The next day was a travel day, and we flew from Barrow to Anchorage to Juneau. So two days after we left Barrow we finally met with Molly McMannon, director of IOOS, and Ed Page, director of the Marine Exchange of Alaska in Juneau before heading to the Coast Guard’s Alaskan headquarters. There, we sat in on a meeting between the scientists and members of the Coast Guard, in which the scientists explained how the Coast Guard could use the technology being developed by Rutgers, IOOS, and the Marine Exchange to help keep the coastlines safe. Everybody had something different to offer, and together they were a very strong collaboration.
Afterwards, we all headed to the Marine Exchange where we went on a trip up the harbor in the
company’s boat. When we came back, we were able to see where we went exactly, as the Exchange specializes in vessel tracking. They were able to show us exactly where we were in comparison to other boats that were also being tracked. We were also given a tour of their facilities, and although they were in a small building they still had a lot going on inside. We then paid a visit to their shop, where a small and extremely weather resistant structure was being built so that it could be placed out in the field and the technicians could work inside out of the elements. Although these kinds of things aren’t necessary in New Jersey, in harsh Arctic conditions it can be very difficult to work without some sort of shelter. Overall, the Marine and Exchange and Rutgers were totally different, but it was very interesting to see new approaches to the same problems.
Later, Steve took us to check out one of Juneau’s best pizza shops, which in the end could definitely compete with some of the best New York style from home. That evening we explored downtown, culminating in Carey and Amanda spotting and running from a small black bear wandering around the streets. Apparently, it’s relatively common to see bears in town, and although Alaska seems like a cool place to live that’s something that would be hard to get used to.