Chas Jones, Ph.D.

Dangerous Ice

Book Cover Schneider et al. - 2013 - On Dangerous Ice Changing ice conditions on the Tanana RiverDangerous Ice

The Dangerous Ice project was a collaborative participatory research project with rural Alaskans that live near and rely upon the Tanana River. During the project, our rural Alaskan collaborators discussed many changes they have observed during their lifetimes. They suggest that their ability to travel on the river during the winter has become more dangerous in recent decades.  I joined the project team to incorporate physically-based scientific studies into the research program. Through this research project, I was able to learn about the river and river processes from the perspective of local Alaskans in remote communities.  I was also able to share a scientific approach and perspective with the social scientists and the rural Alaskans that I worked with.  It was a very rewarding project that resulted in the publication of a book, “On Dangerous Ice: Changing conditions on the Tanana River,” intended to educate the general public about traveling on rivers during the winter and how travel conditions have deteriorated in recent history.

As part of this project, Knut Kielland and I collaborated with Phillip Wilson, a Fairbanks High School Student on his science project. Phillip and I jointly presented our research projects to the Alaska Division of the American Water Resources Association Research seminar in April 2013 and Phillip went on to win First Prize at the Alaska Statewide High School Science Symposium and was the sole representative of Alaska at the 2013 Nationwide High School Science Competition in Ohio.  Congratulations Phillip!

Dr. Knut Kielland and I gave a public lecture in Fairbanks titled “On Dangerous Ice: Rules for navigating on river ice” on Feb. 5 2013. The lecture slides and audio were recorded and are available at this link.


View Tanana River Dangerous Ice Conditions (mapped on 4/16/2013) in a larger map

Related Publications

Jones, C.E., K. Kielland, & L.D. Hinzman. 2015. Modeling groundwater upwelling as a control on river ice thickness. Hydrology Research. 46.4: 566-577. [Download]

Schneider, W.S., K. Brewster, K. Kielland, and C.E. Jones. 2013. On Dangerous Ice: Changing Conditions on the Tanana River. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska. 76 pp. [Download the book here.]