Geosciences in Alaska


Arctic Alaska Dinosaur Project

Team Members

Preparatory Field Trip to Pt. Reyes

Field Research in Alaska

Geoscience Conceptual Framework


Trip Log: Tuesday, July 9, 2002

This is Phil. He’s a large chunk of petrified wood from Wishbone Hill, which now sits in UAA’s Rock Garden.

After breakfast in the dorm cafeteria (oh what memories that dorm food brought back) we went on a rockin’ walk around the rocks (the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s fantastic rock garden) where we met Phil and a host of other residents with remarkable past lives. Phil is a gorgeous hunk (of petrified wood, left) and aside from Phil’s enormous size Phil’s claim to fame was that he was found standing straight up.

Next on our day’s itinerary was Anchorage from a geologist’s perspective with Anne Pasch as our guide. The effects of the '64 earthquake could still be seen geologically as well as structurally. We also learned about faults and that it isn’t always the shaking that does the damage. We saw the evidence still (almost 40 years later) of the landslides and earth slips that broke apart buildings and pushed houses onto the mudflats.

This reverse fault is a result of the 1964 earthquake. The section here is of a concrete clab which supports the fence surrounding a house near Elderberry Park.

Next was an interesting lecture on the dangers of “Death by Sucking Mud” at the mud flats and we saw an up close and personal view of the struggle between economics and a geologically “unstable” area at the condos by Elderberry Park. (Hey, Anne we learned something!) A picnic lunch by the side of the road and a Rent-a-Can stop (that’s what they call Port-a-Potties in Alaska) was next on our Anchorage tour.

A walk through Earthquake Park brought us to our first mosquito encounter. Hey, what was up with stopping for the lecture in the middle of the swarm? Just getting us exposed? Preparing for life on the North Slope? Thank you Chris and your 100 DEET. You saved us all! Rock collecting on the beach and we called it quits for the day.

P.S. On the way back to UAA, Janet saw two moose but the rest of us were too whipped to turn our heads for a look.

Reporters of the day: 4 of 10 and 3 of 10 (AKA Pat and Phelana).

Next (July 10)

Project partners and sponsors:
  West Contra Costa Unified School District   UC Museum of Paleontology   University of Alaska Museum    National Science Foundation    The Mechanics Bank
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