7 July, 1998

07/07/98 A Day in Fairbanks

*** Jet lag – tired this morning – breakfast at Sourdough Sam's Café with Renee Crain and Aaron Stupple – buying mosquito netting and rubber work boots at Big Ray's – lots of rain – more sightseeing around Fairbanks – A close look at the Alaska pipeline – the University of Alaska museum – Thai food ***

At 1:30 P.M. we met with Michael Lewis at the University of Alaska Museum. Michael is the collections Manager and an expert on Ipiutak artifacts. The museum is a terrific facility with exhibits on Alaska's culture, prehistory, history and natural environment. Michael led us through displays of Ipiutak artifacts and later took us down into the area where the bulk of the artifacts are stored. Michael answered our questions with ease and gave us anecdotal accounts relating to the collection and more specifically to Deering. He helped us understand what is known about the Ipiutak culture and made us familiar with what will be in store for us in Deering. We all agreed that the time spent here was some of the most productive and enjoyable to date. We topped off an enjoyable day with conversation and Thai food with Wendy Warnick Executive Director of ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the United States). With us at diner were Wendy's husband and nephew and Tim Buckley recently returned from duty on an icebreaker. Tomorrow we are off to Barrow and the Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation, Science Division, Research Facility for further training.


Fairbanks has been great. Living in upstate New York and never having traveled west of Georgia, crossing four time zones to a place where it doesn't get dark at midnight, and arriving at midnight when I have been programmed for my entire life that it should be four AM, have already made the trip worthwhile. We have been shuttled around Fairbanks by Renee Crain, the wonderful ARCUS worker who has done a tremendous job of coordinating events and making our stay fulfilling. As Tim Conner said, Michael Lewis's tour through the artifact storage in the basement of the University of Alaska's Museum was both enlightening and impressive. He obviously has a tremendous grasp of the different cultures residing or found to reside in Alaska and beyond. We are very grateful for his time. Tomorrow we are off to Barrow for more experiencing the "Teachers Experiencing the Arctic" while they experience the Northern most point of the US. It should be quite an experience. And by the way, if you're ever in Fairbanks, the Thai food is a MUST.

Ipiutak artifacts at University of Alaska-Fairbanks Museum.

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