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3 July, 2000

Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

Hello from Alaska! What an incredibly beautiful state this is. It was very interesting to peek through the clouds on the flight up here and catch glimpses of the state. I could see that most of what was below me was very wild and remote country. Viewing glaciers from above was a special treat and a taste of whatís to come. Justin Pierce arrived as schedule to pick me up in Anchorage for the trip out to the Matanuska Glacier. Justin is one of several geology students who will be in camp and working on the glacier. A brief stop at a grocery store was in order to get myself somewhat setup with food supplies. It seems as if I had endless questions for Justin but he was very happy to cover everything I brought up. After about a two hour drive from Anchorage we finally neared the glacier. There were several stunning views from the road as we approached and I was immediately struck by its size and beauty.

After getting into camp I was introduced to Ben Cashman who is another geology student conducting research here and Josh Lawson who is a local high school student working in the camp as an assistant for the summer. After getting my gear set up and organized I was given a quick tour of the immediate camp area. Soon it was time for dinner and it was decided to head to a local eatery up the road a bit. On the return trip we drove high up a gravel road on the north side where there were some spectacular views of the glacier. Unfortunately I did not have my camera at the time but we will head back up there another day. Tomorrow Iíll go back to Anchorage again with Justin to pick up my partner Ben Burnette who is yet another of the geology students from Lehigh University. I'm very anxious to meet him and get started with our dye tracing project. Till then.....

Marvin Giesting

These are the "permanent" research tents at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL) near the Matanuska Glacier. The white tent to the left is used mainly for cooking/dining. There's also a table set up where all water samples are filtered to remove sediment. The center building houses computers and other technology and the one on the right is used for storage of equipment. All the researchers have personal tents scattered in the woods around this area.

This is my "neck of the woods" for the next few weeks. It has a wonderful view of the Chugach Mountains to the south. The rushing sound of the nearby glacial runoff makes it easy to fall asleep when it's daylight most of the time. Very comfortable living I think!

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