This year the solstice is going to occur at 05:30 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) on December 22, 2011. In Alaska, we will experience this at 8:30 P.M on December 21, 2011.
What happens during Winter Solstice?
The Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees, bringing the North (Arctic Circle) to tilt 23.5 degrees away from the sun. During this time, the Northern Hemisphere appears to lean away from the sun, introducing less sunlight, shorter days and colder temperatures.
The December Solstice always occurs between December 20 and 23, where all places north (Arctic Polar Circle) are in darkness and the south (Antarctic Polar Circle) receive 24 hours of light.
Check out the Sunrise and Sunset times for Juneau, or any state/town of your choice with this time and date tool. You have the option to search by month, which will update your knowledge of day length increases to come!
This year, George Mason University will work with the National Geographic Society and the National Zoo to host the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment (WYSE).
The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment welcomes 250 High School National Youth Delegates from all over the country. Students are gathered to participate in hands on activities and discussions led by environmental scientists, engineers, researchers and policy experts.This year’s summit will take place June 24- June 29, 2012.
National Youth Delegates will join the Mason Community in celebrating the environment. The summit hosts students and faculty from all over the world! If you know any high school aged individual looking for something fantastic to take part in this summer, nominate them for the program!
High School student or not, this conference is worth looking into. Check out the blog for more information.
The Juneau Trails Project: brought to you by Discovery Southeast’s Richard Carstensen and The City and Borough of Juneau!
Looking for an excellent hiking spot?
Check out the Juneau Trails Project, found on the City and Borough/ Parks and Recreation of Juneau website. This is now an electronic source for those of us looking for a preview of the trailhead signs and brochures now available at all of Juneau’s most popular trails
The trails included have been established in and around many of Juneau's beautiful watersheds:
Peterson- 25 Mile
Richard Carstensen has taken the time to connect the geology, forest and fish, landscape productivity/diversity, uplift succession and wildlife, as well as the aerial comparisons for all of these beautiful places.
The work that has been recently published on Parks & Recreations website is only a small fraction of the work Richard has put towards this project. At this point, this incredible amount of information has been compiled to fit into trailhead signs and brochures for each location. This is something that will be a great tool for anyone looking to learn about the amazing environment around us!
Concerned about urbanization, dwindling frog population or honey bee colony collapse?
If you are an enthusiastic high school student, or know a motivated high school aged individual who wants to see change, check out this available scholarship at Planet Connect.
What is Planet Connect?
Planet Connect is an organization working to get high school students involved in diverse and creative environmental stewardship.
Planet Connect has created Youth Engagement Grants for young people interested in protecting wildlife, and serving as interns with wildlife conservation practices accross the country.
Check out last years grant winners when exploring their site!
Plant the seed. . . Be part of environmental change in your community!
Congratulations to Discovery Southeast naturalist Kanaan Bausler!
In support of the America's Great Outdoors initiative, Outdoor Nation recently provided awards for 20 projects spearheaded by young leaders who are passionate about connecting other young people to nature. Kanaan was one of the winners!
He was recognized for producing a short nature film featuring the students in his Early Release Monday group at Auke Bay Elementary.
The filming process spanned the entire school year and three seasons. Check out the video below!
- Learn more about the America's Great Outdoors initiative
- Read the entire newsletter to learn more about the other grantees and about Outdoor Nation.
What does Environmental Literacy mean in Alaska?
The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, along with a coalition of other agencies and organizations, has been hard at work developing Alaska's Environmental Literacy Plan. Watch the video to learn more about it.
Environmental Literacy in Alaska is defined as:
- A personal connection with nature and an appreciation of the local environment through engaging in outdoor activities on a regular basis.
- A fundamental knowledge of natural processes and systems
- An understanding of how humans affect the environment in positive and negatives ways which can influence human health, local cultures, economies and quality of life.
- The ability to interpret and synthesize information to make responsible decisions related to the environment and complex ecosystem processes.
- The confidence and motivation to act as responsible members of society through citizenship and community service for a healthy and sustainable environment.
Sometimes it doesn't feel fair that the kids seem to have all the fun, so we're kicking off December with two events we hope to see you at no matter your age!
Thursday, December 1st:
Glaciers, sea kayaks, penguins, and more: Working in Antarctica. Desk job got you down? Join Discovery Southeast at Silverbow at 7pm for a brief evening of living vicariously through Keith Thompson and Hiram Henry as they use slides and stories to recount their experiences working in Antarctica. Non-members welcome. Bring your friends!
