Alaska Climate Variation
Meet the Team
Teacher - Peggy Foletta
Teacher Peggy Foletta is the science department chair at Kingsburg High School in Kingsburg, California. Ms. Foletta teaches AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Honors Biology and has been involved with many environmental and marine education programs. She is a Master Trainer for the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) program and has worked with teachers and researchers on projects around the world. Ms. Foletta’s interests include traveling, hiking, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Researcher - Darrell Kauffman
Darrell Kaufman is a professor of geology and environmental science at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Dr. Kauffman's research focuses on paleoclimatology and the geologic records of past environmental changes and he has conducted climate change research in Alaska for over 20 years. He and his students are currently focusing on records of past climate change and volcanic activity using sediment cores from lakes across southern Alaska.
Researcher - Caleb Schiff
Caleb Schiff is a Senior Research Specialist at Northern Arizona University where he manages the Sedimentary Records of Environmental Change Laboratory. This will be his fifth field season in Alaska, and his primary duties are to help coordinate the field season and laboratory work. Mr. Schiff has pursued climate change research in Alaska, Norway, and Indiana and has participated in three previous PolarTREC collaborations. His interest in outreach and mentoring stems from past research experiences and the advisors he has come to know along the way. When not working in the lab, Mr. Schiff enjoys hiking, baking pizza in his homemade wood-fired pizza oven, and basking in the wonderful Flagstaff weather.
Where are They?
Ms. Foletta joined the team to work on lakes around the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska. The region is known for its mountainous terrain, alpine lakes, and moist coastal climate.
What are they Doing?
The research team investigated climate variation over the past 10,000 years in southern Alaska based on information stored in lake sediments. The team monitored limnological conditions and analyzed recent lake sediment in order to reconstruct the paleoclimate of the region. The research attempts to understand modern warming in the context of long-term climate variability. The data will be compared with records across the Arctic and sub-Arctic to better understand climate variation.