbanks tomorrow morning, camp upstream of Nenana for a few days. Then thanks to Eric Filardi and crew in Nenana and Anderson, PhD student Sarah Clements will be leading a science education activity with students and families on Saturday March 6. We'll show community members some of the ways we study ice and will look to learn much about what this river community (the home of the Nenana Ice Classic) can tell us about ice and climate change. Hoping to get some travel advice as well.

Nenana Outreach flyer

Then we'll head out past Old Minto and spend the rest of our trip visiting key river reaches of the Tanana, Tolovana, and Kantishna and visiting shallow lakes in Minto Flats.