Hi I’m currently in Fairbanks, AK working at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a part of their REU program. I’ve been here for about a month now, and things are going very well. I have been working a lot with the Apex field crew on carbon fluxes in peatlands as well as working with my advisor, Eugenie Euskirchen, on some sap flow data as my final project for this internship. As far as contributing to environmental justice, there are a lot of opportunities here to get involved in projects with native communities and understanding how they’re being impacted by climate change as well as working with the general population of Alaska.
The image to the left is one of the field sites
I work at. It’s a rich fen with no underlying permafrost, an integral feature to Alaskan ecosystem. Permafrost is essentially frozen ground. We also have a field site located a bog that is underlaid by thawing permafrost due to climate change, and a spruce forest underlaid by intact permafrost.
I’ve also done a bit of backpacking with the other students. We went to Denali national park.
We also went to Valdez, AK. It’s home to a lot of wildlife and brings in a lot of money from ecotourism, like wildlife viewing cruises, but it is also the site of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Valdez, like the rest of Alaska, also gets a lot of money from the oil industry in stark contrast with the picturesque wildlife and scenery we think of when we think of Alaska.