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A Journey of Discovery The Evolution of a Landscape & Paradigm Shift

February 17, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Jim Baichtal(FS) is going to speak at the school to the students and community.

The Alexander Archipelago, Southeastern Alaska. For years it was

thought that glaciers covered much of the coastline of British

Columbia and Southeastern Alaska to the edge of the continental

margin extending as a large uniform front. Nothing lived along the

coast until the ice retreated, then plants and animals soon followed.

Exploration of the caves in Southeast Alaska yielded bones of

mammals, birds, and fish dating to beyond the limits of radiocarbon

methods. Animals have been on the landscape for over 50,000 years,

refuting previous models of glaciation.

Our new model for glaciation in involves the dynamic processes

associated with the effects of glacial ice on the land and sea levels.

As the glaciers advanced during the last ice age, the weight of the ice

depressed the earth’s surface beneath it. As the glaciers grew the

global sea levels fell. As the glaciers melted, sea level rose, and the

lands depressed by the weight of the ice rapidly rebounded.

The first plants and animals in Southeast Alaska were living on this

rapidly changing landscape, first on the now flooded coastal plane,

then on shorelines now well beyond the reach of the sea. Dr. Jim

Baichtal, Forest Geologist with the Tongass National Forest, will

explain how shell deposits now stranded hundreds of meters above

sea level helped change the “Wall of Ice” paradigm and define the

complexity of Alaska’s glacial history.


February 17, 2016
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Naukati Bay School
100 Heather Street , Naukati Bay, AK 99950 United States