18 January 2022
Our long and carefully planned Ice Science Inquiry Workshop made a quick and fortuitous pivot to virtual last Friday and Saturday with rising Covid-19 cases in AK. Despite this challenge, an enthusiastic group of teachers, young scientists (students), and Native Elders joined our Fresh Eyes team virtually last Friday and Saturday for a successful 2-days of meeting, sharing, and learning about lake and river ice in Alaska. Starting with welcomes from NASA's Stinger Guala and UAF's Bill Schnabel, we had the wonderful opportunity to make introductions among students in Gustavus, Tok, Eagle, Fairbanks, Shageluk, Bethel, McGrath, Noatak, Galena, and Glennallen. Interior Native Elders Sam Demientieff and Wally Carlo shared stories and experience about travel on ice, wildlife observations, and dramatic changes they've observed in Alaska over their lifetimes, while fielding questions from the next generation of Alaska scientists (our Fresh Eyes students). On Saturday the Fresh Eyes team was joined by Mike Taras (ADFG) and Kevin Fraley (WCS) to help community-monitoring teams (teachers and students) with ideas and insight for creating and designing there own ice research projects to help satisfy student curiosity and address community concerns.
This workshop is just the start of Ice Science Inquiry for our teams and we look forward to supporting each of them through this process of expanding freshwater ice science for Alaska communities. We can't wait to learn what new and exciting discoveries these young scientists make about river and lake ice in Alaska!