I recently had the pleasure to work with a team of ecologists for eight days in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The point of the trip was to reoccupy and expand investigations of the Cooper Plots established over 100 years ago in the wake of the retreating ice in the West Arm. A nice rundown of this ecological succession work is presented here on Glacier Hub. The ecology team recently published on their rediscovery of the plots, which was heroic considering the immense lands, intense brush and sometimes cryptic description of the plot locations.
The accommodations and views in the West Arm of Glacier Bay were spectacular. Logistics of the project were supported by the National Park Service, who we gratefully acknowledge.
The team of ecologists included (left to right) Drs. Allison Bidlack (Director, Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, University of Alaska Southeast), Sarah Bisbing (University of Nevada – Reno) and Brian Buma (University of Alaska Southeast). I was along to core trees at the sites (Wooster Tree Ring Lab) and to measure the size of alders.
Sarah and Brian cordon off one of Cooper’s 1-meter plots with string so we don’t trample the vegetation. Sarah reals out a 15-meter tape with Allison on
The high rainfall and high coastal ranges nourish the icefields of southern Alaska along and with the extensive carbon-rich forests and ecosystems of the Northern Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest (PCTR).
Chris surveys the North Pacific noting the extensive moisture source and ocean pasture that is just offshore of the terrestrial ecosystems we are studying.
Malisse sits atop a shore pine, another slow growing coastal species that is experiencing potential decline.
Kerensa sites atop an obducted ophiolite – we were 71% sure that there were pillows in the basalt.
Josh cores another Alaska Yellow cedar – we were able to sample three sites in the Juneau area. These cedars are in decline due to warming and loss of snowpack, which makes their fine roots vulnerable to frost. Our objective is to work up the tree-ring record of the sites to contribute to our understanding of the decline.
Alora takes a break from taking notes and GPS coordinates for each tree.
Ice caves fund to explore and act as a conduit to meltwater and warm air accelerating the melt.
Blue the dog – takes a break from pursuing porcupines in the muskeg.
Nick of the Ophiolite.
Kerensa wades through the deep texture of coastal carbon.
Climate Change 2017 is pleased to have been asked to date the Tracy House, Apple Creek Ohio. The log house/cabin is now stored in the soon to be Apple Creek Community Center and Library will be reassembled this coming summer. The date is unambiguous and most of the timber was cut after the growing season of 1826 and it is likely that the house was originally constructed in 1827, one of the first to be built in the East Union Township. A copy of our report can be found here.
Two class projects kick off the Climate Change 2017 course. The first deals with tree-ring dating (dendrochronology, blog post coming soon) of historical structures and then analyzing the tree-rings for their climate significance. The second is is shown below and it concerned with analyzing sediment cores from Browns Lake Bog that document climate variability since the last Ice Age. Below are some photos of the bog coring – great thanks to Dr. Tom Lowell and his Glacial Geology class from the University of Cincinnati – the folks who did most of the work.
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