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> Saturday, June 24th, 2006, Canoe Ride and Hike to Jade Mt.
post Jun 26 2006, 06:05 AM
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On Saturday, June 24th, we awakened to another beautiful day in the Arctic Circle with the temperature in the sixties. In the last ten days, the daytime temperatures have fallen between thirty to sixty degrees Fahrenheit. The nighttime temperatures have ranged between twenty degrees to fifty degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures have been very mild during my stay at Toolik Lake Research Station.

I wanted to show you a map of Alaska and illustrate where the research station is located. If you follow the path between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay (Dalton Highway or Haul Road), you will hit the red “i” in the word Arctic. This is approximately where Toolik Lake Research Station is located. The latitude is 68 degrees and 38 minutes north. The longitude is 149 degrees and 36 minutes west.
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We completed the final stage of the experiment today – burying temperature data loggers. The data loggers are really small computerized buttons. Look at the picture below.
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Thirty temperature data loggers were buried in random spots at each of our snow fence sites. They will record temperatures for an entire year. They were buried five millimeters below the ground. The picture below shows Jennie burying and flagging (marking the location with a flag) the devices.
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This experiment began two weeks ago; however, it is a five year project. Jennie DeMarco, Michelle Mack, and Syndonia Bret-Harte will track data in August of each year to find out more information about the increased shrub growth in the Arctic tundra.

We celebrated the end of our day by taking a wonderful canoe ride across Toolik Lake and an exhilarating hike to the top of Jade Mountain. The canoe ride across Toolik Lake was so much fun! The lake is so clear and icy cold. The lake is seventy feet deep. This is a picture of us traveling across the lake.
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As we approached our landing spot, we noticed the partial skeleton of a caribou sticking out of the water.
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We arrived safely on the other side of Toolik Lake and began our long journey to the top of Jade Mountain. Jade Mountain is a name scientists at Toolik have given to the lush green mountain. The famous Jade Mountain, where jade is mined, is on the western side of Alaska. We climbed for an hour and a half before we reached the highest point. It was totally exhausting, because the inclines were steep. We had to climb four hills before climbing to the top of Jade Mountain. The mosquitoes were plentiful and really loud. It was a bit unnerving even with a bug jacket. One of the hikers, scientist from Canada, in our group stated that her trip to Greenland made this swarm of mosquitoes look light! This is a picture of her jacket at one point during the hike.
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We finally reached the top of the mountain, and the view of the valley below was remarkable. In the first picture, a mosquito could not resist his moment of fame by flying into the picture.
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It was another great day filled with adventures!

Quick facts about Alaska:

Frank Murkowski is the Alaska state governor.

31,000 people live in the capital city of Juneau. It is the third largest city. Anchorage is the largest city followed by Fairbanks.

Alaska’s state motto is “North to the Future”. It represents Alaska as a state of promise.

Alaska is nicknamed “The Land of the Midnight Sun” since it experiences twenty-four hours of daylight for part of the year. Alaska is also called “The Last Frontier”, because it has many places for people to settle.
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