"Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago." Warren Buffett


The PolarTREC Orientation prepares teachers for their expeditions both in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions.

Educators from across the country make The University of Alaska their home for the next week. As a PolarTREC educator, you will learn about leading climate change science in the polar regions and how to prepare for life in remote locations.

While education is the primary focus for this week, we make time for fun. A Geothermal Tour of the Chena Hot Springs provided a glimpse into the effectiveness of utilizing hot spring, mineral rich water for hydroponic gardening.

Growing plants and tomatoes in this part of the country, especially in the winter months is "incredibly challenging" shares our tour guide. A look at the tomatoes marked $5/lb in the grocery store supports that claim, but here at Chena, tomatoes and lettuce are abundant all year.

Chena also utilizes the springs for heating and power. While only 25% of Chena's power is currently generated through geothermal energy, the goal is 100%.


The animals sure love the hot springs, too!

Does your community have hot springs? In what ways could your community use them to better the environment?


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David Walker

Re: Does your community have hot springs? In what ways could your community use them to better the environment?Interesting question! Folks are always interested in swimming in hot springs, because they're...hot springs. But I think they serve as a great hook to draw people into learning more about the geosciences and other subjects that are often overlooked.