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Alaska Hydrographic Surveys

Elaine Paulishak, ARMADA Master Teacher
John Smolley, ARMADA Mentee

Print Resources
  • Kovacs, D. 2000. Dive to the Deep Ocean. Austin, TX: Turnstone Publishing. 47 p.
    Deborah Kovacs has written numerous books about sea exploration. This particular book focuses on the vehicles used for undersea expeditions such as JASON and ALVIN. This particular chapter talks about the use of SONAR equipment being implemented by JASON in the early 1990's in locating the wreck of the USS Scourge as it rested on the floor of Lake Ontario. This is a good example of technology and its use in practical applications.
Web Resources
  • Alaska regions map
    Great map of Alaska showing the different regions. This is useful in a science or social studies class. It is motivating for the students to see where the research is taking place.
  • Discovery of Sound in the Sea
    This is a fantastic site for students as well as teachers. It shows various aspects of sound exploration in the sea. It's a great interactive site. In the teacher resources and web links, student activities are available.
  • Free Encyclopedia online:
    There is a wealth of information on the Aleutian Islands, such as, history, geography, climate, economy, etc. entered here. The free encyclopedia is well written and gives very thorough explanations. It is a valuable tool for students and can be easily accessed by teachers for use in classrooms.
  • Kodiak Island, Alaska
    This site offers a historical look at the area, especially of the Alutiiq natives. Other information such as earthquake and volcanic activity and tidal waves are also presented. It is a good website to get a flavor of the area and its people.
  • Learning Ocean Science Through Ocean Exploration
    NOAA has produced a curriculum activity for grades 6-12 for various ocean research topics. There is also a hard copy of the curriculum guide. What I like about this resource is that it has a lot of ready to use activities for the classroom.
    The FAIRWEATHER is one of a fleet of NOAA ships commissioned to carry on hydrographic surveys. My research expedition was on the FAIRWEATHER as we used SONAR equipment to survey the ocean bottom near the Aleutian Island chain. The research results are then used to update nautical charts which are vital to all sea going vessels. Various ship data can be found at this site.
  • SONAR information
    Explains what SONAR is and how it works. I like this site because the explanations could be used in the classroom. Explanation and diagrams are excellent.
  • Sounding Out the Ocean's Secrets
    Topics include: Good Vibrations, Navigation by Sound, A Sound-Free Shadow Zone, Propagation of Sound in the Ocean, A Sound Pipeline, Listening to the Ocean, and Probing the Ocean Interior with Sound. This article was adapted, with the assistance of Drs. David Bradley, Kenneth Brink, Christopher Clark, Christopher Fox, Peter Mikhalevsky, Walter Munk, Jeffrey Nystuen, and Gary Weir, from an article written by Victoria A. Kaharl for the National Academy of Sciences' Beyond Discovery®: The Path from Research to Human Benefit.Funding for this article was provided by the U.S. Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research, and the Annual Fund of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska
    This site gives details about this area of Alaska where there is a world famous port. It is well known due to the large number of fishing vessels that dock there after bringing in their catches from the dangerous Bering Sea. It was my final destination on my survey expedition.
  • Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia
    Very thorough explanations of SONAR. This makes an excellent resource with a lot of details. Outline of contents is included. Includes scientific information as well as general information.