Geosciences in Alaska


Arctic Alaska Dinosaur Project

Team Members

Preparatory Field Trip to Pt. Reyes

Field Research in Alaska

Geoscience Conceptual Framework


Trip Log: Thursday, July 11, 2002

Above: Anne Pasch with group at the toe of Matanuska Glacier.
Below: Ice cave.

We awoke at drenched Glacier View Campground with just enough time to take down our wet tents before the rain began to pick up again. We voted to eat a hot breakfast at the Long Rifle Lodge with its magnificent view of the Matanuska Glacier.

Luck held out for us as Professor Anne Pasch recovered from a migraine and the rain abated. We drove to the toe of the glacier. Here we practiced on the GPS taking marks on our position at the base of the glacier and learned about declination on the Brunton Compass. Anne then guided us onto the magnificent Matanuska Glacier, where each of us steadied our gait by using a single ski pole against the slippery ice.

Above: Group working with Brunton compass at Matanuska Glacier.
Below: Anne Pasch with group at Lizzie site.

The view of the blue and white ice contortions against the oncoming black rain clouds made us feel as if we were walking into another dimension. We ate our snacks where we could view a supra-glacial lake beneath an enormous thrusting blue-edged cathedral ice formation. We returned to the vehicles just as it began to pour again, and we dodged the raindrops to eat our lunch.

We then drove down the Glenn Highway to the “Lizzie” site where the May family discovered bones from an extremely rare 90 million year old hadrosaur from the Late Cretaceous. Here amidst the gravel scree, Holly found a 55 million year old shell. Since we needed to dry out our tents and the weather was cooperating, we hopped into the van and set up camp at another closed (due to Alaska budget cuts) campground along the Little Nechina River. Although the rain found us again (as well as the mosquitoes), Peg and Holly brightened our spirits by preparing a scrumptious spaghetti dinner.

Reporters for the day: Rena and Chris

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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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