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5 March, 2002

What's so special about March? Apparently March is a favorite month for most Alaskan residents. The snow is still present, the air is still cold, BUT the sun is out most of the day! I could easily bask in the sun at sub-zero temperatures with my parka and Carrharts.

The day length is increasing everyday. Alaska has almost 11 hours of sunlight compared to 4.5 hours in January. By the time I depart Fairbanks at the end of April, the day length will have increased to almost 17 hours. My Environmental science students are using a web-based sun calculator to compare day length of Vancouver, Washington and Fairbanks, Alaska.

On one end of University of Alaska campus is a small residential area for native Alaskan students and visiting scientists. Lynette and I share the Nordic House, a nice, cozy log home with 4 bedrooms with

two Russian scientists. Sergi, an anthropologist and Andrei, studying sea ice with GI's German scientists both hail from St. Petersburg.

Announcements! Shannon's pond, also known as 34-Mile pond is now called Jalpertia pond. This unique name was created by a small group of students who will be working on data calculations for heat flow.

Lesson 1: Density In order to find density values, we need two simple measurements: snow samples and snow depth. Jalpertia pond has two transects lines crossing over at the middle, forming four quadrants. Snow samples are collected from each quadrant. Density is calculated at mass per unit volume (D = M / V). Volume is pi r2 h. Using the same snow tube for all snow samples, we use the same area, which is 21.711909 cm2. Snow depth (h) is multiplied with the area and then divided into mass.

Let's practice:

Mass / pi r2 x h

Quadrant 1 (P1) 83.1 g 21.711909 cm2 x 24.5 cm

Quadrant 2 (P2) 123.6 g 21.711909 cm2 x 35.5 cm

Quadrant 3 (P3) 82.2 g 21.711909 cm2 x 23.5 cm

Quadrant 4 (P4) 106.9 g 21.711909 cm2 x 33.0 cm

See below for answers.

1. Transect A (vertical line) and Transect B (horizontal line) cross in the middle and snow samples are collected from each quadrant.

2. Transect lines A and B cross in the middle. Stakes are marked at every 5 meters on each transect.
P1 = .1562201 g/cm3
P2 = .1603585 g/cm3
P3 = .1611038g/cm3
P4 = .1492614 g/cm3

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