Our morning explosure today was about sled dog diets, and how they need high fat, low carb diets to race well. Afterwards, we learned about identifying igneous rocks, the rock cycle, types of folds and faults and other deformations, and looked at some sedimentary rocks.
After this, we drove down to a rock outcrop on the side of the highway and practiced taking field notes in our Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks. The outcrop we looked at was made out of schist, a fairly metamorphosed shale (otherwise known as a medium grade metamorphic rock).
After lunch, we looked at a sandstone outcrop, then went to the AVO and AEIC building. First stop was AEIC, or Alaska Earthquake Information Center. We learned about triangulation of earthquakes, and got to see a simple seismograph and how it works, which I never knew. When a magnet passes over a copper wire coil, it generates electricity. So if you suspend a magnet above a copper coil, a earthquake will causes the coil to move, while the magnet, suspended in a moveable way, with stay still. Thus a electric current in generated. We also got to see the bank of screens connected to the Alaska seismograph network and a outdated paper roll seismograph output.
After AEIC, we went to AVO (the Alaska Volcano Observatory). First we got a demonstration of the FLIR (Forward-Looking Infrared Radiometer) which is used to measure and capture images with a thermal readout. I saw one of these last year.Volcanologists use them to measure the temperature of volcanoes and lava. I don’t have any pictures from it this year, and the ones from last year are on a external hard drive, so I don’t have pictures to demonstrate, but if you Google FLIR, you will see what I mean.
We also learned about why the Observatory is important and watched videos of planes getting caught in ash clouds and having their engines quite. We got to look at all of the cool tools AVO has online, most of which I learned about last year. We also all got AVO t-shirts, with a picture of Mt. Redoubt erupting on the front.
Tonight I watched a lecture by Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner’s Handbook give a lecture of historical poisonings and some of the science behind different poisons. We also learned that Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me was going to be in Fairbanks later this month. Unfortunately, I will already be gone. Afterwards we got to check out the Saturday Thing, a ASRA activity where you get to play with electronics and weld stuff together.