29 April, 2003
Teaching the Young
Today in Kotzebue
A clear, crisp day awaited me. We are happy about this. Due to
the warm weather, we were afraid of fog. Since we are leaving today,
we are hoping that the planes arenít delayed.
What science is happening?
Kotzebue Middle School is celebrating Inupiaq days. Today the 7th
graders are out on the ice in the Kotzebue sound, learning how to ice
fish with traditional gear. Elmer Godwin, tribal elder and consultant
in charge of Inupiaq studies at the school, was on hand to give
instruction and he brought some traditional fare. I had tried caribou
before in caribou burritos and caribou sausage, but the muktuk was new
to me. Muktuk is the skin and blubber from a bowhead whale. One of
the reasons that early explorers got scurvy eating hard tack and gruel
is because there is no vitamin C. Muktuk provides the native people
with an excellent source of vitamin C. I am told it is quite a
delicacy, and was very honored when they offered me some. It is very
chewy and in the end I had to swallow it whole. Mr. Goodwin gave me
some to take back with me to show my students, unfortunately it fell
out of my pocket when I got my gloves (or Iím going to get home to
find I have a very smelly suitcase!)
To graduate from Kotzebue High school you have to have earned one
credit in Inupiaq studies. What cultures are studied in your
school? Why do you think it is important to study others cultures?
Why do you think it is important to take pride in your heritage?
Today I leave this icy wonderland. I have seen the challenges in
studying the environment in an inhospitable climate; I look forward to
taking the same samples in the summer and observing the differences in
the procedures and results.
more about our project here
View curriculum for this project, ďAsk a ScientistĒ and
learn about other Arctic Real Time research at Arctic Alive
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