EPSCoR - Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments
Engaging Alaska Communities and Students in Cryospheric Research
This community-based Permafrost/Active Layer Monitoring (PALM) Program is greatly successful from both educational and scientific viewpoints. The Permafrost/Active Layer Monitoring Program is an ongoing project that builds on work begun in 2005 to establish long-term permafrost and active layer monitoring sites adjacent to schools in Alaska and in the circumpolar permafrost region. Monitoring stations are located all over Alaska, including the Aleutians, the Bering Sea Islands, and southeast Alaska. Two hundred schools in Alaska are involved in the project, and a monitoring site has been included at Denali National Park and Kenai Fjord National Park. The monitoring sites collect temperature measurement data on permafrost and the length and depth of the active layer (the layer above the permafrost that thaws during summer and freezes again during winter). This information is important because changes in permafrost conditions affect local ecosystems and hydrological regimes and can influence the severity of natural disasters. In addition to extending our knowledge of the environment of the cryosphere, the program involves school-age students in hopes of inspiring a new generation of scientists to continue this study.
Data and Resources
Data Types: Report