Friday, December 2nd:
Discovery Southeast members get 20% off at Foggy Mountain Shop during December 2nd First Friday hours, 4:30-7pm. Not sure about your current membership status? If you find something you want to buy, you can become a member or renew your membership right there at Foggy Mountain on the night of the event. Bring the kids! We'll have activities for them, and we'll be right next store to Santa at Capital City Weekly.
Discovery Southeast is offering a Discovery Day for children aged 7-12 who have off from school on Monday, November 21.
Join naturalist Kanaan Bausler and our AmeriCorps Christine Amor for a thrilling day of learning and exploring. We'll kick the day off at the Juneau Hunter Education Shooting Complex to learn some archery skills in the morning before heading out to investigate the areas around Montana Creek trail in the afternoon.
At one of last year's November Discovery Days, our group kept warm and even worked up a sweat building shelters...
What to bring: Children should come with a lunch, snack, water bottle, and weather-appropriate clothing to stay comfortable and happy outside. Discovery Southeast can also help outfit your child with rubber boots or raingear if needed -- just ask.
Prices: $35 per day for Discovery Southeast members, $40 per day for non-members. Scholarships available -- call 463-1500 to inquire.
Times/transportation: The day lasts from 9am to 3pm. We'll meet in the morning at the Hunter Education Complex at 5670 Montana Creek Road, and pickup will be at 3pm at Skater's Cabin. Due to road conditions, we will not be running the Discovery Southeast van, but we're teaming up with DSE partners to find alternative transportation options for those who cannot be dropped off at the Hunter Education complex at 9am that day.
Call 463-1500 to register, or download, fill out and return this registration form by faxing it to 463-1587 or emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Discovery Days page to see pictures from past days!
Have you been wondering about the winter season?
Swapped out your summer gear for the cooler months ahead?
Let’s hope for a nice 2011-2012 winter with plenty of powder!
At Discovery Southeast we are not just concerned with running some great winter tracking programs, snowshoe adventures and checking out all that winter has to offer in the woods. We are looking forward to hosting the Backcountry Film Festival now in its 7th year! The festival highlights the wonder, beauty, diversity and extreme fun of winter backcountry experiences.
Best of the Festival: “Solitaire”, Sweetgrass Productions. Lost in the winds of snowbound badlands and the blizzards of primordial forests, Solitaire fuses western-inspired tales of backcountry gambles into landscapes never before visited on film.
Best Short Award: “Chalk and Ski”, Produced by Chris Dicky and Purple Orange LLC, it’s a chalk-in-hand daydream about skiing and winter.
Best of the Backcountry Award: “Breaking Trail”, by Powderwhore. This backcountry epic highlights riders of all disciplines choosing their own adventures.
Don’t worry; there are other film selections. . .
· 4o Tribes Kyrgyzstan
· Berber Turns
· Ski Bums Never Die
· Winters of My Life
· Seasons; Winter
· Bike, Ski, Raft Denali Traverse
Whether you wait patiently for snow to fall before you grab your skis, or are more of a good book and hot-chocolate lover, you will want to check out this years Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival.
When: Monday, January 23rd, and Tuesday, January 24th.
Where: Goldtown Nickelodeon
Mark your calenders and look forward to more information as January approaches!
Have you ever wondered about the ocean's tides?
Did you know that tides are produced by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon?
Or that tides also occur on a smaller scale, in large lakes, the atmosphere, and within the solid crust of the earth?
Types of Tides
There are different types of tides. Extremely high and extremely low tides are called spring tides.
These tides occur when the moon is full or new, and the gravitational pull of the moon and sun are combined and exceptionally strong.
Neap tides occur when the sun and moon are not aligned, and the gravitational forces cancel each other out.
These tides occur during the moon’s quarter phases- where the sun and moon are working at right angles. Here, there is a much smaller difference between high and low tides.
The Proxigean Spring Tide is a rare SUPER high tide. It occurs when the moon is unusually close to the earth- in its New Moon phase (moon between sun and earth).
Check out this diagram for a visual explanation!
This year’s highest tide is on Thursday, October 27th at 1:46 pm. Get your cameras and check it out! Make sure you show off your new tide expertise when you do.
If you are interested in tides for the whole year, visit Juneau’s Tide Table.