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22 March, 2002

SnowSTAR 2002 expedition has begun! The team departed from Nome today.

The ground appeared as tiny diamonds that were illuminated by the bright rays of sunlight. The snow crystals sparkled and shined like they were performing a mythological dance for all to enjoy. In fact the sun was shining so brightly, one’s mind might believe that they were basking on a warm Atlantic beach instead of a cold peninsula in Alaska. The 80 mile snowmachine, 4 hour drive out to Council was amazingly beautiful. It was a warm day and the snow was in pristine condition for snowmachining. We were blessed with good weather and good snow but that did not protect me from damaging a snowmachine. The cost of one flipped snowmachine was one broken windshield. I must improve my snowmachining skills for the rest of the 800 mile trip. Speaking of miles, that brings us to our mathematics problem for the day…….

Our path is from Nome to Barrow which if we were traveling in a straight line would be 1200 km. However, we will make many zig-zags, curvy lines around trees, shrubs and stops to take our measurements. So if the numbers from previous long snowmachine trips works out that 250 km is 370 actual traveling kilometers. How many actual kilometers will we travel if the route is planned to be 1200 km? BONUS! Work the problem out in miles!

Also, gas is a major concern for the traverse. We have to calculate accurately our gas usage so that we do not run out of gas. Pulling our heavy loads with the snowmachines, we average 14 km/gallon. How many gallons of gasoline is needed for the 6 snowmachines for the 1200 kilometer trip?

More math and graphs. Science involves using Math the two go hand in hand and must be used daily. SnowSTAR will study the temperature of the air and of the snow. So, let’s start you on some temperature studies. From the beginning to the end of the traverse, the daily temperature will be posted. Students you need to record these temperatures and plot them in a line graph. This will enable you to study the changes in the temperature during the trip.

Today’s temperature: 25 F


Longitude 64.89397 North

Latitude 163.67283 West

Footprints are highlighted in the dazzling snow as the SnowSTAR 2002 expedition begins.

The departure from Nome! Pictured left to right is Me, Tom Douglas (who is visiting us for the Council stop), Glen Liston and Eric Pyne.

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