Academic Prerequisites

There are no specific academic prerequisites to enroll in JIRP. The curriculum assumes no prior knowledge and begins with introductory lectures covering a wide range of Earth science topics related to glaciology, climate science, geochemistry, geomatics, ecology, local petrology and tectonic history. The curriculum is aimed at an undergraduate student body. We accept a few advanced high school students who demonstrate they are ready to progress academically. We also welcome early-stage graduate students who wish to build up their background in glacier science and related fields. 


Athletic Prerequisites 

During Safety Training we teach all the technical backpacking, skiing, and mountaineering skills student need to complete the traverse. No specific prior experience is required. The physical and athletic demands of the Icefield traverse, however, are serious. We travel exclusively by foot and by ski and we regularly carry backpacks up to 40% of body weight. A moderate level of physical fitness is required before beginning the program. Challenging hikes begin the second day of the program, so participants must arrive ready to hike 8-10 miles/12-16 km with 4500 ft./1500 m of elevation gain and pack weighing 35% of their body weight. 

You may direct any questions to or 907-500-8913.



Crossing the Juneau Icefield requires specialized outdoor equipment including skis, ice axes, crampons, backpacks and appropriate outdoor clothing. JIRP requires that students, staff, and faculty all come prepared with specific gear appropriate for the conditions they will encounter on the icefield. All personal gear is the financial responsibility of the student, although limited gear rentals are available.

The 2019 Equipment List outlines, in great detail, what will be acceptable for use on the Icefield. 



All students will ski across the Juneau Icefield into Canada and will re-enter the United States for their flight home from Juneau. Therefore, all participants must have a valid passport with an expiration date no earlier than December 31 of the year of their participation. If you do not yet have a passport, or if your current passport expires before December 31, you must get a new passport or renew your current passport. Students must have their valid passport with them upon arrival in Juneau at the start of the program.




Copyright 2014 Foundation for Glacier and Environmental Research (FGER), unless otherwise noted.