Grade levels: 9-12

Lesson Objective: The Learner Will Be Able To:

1. Relate previous knowledge to the Mount Logan area.
2. Learn about why it is important to do ice core research on Mount Logan.
3. Understand how ice cores are dated, and how they can supply a history of atmospheric conditions in an area.


  • Computers with internet access
  • Research Sheets (below)
Lesson Process:

1. Introduce lesson by reviewing what was learned previously about ice cores: what they are, why they are an important research tool, what kind of information they can record, and how those results can be internationally influential.

2. Help students to navigate to the Mount Logan website, to the Science section, the Climate Change subsection, and the subsection entitled: “History of ice-coring efforts in the Mt. Logan area.” They will use this section and the next to complete today’s research sheet. Distribute research sheets.

Student Research Sheet: Ice Cores 2

Use the information in the Climate Change section of the Mount Logan Website, subsections “History of ice-coring efforts in the Mt. Logan area” and “How do we "date" ice-cores ?” to complete this research sheet. Use as much detail as possible.

1. Who did the first ice core drilling on Mount Logan? When? Who did he work for?

2. What did they learn from the ice core and how much time did it represent?

3. Based on the first two sets of cores drilled, why did a consortium of scientists want to do more research on Mount Logan? How and why do you think they arrived at that decision? What do you think they hoped to learn?

4. Why do you think it was important to collect various ice cores from different locations and elevations?

5. What time frames were represented by the different cores mentioned in the article?

6. Why do you think the different locations provided ice cores which spanned such different amounts of time? Use what you know of climate patterns, glaciers, and elevation to answer this question.

7. What are the three methods by which the time span of an ice core can be identified? Which is the most reliable? Which is the most specific? Which is the least specific? Why?




8. What are the time-scale markers used to date the Prospector’s Col sample?