July 15, 2012 Weather Puts Science on Hold!
The weather has not been very cooperative today. The wind and the rain have kept everything wet and made conditions impossible for the point framing that needs to be done. We went out and rotated the chambers on the warming plots and then we measured the depth of the water in the wells. We have done about all we can do until the wind begins to cooperate! I thought that I would take this opportunity to show some more photos from the Climate Change class in Denali and talk a bit about the park and the history.
Denali National Park and Preserve was established in 1917 through the efforts of Charles Sheldon. While visiting this area, he took an interest in the Dall Sheep that were here and wanted to find a way to preserve and protect their population and their habitat. However the first people to live and thrive in this area were the natives some 11,000 years ago when the climate was warmer and the mammoths were roaming the land. The original park did not even include the highest mountain in North America. In 1980 the park was expanded to its current size of over 6 million acres.
The oldest rocks in the park date back between 400 million and 1 Billion years and originated from ocean sediments. These rocks have been changed through processes such as folding and faulting, so that now there are great deposits of schist, quartzite, phyllite, slate, marble, and limestone. There are even fossils being found in the sedimentary rocks that are exposed in some canyons.
The animals and plants have also changed over time. We have seen some of the larger species, but there are many smaller plants and animals that live in the park.
Denali NP receives about 400,000 visitors yearly and is opened all year round. Although parts of the road are closed during the winter months, you can ride your bike anytime as far on the road as you like.