Teachers > Nature > Glaciers Of Kenai Fjords
Glaciers Of Kenai Fjords
The overwhelming significance of Kenai
Fjords National Park is as a living laboratory of change. Plants and wildlife
subsist here amidst dynamic interactions of water, ice and a glacier-carved
landscape relentlessly pulled down by Earth's crustal movements. Scientific
teams and individuals find Exit Glacier an excellent "research laboratory" into
the mysteries of glaciers.
The park's Exit Glacier is an active,
retreating remnant of a larger glacier once extending to Resurrection Bay. Here
are found newly exposed, scoured, and polished bedrock and a regime of plant
succession - from the earliest pioneer plants to a mature forest of Sitka
spruce and western hemlock. It provides the perfect setting to
A dynamic river of ice, Exit Glacier's
source is the park's dominant feature - the 250-square-mile Harding Icefield.
Harding Icefield is also the source of 30 named glaciers and is one of only
four remaining icefields in the United States. The glacier moves forward about
two feet per day, carrying all sizes of rock material plucked from the
underlying rock and side walls, as well as material falling from the valley
sides and coming to rest on the glacier's surface.
This unit provides theoretical and historic
information and real data to support student exploration into the phenomena of
glaciers. The glaciers and icefields of Kenai Fjords National Park provide an
excellent laboratory to test theories and ideas, and their study at Kenai
Fjords National Park involves a variety of sciences and their interactions.
Students will learn about the climatic influences on glacier retreat and
advance, the effect of glaciation on the geography and ecology of a region, and
the varied methods scientists use to study glaciers.
Lessons throughout address and integrate
national standards in Science, Geography and Language Arts.
This unit is designed for grades 6-12.
Activities and handouts usually are written to upper middle and lower high
school levels with Extensions to adjust for the younger and older students.
The glaciers and icefields of Kenai Fjords
National Park provide an excellent laboratory to test theories and ideas about
the phenomenon of glaciers, including the effect of glaciation on the geography
and ecology of a region.
are a scientist studying the geological, biological, chemical and physical
characteristics of Exit Glacier and its surroundings because of concern with
the possibility of rapid global warming and because Park resource managers need
data to manage the area effectively for future visitors.
|Final Activity Assessment
Science, English/Language Arts, Geography, Mathematics, Social