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Ken TapeKen Tape studies how climate change is altering tundra vegetation in the Arctic. For his research in summer 2008, Ken and his colleagues will float down two rivers in northern Alaska to locations where photographs were taken in the past and were recently reshot. They'll use paired old and new photos to guide their scientific sampling. What they learn from the sampling will provide a better understanding of how vegetation is changing in the Arctic. Ken is a graduate student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and is an avid photographer.

Project Page: Alaska's Arctic Landscape Then and Now

All Posts By Ken Tape

“Pack it up, Pack it in…”

COLDFOOT, ALASKA-- After a weaving flight through the mountains beneath the cloud ceiling, we are back at Coldfoot, beer-in-hand and sun-in-face. Should it end any other way? Well, in fact, it shall... {Read More »}

The Home Stretch

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA– The science has reached the home stretch now, as has the entire summer’s field effort. We got a break in the cloudy weather last night, and sat around a fire labeling sample bags and weighing/organizing samples... {Read More »}

“Here Comes the Rain Again”

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA-- We awoke this morning to rain, wind, and 35? F temperatures. Immediately the remaining sampling lost most of its appeal, but we inhaled our coffee and oatmeal and staggered forth through the wet brush and tussock tundra... {Read More »}

Massive Permafrost Exposure

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA– Days drift by on the river. The wind of the previous entry indeed subsided that evening, and we paddled from 11 PM to 5 AM, stopping for an hour to gape in awe at a massive exposure of permafrost (frozen ground) towering above the river... {Read More »}

“Out in the Cold Rain and Snow”

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA– Finally, there is time to journal, as we are still relaxing in the “Salix Lounge” (Latin genus for willow). We’ve spent 36 hours watching the river flow backward – upriver. It has granted us time to catch up on some of the scientific literature, so we’ve been discussing the changes underway in North Slope river floodplains... {Read More »}

Against the Wind…We Were Paddlin’ Against the Wind

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA-- Aha! Windstorm #2, and we have ducked into some willows after the wind halted our downriver progress. This morning was crisp and clear, but the wind produced swells and breaking waves moving upriver... {Read More »}

Alpine Tundra Yielding to Shrubs

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA-- Another day of fieldwork and floating later, we are camped on a big bend in the Colville, across from cliffs and peregrine falcons. Yesterday saw more science, including clear evidence of shrubs colonizing alpine tundra... {Read More »}

Science Underway in the Tundra

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA-- The four-person crew for this second float of the summer is led by Greta Myerchin and myself, both veterans of the first trip (Nimiuktuk/Noatak) and familiar with the science and wilderness protocols... {Read More »}

Into the Wilderness, Part Deux

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA-- Welcome back and thanks for tuning in for the second science adventure of the summer. Scientifically, the premise and protocol on this trip is similar to the first trip, but this one is considerably longer – 18 days instead of 12 – and further north... {Read More »}

Bringing It All Back Home

NOATAK VILLAGE, BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA-- Our wildlife list so far includes moose, grizzly bear, musk oxen, dall sheep, rough-legged hawk, peregrine falcon, and a whole bunch of smaller birds and rodents... {Read More »}