After making it down the Dalton and arriving in Fairbanks, the crew immediately disassembled our materials, stored them in an office at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and headed to take a shower, do some laundry and head to Fred Meyer for provisions.

    Dry Cabins

    So when I say that the crew took showers and did laundry, none of that happened where we were staying (shower: UAF, laundry: Laundromat). In Fairbanks (and other parts of interior Alaska), it’s pretty common for people to live in a “dry” cabin (particularly people who live here seasonally or in very rural areas). Think about when it gets cold in Chicago and there are concerns that the pipes might freeze. In Fairbanks, I’d say the average low temperature in winter is around -10F. And remember that it’s dark a lot. And we’ve got discontinuous permafrost soils to contend with also.

    Water stations like this are common throughout Fairbanks.
    Water’s pretty cheap.

    Time Off

    After the long working days at Toolik, it was nice to have a day or two to recuperate and relax before most of the team flew back to Flagstaff, AZ. We ate some crepes at the farmer’s market (I split a lingonberry and a reindeer stroganoff with a friend), viewed the migrating Sandhill Cranes at Creamer’s Field (a local nature preserve), had some ice cream at Hot Licks (I had blackberry, delicious) and just earned some well deserved R & R.

    Lingonberry crepe alongside Reindeer Stroganoff crepe. Yum.
    Migrating Sandhill Cranes and Canada Geese.
    A stand of birches at Creamer’s Field.

    Back to Work

    After half of our team flew back to work at NAU, a few of us remained to prep for the second part of the experiment in Healy, Alaska. If you’ve been following my journals, then you may recall that after injecting the 15N into the tundra plots, the plants and soil will be harvested and analyzed after 24 hours and after 1 year. Last year, the Deep Roots team labeled 10 plots at 8 Mile Lake in Healy, AK, so now it’s time to harvest. I’ll outline that process in my next journal, so stay tuned!

    It’s likely that I won’t get a chance to write about it until I get back to Chicago, as we will be spending a lot of time working outdoors in the bright Alaskan sunshine. In the meantime, here are a few pictures from the UAF campus.

    The Margaret Murie Building at UAF, home to the Department of Biology and Wildlife.

    The Museum of the North, located on the UAF campus.

    One of the research labs at UAF.

    Beautiful view
    Beautiful view from campus.

    Fairbanks, AK
    Weather Summary
    Sunny and bright


    India Holt

    Was The Data You Collected What You expected ? Do You Think Roots Have A Big Effect On Life As We Know It , If So Why ?

    ☼ Grace Nwankwo ☼

    In the first paragraph when you said that Fairbanks could drop to -10ºF, do you believe that other findings, microscopic beings, and more information will be found in permafrost during the winter when it is colder than now?

    Zimmie Phillips

    Hello Mrs.Kemp my I've read through your journals today and they were quite interesting. My questions are what was in your opinion the greatest challenge you had to overcome, and also what do you feel was your greatest accomplishment.

    Keilani King

    When finding out the results are you most likely always surprised with them?

    Shaniya Dawson

    Do you think that these results will be very crucial to future events and results?

    jaylynn kim

    did your results come out as you expected it too?

    Hassan Doostdar

    Do you find that non physical work like labeling roots is as tiring as physical work like hiking to find new samples? Also, what about your results was surprising or interesting?

    Lizeth Sepulveda

    What were some of the most difficult parts of the trip in your personal opinion?

    Nia Howard

    Are you excited about going back next time to add more to the study?