Alaska Climate Variation

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 was compared with records across the Arctic and sub-Arctic to better understand climate variation.

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.

Expedition Map


After returning home from my expedition to start my school year I have been greatly inspired by the team I have come to know as my research family:Caleb, Darrell, Heidi, Chris, and Eric. These devoted people and others who we interacted with along the way are much more than typical working colleagues . They live and work together 24-7 with common, demanding goals. They have data to collect on a tight time-frame in uncontrollable weather and other demanding environmental conditions. Problem-solving is a way of life for the team and critical thinking and training in a variety of science and...
Caleb, Eric, and I pose for a team picture at 6 am on the way to the airport. No official weather report today, although it rained on the way to the airport and we passed a building that listed the temperature as 67 F. Caleb, Eric, Robin, and I left for the airport at 6:30 am. We said our goodbyes for now and they headed down the road while Robin and I headed into the Anchorage airport. Our flight was on time. I purchased a few books about Alaska for my collection and Robin and I said goodbye to Alaska. We were going home. Al met Robin and me at the Fresno airport at 5:30 pm and...
Peggy's Weather Report from Mica Lake: Time: 11:15 am Temperature: 19.7 C 67.4 F Humidity: 70.7% Wind: none Clouds: Nimbostratus, raining Cloud Cover: 100% overcast Light level: 1480 X 10 Lux Woke up and felt great. I slept well and didn't have the sore throat and had my energy back. We had our last breakfast in the kitchen tent and discussed our plan for the day. The weather was sunny, a great day. Caleb called via sat phone to be sure Trail Ridge Air was coming to pick us up. They were coming at 3 pm. So we...
Peggy's Weather Report from Mica Lake Time: 10:16 am Temperature: 23.1 C 73.7 F Humidity: 55% Wind: none Clouds: none Cloud Cover: none Light level: off scale Peggy's Weather Report from Mica Lake: Time: 3:30 pm Temperature: 26.7 C 80 F Humidity: 50% Wind: 5 km/hr from West...
Peggy's Weather Report from Mica Lake: *Time: 4:45 pm Temperature: 26.7 C 80.0 F Humidity: 45.0% Wind: area blocked from wind Clouds: Altostratus Cloud Cover: 100% overcast Light level: off scale * GPS: Mica Lake: Latitude: 60.68268 N Longitude: 148.14483 W Elevation: 95 m Water conditions of Mica Lake: pH: 6.19 Temperature: 15.9 C Conductivity: 3...

Expedition Resources

Project Information

27 July 2007 to 16 August 2007
Location: Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Project Funded Title: Long-term Climate Variation in Southcentral Alaska

Meet the Team

Peggy Foletta's picture
Kingsburg High School
Kingsburg, CA
United States

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.

Darrell Kauffman's picture
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
United States

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.

Caleb Schiff's picture
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
United States

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.