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Temperature and Relative Humidity: Cripple Creek and Chatanika River, Interior Alaska

Student(s):Eli Knapp, Michelle Morris
Grade Level:Undergraduate
GLOBE Teacher:Christina Buffington
Contributors:University of Alaska Fairbanks Forest Soils Laboratory (HOBO logger), Arctic and Earth STEM Integrating GLOBE and NASA, Fresh Eyes on Ice project
Report Type(s):Standard Research Report
Protocols:Air Temperature, Relative Humidity
Date Submitted:12/01/2023
Creek starting to freeze in winter
Ice formation is a critical part of broader ecosystem health in water bodies and their surrounding riparian areas. Two of the biggest factors that influence stream ice formation are temperature and Relative Humidity. Cripple Creek near Fairbanks in Interior Alaska is of particular interest to this area of research as the stream was recently diverted back into its original channel after decades of artificial channelization. To begin to gain an understanding of the effects of these variables on ice formation at Cripple Creek a Hobo monitoring device was placed near Cripple Creek for a period of 5 days in late October-Early November and collected temperature and relative humidity measurements. This time frame is when ice formation is beginning to accelerate in Interior Alaska. To further put the data into perspective measurements were retrieved from a Desert Research Institute Remote Automated Weather Station located near the Chatanika river, also in Interior Alaska. Data analysis showed an apparent positive correlation between temperature and relative humidity at the Cripple Creek site and an apparent negative correlation between temperature and relative humidity at the Chatanika site. Further research is needed to understand the dynamics of Cripple Creek in its original channel as well as the effects that temperature and relative humidity have on ice formation in Interior Alaska.