July 10, 2007
I am about to embark on a science research expedition in South Central Alaska. The STEEP/St. Elias project is a National Science Foundation project that is studying the evolution of the St. Elias Mountain Range, the highest coastal mountain range on Earth. It is a five-year program, and I will be working with geologists in their third year of study. Staying at the site at present are five geologists and four graduate student geologists, Dr. Terry Pavlis, the coordinator for the project, Dr. Ronald Bruhn, Dr. Ken Ridgway, Jay Chapman, John Witmer, Patrick Brennan and Mike Vorkink.
I currently teach eighth grade Earth Science at Scofield Magnet Middle School in Stamford, Connecticut. I teach in a small urban district, but my school is located at the edge of an arboretum and nature center. We are able to study the woods around us. As a teacher I try to bring real life experiences into the classroom as much as I can. By participating in this research experience, I hope to see how field research is conducted, and improve my knowledge of the geological forces that help shape our Earth. Hopefully, by relating this experience to my students, I can encourage many of them to consider a career in science.
Today I toured a part of the city of Anchorage. The city is quite large in land area, but I was only able to stay in the "tourist" area. Mount Denali could be seen far off in the distance. I bought my "Xtra Tuf" boots, a requirement when working in the area. I also was able to visit the Public Lands office, where I picked up some maps and books. I viewed a movie on the 1964 Earthquake in this area, this was a great prelude to the study that I was about to undertake.