Established in the 1990s, the Alaska Ecological Transect (ALECTRA) is composed of a series of ground stations extending from the Franklin Bluff on Alaska’s North Slope to the Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage. At each station, sets of thermistors are deployed to monitor vegetation tissue temperature, air temperature, and soil profile temperatures. Also sensors are deployed for monitoring sap flow in individual trees. The stations are automated, with data loggers recording this data approximately every two hours. Dates marking the spring thaw and fall freeze transitions in soil and vegetation tissues from sites in Coldfoot, Dietrich Valley, and Bonanza Creek were identified and analyzed to inform the scheduling of the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) Mission’s spring and fall flights. Set to start in March 2012, the De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft will fly over the above mentioned sites, among others, using remote sensing technology to monitor soil moisture, freeze/thaw state, and surface temperatures as well as total atmospheric columns of carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide.


Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


Kyle McDonald and Erika Podest

Lab site

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation.



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