University of Dayton Chautauqua Course


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Chautauqua Course DAY-21


Earthquakes and Tsunamis: Alaska 9.2


KRISTINE J. CROSSEN, Department of Geological Sciences

University of Alaska Anchorage


June 24-26, 2015 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 $395 (in addition to the $100 application fee), which covers 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-8 on Glaciers just before this one.


This course is a three-day classroom and field course on earthquakes and tsunamis in south central Alaska.  It includes an introduction to Alaskan plate tectonics and earthquakes, and focuses on the 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake.  The 2002 Alaska earthquakes of magnitudes 6.7 and 7.9 will be discussed as possible.


The first day will investigate earthquake destruction in Anchorage, including field stops at the infamous “sensitive clays” that failed during the earthquake, and to the landslides that resulted from this failure.  The type and cause of motion, as well as subsequent engineering solutions will be discussed.  The second day will include a field excursion to the sites of maximum subsidence and the “ghost forests” resulting from salt water incursion into the coastal forests, and will explore a tidal marsh exposure that gives evidence of additional earlier earthquakes. The third day focuses on tsunamis and includes a visit to the Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer which was built after the 1964 Alaskan Earthquake to alert the entire Pacific basin of earthquakes and potential tsunamis. 


Participants should be prepared for day long outings in inclement weather, including day packs, warm clothes, hiking boots, and rain gear.  Knee high rubber boots or Bean boots are recommended for the visit to the tidal marsh. The exact schedule is tide dependent. 

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 on June 23, the day before the Glaciers 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 2015

Application fee: $100

Course fee: $395 [Due in March 2015]

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 and earthquakes.  During her more than 20 years residence in Alaska she has investigated numerous earthquake locales in southern Alaska, and includes them in three field courses she teaches at the University of Alaska.




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University of Dayton Chautauqua Course