University of Dayton Chautauqua Course


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Chautauqua Course DAY-8


Glaciers in Alaska


KRISTINE J. CROSSEN, Department of Geological Sciences

University of Alaska Anchorage


June 22-24, 2014 in and near Anchorage, AK                                                         Apply: DAY


Note:   This course is cosponsored by and offered at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Applications should be sent to the DAY Field Center.  This course has a course fee of $495 (in addition to the $100 application fee), which covers boat and van travel on field trips, admission to certain sites, and other course‑related expenses.  Optional reduced rate lodging will be available to early applicants. Also see course DAY-12 on Ecology just before this one, and DAY-21 on Earthquakes and Tsunamis just after.


This course is a three‑day field study of glaciers in south central Alaska. It includes an introduction to glacial processes and landforms, and a viewing of different types of glaciers including small cirque glaciers, valley glaciers, and glaciers calving into lakes and tidewater.  Locations to be visited include Portage Lake, the Matanuska Glacier, and Prince William Sound.


The beginning of the first day will be spent in classroom discussion of glacial processes.  The remaining portion of the day will involve a trip along the scenic Turnagain Arm fjord to Portage Lake and a boat tour to the terminus of the iceberg‑calving Portage Glacier.  It will include an option for light hiking on good trails. The second day will be a trip to the Matanuska Glacier, with hiking along the terminus of the glacier and onto the ice itself to view ice structures and modern glacial processes.  For walking on glaciers, warm clothes, daypacks, and hiking boots are required.  Hiking sticks are recommended for those who prefer more secure footing.  The third day includes a boat trip out of Whittier to view fjords and tidewater glaciers in Prince William Sound and College Fjord.  This trip includes a combined two hours each way by van.  Some modification to this schedule may be made at the time of the course.


Those interested in an optional fourth day can take a commercial trip from Anchorage to Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park with other members of the course the day before the course begins.  Details of this trip will be discussed with participants prior to the course.


For college teachers of:  any discipline.  Prerequisites:  none, beyond an interest in the natural sciences.



Costs for 2014

Application fee: $100

Course fee: $495 [Due in March 2014]

Optional campus lodging: $45 per person per night in a single



Dr. Crossen is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  She has offered a number of short courses on glaciers.  Her current research involves documenting Little Ice Age glacial chronologies from southern Alaska glaciers to understand recent climate change.




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University of Dayton Chautauqua Course