Outing #9: Northward, ho!
Kenai Fjords National Park
Of course, not all aquatic ecosystems are warm like tropical rainforest and coral reefs. Some of the most interesting places where water meets land are in the arctic. Today, we travel to Alaska to see Kenai Fjords National Park. There, the forces of ice, tides, and changing temperatures dominate the landscape and the wildlife that live there.
Start by checking out the Google satellite map to see where exactly Kenai Fjords National Park is and get a sense of what is around it. Notice the narrow fjords connecting the ocean to the snowy glaciers.
Use Google’s Hidden Worlds of the National Parks interactive website to explore the glaciers and fjords of the park.
Read this NPA Science Story about real life researchers in the park and how climate change and other forces are impacting the park’s animal life. https://www.nps.gov/articles/tales-from-the-tides.htm
How has the landscape changed over time in Kenai Fjords?
What animals live among the ice? What adaptations do they need to survive in the arctic climate?
How do you think the warming climate will impact the arctic animals?
Depending on the age and abilities of your kids, print out and enjoy the park’s Junior Ranger Booklet for younger kids or Explorer Journal recommended for youth 13+.
Share your thoughts about arctic animals and shrinking glaciers in the comments below, via Facebook, or by email!