The Icefield Ranges Research Project, 1972

  • Richard H. Ragle
Keywords: Long-tailed Jaegers


The Icefield Ranges Research Project (IRRP) base camp (61° N, 138°30' W) opened its doors on 3 June. ... Four programs, supported in whole or in part by the project, were in the field before the official opening of Kluane base camp, and two research teams remained in the field through early September. From 3 June until 29 August base camp was in full operation. A total of 86 persons representing 23 colleges, universities, and institutions (12 Canadian; 11 U.S.) made use of IRRP facilities during that time. One student from the United States and 6 Canadian students were involved in field work leading to postgraduate degrees: 4 toward an M.Sc. and 3 toward a Ph.D. Peak occupancy was in the last two weeks of July and the first week of August when over 50 people were at Kluane and the 15 long- and short-term field camps. The February 1972 announcement of a Kluane National Park has generated interest in a number of multi-year programs concerned with resource inventory and planning processes. ... Under the auspices of the Arctic Institute's Visiting Scientists program two professors from the Departments of Geography at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, took part in IRRP during the last week in July and first week in August. ... Air support for IRRP, including support for the television team and climbing expeditions, was provided by the Arctic Institute's supercharged, ski-wheel-equipped Helio Courier; by a Canadian Forces DeHavilland Buffalo; and by a chartered Bell Ranger helicopter. A total of approximately 215 hours were flown in support of all programs in 1972. The twenty-foot long, wide-beam life boat was in greater demand this past summer than in any summer since 1968. ... [Research updates were provided for: 1) Glacier studies (Geophysical measurements - Tapridge and Rusty glaciers, Thermal drilling - Steele Glacier, Tapridge Glacier - survey, Glacier inventory, Kaskawulsh Glacier); 2) Glacial geology, geomorphologyand hydrology (Donjek Glacier - ice cored moraines, Donjek and Kaskawulsh glacier termini - load distribution variation and source, Slims River valley - loess transport, Donjek valley - Spring Creek alluvial fan, Ruby Range - mass wasting program), 3) Kluane Lake studies (Raised beaches - drowned forest, Drainage of glacial Lake Kloo - a reconnaissance, Zooplankton studies), 4) Biology and environmental studies (Studies of Boschniakia rossica, Plant succession on three Kaskawulsh Glacier terminal moraines, Canid predator-prey relationships in Kluane National Park, Ecological studies - Kluane National Park), 5) Archaeology (Ethnohistoric archaeology - Tatshenshini River basin, Kluane Lake - Long Point site); 6) High altitude physiology studies, 7) Mountaineering equipment evaluation program, 8) Meteorology.]