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From the Field

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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Cultural Landscapes of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Gunaaxoo-Alséix (Dry Bay-lower Alsek River)

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Sam Beebe/Ecotrust, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Finding a path in environmental science

My name is Connor Owens, and I’m an undergraduate student currently pursuing a B.S. in environmental science at UAS. This fall, I have been working as a science communications intern at the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center. Throughout this internship so far, I have worked both remotely and in the field to help collect and summarize data and information, largely relating to Juneau's yearly glacial lake outburst floods from Suicide Basin.

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ACRC researchers adapt to fieldwork under new conditions

When COVID-19 brought normal operations at the Juneau Forestry Sciences Lab and the University of Alaska Southeast to a halt this spring, ACRC researchers were challenged to find safe, responsible ways to continue their work. The ability to carry out fieldwork to maintain long-standing datasets was a priority for many ongoing research projects. ACRC has contributed to datasets of stream water chemistry in the Juneau area since 2012, with monthly water samples and regular flow measurements collected through the summer.

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two scientists in masks assemble a piece of equipment

Wrapping up the 2019 Field Season

With the start of December, we can now say that the majority of our field activities have wrapped up for the year. Our regular water sampling has concluded for the year and stream sensors have been retrieved. We even had the company of some curious river otters as we pulled our sensor at Fish Creek. We had a great field and lab crew this summer. Over the course of the summer, the whole ACRC team participated in collected data (even Leah Gregg, our Admin specialist, joined in the fieldwork). A special thanks to our undergraduate student workers Liam Bogardus, Skye Hart, Connor Johnson, and Sol Martinez for their hard work collecting samples, taking measurements, and processing samples in the lab.  This winter, I will continue to process and analyze samples. Stay tuned as we pull together data on water quality, stream chemistry, and streamflow from eight sites along the Juneau road system.

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Emily downloads logger data