Preparing for JIRP and the 2013 Expedition Blog

By Sarah Bouckoms

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Sarah Bouckoms is a physics and physical science faculty member at the Hebrew High School of New England in West Hartford, CT.  Sarah is a JIRP 2013 expedition member and will be instrumental in organizing the JIRP 2013 Expedition BlogThank you, Sarah!]

Yeah! School is out! But for me my ‘summer vacation’ will last about 36 hours then it’s back to the classroom. Except that my classroom will consist of a massive piece of ice.  Not everyone’s idea of a day at the beach but for the students of the Juneau Icefield Research Program it sounds awesome.

Students at the Hebrew High School of New England help Sarah (second from right) model some of  the gear that she'll use to traverse the Juneau Icefield.  "They can't wait to see how I use an ice axe." 

I am getting ready to provide logistical and research support for the Juneau Icefield Research Program, aka JIRP. It’s my first year on this eight-week expedition, but JIRP has been bringing students onto the icefield to conduct research since the 1940s! We will be skiing from one hut to the next traversing 125 miles of ice all the way into Canada from Alaska. On our way we will conduct many science experiments using instruments such as ground penetrating radar, and studying topics such as glacier mass balance and ice flow amongst many others in the fields of  environmental and earth systems science.


We wish everyone could come along with us, but you can live vicariously through the JIRP 2013 Expedition Blog! We will do our best to keep in touch and send you lots of pretty pictures, and even video via pen drive sent by helicopter (sorry to all you Carrier Pigeon fans).


Please follow the expedition on our blog, and on Facebook and Twitter where we’ll be posting links to the latest posts, images, and tweets from the ice.  Also, please use the blog comments or social media to ask us questions in the field. I’m sure we will love to have the contact from the outside world.  We are all super excited and busily gearing up for a fabulous summer on ice. But before we can go, there is still lots of prep work to be done including checking off all the boxes on a 12 page gear list! Oh goodie, I do love gear.

Follow the JIRP 2013 Expedition:

JIRP 2013 Expedition Blog - All blog posts will be archived here.  Please use the blog comments for questions for the JIRPers of 2013.

JIRP on Facebook - Join the JIRP community on Facebook!  We'll post links to new posts, images, and videos here.  Another spot where we encourage you to submit your questions for the expedition members.

JIRP on Twitter - We'll also notify you of new posts via Twitter - also, watch for "tweets from the ice"!

JIRP on YouTube - All videos will be posted on the JIRP YouTube channel.

Sarah's students (future JIRPers?) pose with a selection of her gear.