Geosciences in Alaska


Arctic Alaska Dinosaur Project

Team Members

Preparatory Field Trip to Pt. Reyes

Field Research in Alaska

Geoscience Conceptual Framework


Trip Log: Friday, July 12, 2002

Teams measuring strike and dip at Rainbow Mountain.

We woke up at our campsite along the Little Nelchina River to a light drizzle and a cereal breakfast (and, of course, cowboy coffee). After packing up, we continued east down the Glenn Highway towards Glennallen, passing areas of permafrost. Then we began our northward journey on the Richardson Highway. Here we got our first views of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. North of Paxson, moose and bald eagles were sighted.

Above: Chris is holding one of our great fossil finds—note the original shell material!
Below: Roland Gangloff helps the group determine the story of the rocks.

Our lunch stop was along the Gulkana River, south of Summit Lake. Some migratory species sighted there were spawning red salmon and Alabama rednecks.

Driving through the spectacular Alaska Range we headed towards the fossil site on colorful Rainbow Mountain. In the Paleozoic (Pennsylvanian, 325 mya) deposits, we found a variety of marine fossils such as crinoids, horn coral, trilobites, brachiopods and other molluscs.

Roland guided us in using our newly acquired knowledge to read the geologic history revealed by the exposure. We were able to identify sedimentary rock and determine the environment in which it was deposited. We saw that it had been uplifted and folded, and intruded by a dike of igneous rock.

Then back on the road to Fairbanks where we checked in at the university, had a yummy Chinese buffet at the Golden Shanghai, and best of all, plopped our showered bodies into soft beds.

Reporters for the day: Janet and Phil



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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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