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> Arctic Tundra Ecosystems: Toolik Lake, Alaska

Jennie burying data lo...


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Description: Jennie DeMarco is burying the data logger into the ground five millimeters. We spent three hours hiking to the snow fence sites to bury and flag the data loggers. Soil temperature records are an important part of this experiment.

Data logger


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Description: This is a picture of a computerized data logger. Thirty data loggers were placed at randomly selected points in our experiment plots. They will record ground temperatures for an entire year. It is amazing that all of that data will be in something so small. They were buried five millimeters under the ground.

"The Shaker"


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Description: This contraption allows scientists to place items inside in order for them to be shaken vigorously. Our soil core samples are inside the crate ready to be shaken. Salt was poured in each soil cup. The salt will separate various compounds from the soil in order for tests to be conducted. It is called a "salt extraction".

Peter and his microscope


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Description: Peter Ray is a retired professor from Standford University. He taught college courses for forty-seven years so he has a wealth of knowledge to share. In this picture, he is analyzing cross sections of shrub branches to discover their age. He has great patience when slicing sections off of shrub branches. It takes great precision. Peter is married to Syndonia Bret-Harte.

Elise measuring leaves


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Description: Alyse is measuring the length of leaves. I helped measure the leaves for a couple of hours as well. Scientists use the metric system. The data we collected will be compared each year to study shrub growth.

Toolik Sauna


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Description: This is a picture of the antiquated sauna at Toolik. I have visited it a couple of times to help relax my sore muscles; however, I am not a fan of one hundred and seventy degree temperatures so I did not stay long. smile.gif

Charmagne pouring samples


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Description: Charmagne is pouring the filtered soil water into vials which will be taken to the lab at the University of Florida for further testing. I labeled all of the vials for the experiment so I contributed to this part of the experiment as well.

Jennie filtering soil


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Description: This is a picture of Jennie DeMarco filtering soil samples taken from the field.

Our lab at Toolik


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Description: This is a picture of our lab at the research station. It is referred to as Lab #2. There are many labs on the property. Scientists are assigned to different labs. There are three lab areas and six offices inside this building. When I refer to working in the lab, this is where I work.

Ptarmigan scat


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Description: Ptarmigan is the Alaskan state bird. Their brownish plumage turns white in the winter. The picture shows ptarmigan scat.

Moose scat


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Description: Moose are the largest member of the deer family. The picture shows moose scat. This is a pile of winter scat. Their summer scat will resemble more of the appearance of cow droppings.

Bud growth count


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Description: We spent six hours in the field today counting new bud growths on willow and birch shrubs. This is a picture of Theo, graduate student from Hawaii, and Syndonia Bret-Harte, biologist from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, counting new bud growths on a branch marked last summer.

Ice crystals


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Description: There are some layers of aufeis where beautiful ice crystals have formed. We scraped away at the crystals to get a closer look. I took a picture of some that had fallen onto the rocks lining the stream.

Aufeis Waterfall


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Description: I love this view! There are ice caves that have formed in the aufeis. I was not brave enough to venture into them since I had already collapsed through a fairly thin piece of aufeis. huh.gif It was one of the most spectacular formations I have seen on my journey. Aufeis is a German word meaning "ice on top". New ice continues to form on top of older ice.

Posing by aufeis


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Description: I am smiling in the picture, because the aufeis (layers of ice) is so beautiful. Some of the layers are turquoise blue. It is a work of art!



Uploaded by: Tracy_Alley

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Description: The picture shows aufeis (pronounced owf ice). It is a German word meaning "ice on top". The ice forms when water from a spring or stream emerges and freezes on top of previously formed ice. I am analyzing the layers of ice.

Toolik Dining Hall


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Description: This is the building where we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a deck on the back to view the beautiful Toolik Lake while you eat; however, millions of mosquitos will attack you on certain days. This is the same dining hall that was used by the oil pipeline workers in the 1970's.

Toolik Laundromat


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Description: This is where people at Toolik wash their clothes. You are allowed to wash one load of clothes every two weeks. It cost hundreds of dollars a day to run the "laundromat". There are only two washers and two dryers. Each load cost $22.50. It cost money to operate the generators (machine that produces electricity), money to ship water to and from Toolik to Prudhoe Bay, money for the detergent, and each gallon of water cost the camp seventy-five cents.

Summer Solstice Party


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Description: These scientists are dressed as Cassiope (small bell shaped flower) and bacteria (right). Clever design! smile.gif

Summer Solstice Party


Uploaded by: Tracy_Alley

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Description: This scientist is representing snow covered tundra. She is wearing a green sweatshirt with a hat covered in white. Very creative! smile.gif

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