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From the Field

Meet USFS Postdoc Marie Gutgesell

Join us in welcoming Marie Gutgesell! Marie joins the ACRC network as a postdoctoral fellow at the Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory. Learn more about her work and background in this short Q&A.

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Culture and STEAM: A summer with ACRC through the Sealaska Heritage Institute

My name is Olivia Mills, and I am a Thunder Mountain High School senior interested in pursuing a career in biological sciences. I got the opportunity to work at the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center through a STEAM internship program geared towards Alaska native youth by the Sealaska Heritage Institute. The main idea or theme of the internship program was to show the students and help them better understand how Alaska native culture is woven into STEAM fields. 

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From glacier to outflow: In the field as an ACRC intern

My name is Elizabeth Bruch and I am going into my third year at UAS. I am pursuing a double major B.S. in Environmental Science and Mathematics. I got involved with ACRC through a classmate and my academic advisor, who both helped me to get this internship. I was first interested in working for ACRC because of their biogeochemistry-focused work. I took biogeochemistry last semester and I really enjoyed learning about how most of the processes on Earth work together and how everything cycles. 

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Searching for Clams in Glacier Bay

Research Assistant Professor John Harley and undergraduate intern Kellie Blair traveled to Glacier Bay National Park to gain some insight into harmful algal blooms in the region. The pair collected butter clams to test for paralytic shellfish toxins that accumulate in shellfish during algal bloom events. These clams are an important diet item for humans and sea otters, and there is relatively little known about the presence of these toxins in the Bay. Harley is working on setting up a long-term monitoring program with the park to see when and where the blooms are occurring and if the bloom dynamics are shifting with the changing glacial landscape.

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Welcome to ACRC's Summer 2023 Interns!

This summer, ACRC welcomes two new interns to assist with research in the field and lab. Get to know Cameron and Elizabeth!

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ACRC at the Alaska EPSCoR All Hands

ACRC intern Randy Brannan presented his work on sediment concentrations in glacial runoff streams at the Alaska EPSCoR All Hands Meeting in Girdwood this month.

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Photo Essay: Tracking Salmon at Montana Creek

Photos and captions by ACRC volunteer Brennen McCulloch. Brennen accompanied graduate students Kevin Fitzgerald and Lindsey Call conducting fieldwork at Juneau's Montana Creek in October 2022, to collect juvenile salmon as part of an effort to understand how nutrients move from streams out to the ocean and how salmon growth fares in changing stream conditions.

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Research across the Pacific: ACRC in Hawai`i

This month, ACRC researchers traveled to Hilo, Hawai`i, to participate in a workshop for thePacific Islands-Alaska (PI-AK) collaboration, a unique joint effort by the Alaska and Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) exploring the effects of climate change on two distinct, but comparable, watershed ecosystems. Following a visit from PI-CASC researchers to Juneau in July 2022, Alaska scientists made their way south to observe stream research in Hawai`ian watersheds and compare methodologies for the cross-regional project.

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Ecology up close as an ACRC intern

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius. My spring/summer internship with the Alaska Coastal Rainforest has been the very embodiment of that quote. Who would have thought that one brief exchange with my Earth and Environment lab professor, Jason Fellman, would lead to this wonderful opportunity. During the fall semester of 2021, I was standing in Montana Creek measuring water velocity with a classmate. Jason is nearby and I comment, “Man, this is the kind of stuff I’m here for, being out in the field.” “Really? You enjoy this?”, he asks, seemingly surprised to hear that about what seems like, and what many may consider, a mundane task. “Oh, for sure! I’d love to find a career being outside in the field, collecting data and analyzing samples.” Four months later, just before the start of the spring semester, I receive an email from Jason and professor of environmental science Eran Hood with an invitation: an internship assisting Emily Whitney, a research professional at ACRC, with laboratory tasks, downloading data from sensors installed in several streams around Juneau and preparing for the summer sampling season.

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Streamflow sampling with ACRC

My name is Naomi Boyles-Muehleck, and I am currently pursuing a B.S. in Biology from the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. This summer, I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant at the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center. Throughout the summer I participated in a project sampling drift from three streams along the Juneau road system. These three streams, Cowee Creek, Herbert River, and Peterson Creek, represent a gradient of glacial influence. The goal of the project was to gain insight into carbon fluxes and nutrient transport in temperate rainforest and glacially fed stream systems.

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