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Journals 2009/2010

Jennifer Duncan
Madeira Beach Fundamental School, Madeira Beach, Florida

"Long-term Observations in the Northern Gulf of Alaska:
Chemical Analysis Response to Climate Variability"

R/V Tiglax
September 10 - 19, 2009
Journal Index:
September 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16
                 17 - 18 - 19

September 11, 2009
Coastal Train and Salmon Day

I caught the earliest train aboard the Alaska Railroad, America's only full-service Railroad, built in 1915, Choo Choo. The line runs Seward to Anchorage, the state's largest city. It covers over 500 miles and nearly 70 percent of Alaska's population lives along the railroad corridor. The panoramic view was spectacular; it takes your breath away. The skies were crystal clear, which is unusual for this time of year. We were surrounded by gigantic mountains, lakes, rivers, and a few glaciers. I have never personally seen a real glacier before and I have to say, I had no idea how magnificent they really are. About half way from Anchorage to Seward we reached the Spencer Glacier. I couldn't believe my very own eyes, I had to take a second look, it was gargantuan. This magnificent wall of ice was glistening a crystal turquoise color while reflecting the sunlight. It was beautiful.

Anchorage to Seward train trip
The tidal range in Alaska is some of the largest in the world.

This was my view in Seward from Rays restaurant.
Alaska Salmon Species

We reached the town of Seward before noon and it was time to eat. The cozy and quant little old town of Seward was set near the fjord. A fjord is an underwater crevice formed from the glacier pushing down on the continental crust. The town was settled near the inlet before the massive, 8.1 ricketier scale, Earthquake of 1964 rumbled the grounds. The tsunami it produced completely demolished old Seward, hence "new" Seward is set back from the inlet a bit. Regardless, this did not change the amazing dish I had at Rays; The Alaskan king crab cheese melt over focottia bread was tasty. The view of the research vessels, sailboat, and cruise ships in the window made me wonder where the R/V Tiglax was. After lunch I took a long walk along the Iditarod Trail which led me to see the salmon fish in the river.

These strong individuals have swum so far and up shore, against strong currents, and brutal rocks to keep their species existence, they were spawning. The different species of Salmon: King, Red, Pink, Humpy, and Silver here in Alaska all spawn at different times throughout the summer. These were most likely the Silver Salmon.

Questions to answer for credit:
1. What year was the Alaskan railroad built?
2. How are earthquakes measured (use your Earth Science book)? What scale was the Alaskan 1964 earthquake measured at?
3. List the different types of Salmon.
4. True or False, Salmon spawn in their same environment they were born in?