National Geographic : 1967 Feb
possible. But we demand too much of them on the rough ice, and they break down. I am considering adding a dog team next year. Bound for Camp 8, we slog ahead in biting rain-which presently turns to snow-and 70-mile-an-hour gusts. Jumping one crevasse after another, I wonder why I didn't pursue a less rigorous line of work. Finally we reach Camp 8, where in winter our thermometers twice have gone down to - 87° F. Rime wreathes our beards, and spi cules of ice grow from our parkas. Our people there greet us unsympathetically: "How are things down in the banana belt?" Institute Works in Vast Outdoor Lab Long treks like this remind me that I am running one of the world's most spacious classroom-laboratories. This year some sixty graduate students (three of them women), research affiliates, and senior scientists are taking part in Michigan State University's Sixth Summer Institute of Glaciological and Arctic Sciences, supported by the Foundation for Glacier Research in Seattle, of which I am director, and the National Science Foundation. Working out of Camps 10 and 8, and 22 lesser stations and facilities scattered over about 1,000 square miles, we see the over-all pattern of the region's glaciers. The Juneau Icefield provides an ideal sampling. Of its many large glaciers, we are making detailed studies of 16 whose termini are in various phases of advance and retreat. Additionally, in early spring and late fall, and occasionally in the height of winter, our scientist-mountaineers make surveys all along the coast and deep into rugged ranges behind it. Here we find 90 percent of Alaska's glaciers. Taking the pulse of more than 200 ice rivers, we are discovering great changes since the days of Tarr and Martin. An example is the shrinking of ice in Glacier Bay and Icy Bay about 15 miles of retreat in each.