Juneau Icefield Research Program 2012 (Blogging From the Field #1)


By Matt Beedle and Kristin Timm

[This post is part of a series of real-time communication from participants in the 2012 Juneau Icefield Research Program.  The program begins June 23rd and concludes August 18th.]

Since 1946 the Juneau Icefield has served as a classroom.  Each summer the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) immerses students in the stunning wilderness of the Coast Mountains of Alaska and British Columbia on an eight-week traverse of the Juneau Icefield.  For the JIRP field season of 2012 participants will be communicating with the outside world through real-time blogging, imagery, and videos.  GlacierChange.org is the fortunate host for this “Blogging From the Field” endeavor.

Dr. Maynard Miller lectures in the stunning “classroom” of the Juneau Icefield Research Program. Photo: M. J. Beedle, 2004

In one week, undergraduate and graduate students, along with academic and expeditionary faculty and staff will gather in Juneau, Alaska for JIRP 2012.  For the next eight weeks this group will make the Juneau Icefield their home, traveling under their own power across the glacier-covered spine of the Coast Mountains from Alaska’s capital city to Atlin, British Columbia.  Along the way they will participate in annual field studies and a curriculum of Earth system science with the natural environment as inspiration and primary instructor.  In the words of Program founder and emeritus director Dr. Maynard Miller:

“We bring students into nature and that makes all the difference.”

For the first time this transformative experience will be shared with a wide audience in real-time. There is no wi-fi on the Juneau Icefield, so JIRP participants will be using satellite phones to post text and photos. Participants will also be sharing some less frequent video updates. Stay tuned for updates, news, and information throughout the summer. We hope you follow along with JIRP 2012!

Links to “Blogging From the Field:  Juneau Icefield Research Program 2012” content:

The GlacierChange.org Blog will be the primary ‘vehicle’ for JIRP 2012 communications.

Please ‘Like’ and follow along with ‘Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP)’ on facebook where you will find links to blog posts, images, and videos, and also an excited community of JIRP alumni and fans who will be following along and chiming in.

Links to content will also be made @JuneauIcefield on Twitter, @GlacierChange on Twitter, and at ‘GlacierChange.org’ on facebook.

Learn more about the Juneau Icefield Research Program:




Leave a comment:



June 19, 2012

I look forward to following projects this summer! I hope you all have a grand time up there on the ice field. Cheers!

Don Gustavson

June 19, 2012

37 years since I was there. Really wish I could return some day, but at least this gives me a vicarious re-living of that wonderful experience. Thanks!!!


June 19, 2012

Wish I were back out there. I think I’d get at least as much out of it the second time around as the first time, possibly more.

Pete Thompson

June 20, 2012

It will be fun and interesting to see how things have changed, and have stayed the same, since I was on the icefield. I hope everyone has a throughly amazing experience. JIRP ’73