Science under a Wolf Moon

20 January 2021

The Fresh Eyes on Ice team is gearing up for a January 'shakedown' trip under a wolf moon. The study area is close by, the Tanana River downstream of Fairbanks (here's a recent Planet satellite timelapse of Tanana River where we'll be working). The objective is to test out new winter travel and camping gear (Allen B leading) and methods for studying early winter open-water zones (Melanie E leading) and variable river ice conditions (leave this for Chris A), plus brainstorm outreach and science ed options for future trips (Sarah C leading).

Our original plan 2021 winter work was a combination ice science / outreach traverse between Fairbanks and Bethel. This would have been super cool and also super challenging. Because of the pandemic however, we've scaled back plans considerably and are now focus on doing more local river ice studies primarily to groundtruth SAR satellite analysis of open-water areas and other ice features of interest. Ideally we'll learn a lot about where and why these persistent zones of open water occur in otherwise solid ice cover and help in mapping them on a broader scale. Though we'll have a limited work window of light, we're counting on the a Wolf Moon (full moon in January) to make winter camping fun and mysterious!