Dr. Matt Nolan

Institute of Northern Engineering
University of Alaska Fairbanks



Curriculum Vitae

McCall Glacier







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2010 Photography

The photography presented here is more or less in chronological order, updated as completed. As usual, please do not use these images for science or profit without my written permission, as many of these photos are already being used scientifically and they are all copyright 2010 by me. You are welcome to use them for outreach or in presentations on your own, however, though it would be nice to give me credit and let me know you found them useful.

My First and Second Art Shows
I was given the opportunity to show about 40 prints from the Alaskan Arctic at the 2010 State of the Arctic Meeting in Miami. After the show, the prints were hijacked and taken to the White House in DC for display there.
Click here to learn more and see the images

My Third Art Show
Ken Tape organized an art show at the UAF Museum of the North showcasing many of his repeat photographs of landscape change in the Arctic. He kindly included a few of my spherical panoramas and a repeat photo pairs.
Click here see some of the images from the show.

Fox Permafrost Tunnel Outreach
As part of an outreach project for the Permafrost Tunnel in Fox, Alaska, I created a series of about two dozen spherical panoramas for use in an online virtual tour as well as prints such as the one below. You can view the individual panoramas online here or find our first attempts at a virtual tour here.
We framed three prints of this image and personally presented them to our Congressional Delegation in DC in February, where at least one of them is now hanging. We also made 1000 poster prints to hand out to visitors to the tunnel. We hope that outreach like this will help build awareness for the value of science conducted here. You can download the image above by clicking on it, and printing it out on your own plotter at 36"x20" with 1" margin.

Spherical Panoramas from my April/May McCall Glacier Expedition
We spent about two weeks in the eastern Brooks Range studying McCall Glacier.
You can read the full story and see a lot more photos here.

Click on the images below to see them in the 360 viewer.

Coyote Air in Coldfoot, during breakup.

Extracting ice cores from 9 meters down. You have to see this one in the viewer to fully appreciate it, be sure to look down.

Work and play on McCall Glacier.

Wolf prints at the terminus.

Waiting for Dirk, without much hope, as our ice cores lie under a tarp in the snow.

Recombining loads on a large lake.

The Jago River in winter -- where's the snow?

Coyote Air in Coldfoot, after breakup.

Coyote Air's Beavers, ready on either runway.

The pipeline viewpoint at the Yukon River bridge.


Greta and Ken's Wedding, 28 August 2010
I was just a guest with a camera at a fun wedding. (These are all 360 panoramas, click on them to open the viewer.)

Though it had been raining most of the morning, the weather finally cleared just before the ceremony started. Here Ken waits calmly for his bride, while his brother and friend calmly block his escape.

You wont find many brides brave enough to get to the altar by walking over wet wood planks set in slippery mud while wearing white, strapless shoes. Ken must have something going for him. Else they're both nuts.

Ken and Greta's wedding ceremony from the west side. Here they are speaking in hushed voices rather than to the whole crowd, under the blue tarp awning.

Immediately after the ceremony ended, the newlyweds jumped into their raft to escape the massing hoardes of well wishers. Fortunately it wasnt a big lake and they soon returned.

Greta and Ken's wedding ceremony was followed by a potluck feast and some live music -- sung by them! If you look closely, you can almost see them on the altar-turned-stage.

After the ceremony, some food, some socializing, and a change of clothes, Ken and Greta treated the crowd to some music. The occasional sprinkle had people gathering under the tent, but within a few minutes the dance gravel was crowded.

After a grueling afternoon of pomp and circumstance, the boys unwind in their homemade hot tub. Had the wedding been a few miles further down the road, the entire group could have been soaking at this point...

While most of the crowd was distracted by the newlywed's music or asleep in a tub, I took the opportunity to walk on water to get a unique view from the lake. When I finished the photo, I also refilled their wine bottles...

Miscellaneous Panoramas
Just a selection of panoramas from personal life this summer.

We decided to spend more of the summer than normal in Fairbanks this year, in part specifically to revive our garden. Due to our field work schedules, we hadnt planted anything here in 7 years, though that didnt stop things from growing...

During the Dietzen's visit to Fairbanks, we swung by Calypso so that Scott could do his Little Bo Peep impersonation.

We also visited the musk ox farm, where Turner and Davis enjoyed acting like wild animals.

This panorama has to be seen in a viewer to be appreciated.
Actually you probably had to be there to appreciate it. NWG 2010.

15-16 June 10 : Yukon River ecology near Coal Creek
Here we are studying ecological changes (primarily moose habitat) due primarily to river ice scour and permafrost melt within the Yukon-Charley National Park. This mission is a partly a follow up of photography flown just after the 2009 ice jam broke.

Vertical air photos -
- Browse 5376 images
- Small KMZ
- ZIP of small JPGs
- ZIP of full-sized JPGs
- Mosaic #1
- Mission Notes


9-14 September 2010 : Geothermal exploration of Pilgrim Hot Springs
This project explores the area around Pilgrim Hot Springs near Nome using thermal IR and RGB cameras to map ground temperature anomalies to support studies of power generation from geothermal energy.

  Vertical IR images
(TBP once analysis is complete)

Vert. RGB images
- Browse 2500+ images
- Small KMZ
- ZIP of small JPGs
- Mission notes


15-21 September 2010 : Long-term landscape change in the Arctic Network of National Parks
Here we are acquiring vertical photography to be used to track long-term (ie, 50 year) changes in landscape through the central and western Brooks Range, at nodes along a predefined grid.

Vertical images
- Browse 1200 images
- Small KMZ
- ZIP of small JPGs
- Mission notes


17 October 10: Fairbanks' lake methane bubbles
Here I am doing an annual survey (eg, see 2009 Photography page) of several long-term study lakes in Fairbanks, trying to capture them after freeze-up but before snow fall, such that we could study the entrainment of methane bubbles coming from the sediments below.

Vertical images
- Browse 225 images
- Small KMZ
- ZIP of small JPGs
- Mission notes


Spherical Panoramas from my August 2010 McCall Glacier Expedition
We spent about two weeks in the eastern Brooks Range studying McCall Glacier.
You can read the full story and see a lot more photos here.
Click on the images below to see them in the 360 viewer.

Panorama: Kristin and Turner spend some time "home" schooling on the outcrop on a sunny afternoon.

Panorama: This was our view for most of a week.

Panorama: A large mudflow from the ice-cored moraine covers our normal trail to the terminus camp.

Panorama: Meltwater from the surface finds it way to the bottom of the glacier, and it later emerges here at the terminus.

Panorama: Kristin and Turner enjoy an invigorating set of badminton while we wait for the steam drill and hot dogs to warm up. Turner won every time, because it was his birthday...

Panorama: This photo is perhaps more interesting to me than anyone, but the stream cutting its way through the moraine from Hanging Glacier and the superimposed ice forming on the face of the of the "7" cross-profile both show up in the comparisons of our new DEMs, which I think is pretty cool considering how small these features are.

Panorama: The surface of the glacier gets increasingly lumpier as you go downhill, characterized by longitudinal swales like these. This one seems largely caused by a stream erosion, but many seem caused by wind scour.

Panorama: The Germans slowly enchroaching on Belgian territory.

As the glacier continues to thin and lower, dirt frozen within the ice melts out and accumulates on the surface. This lowers the surface albedo, causes more sunshine to be absorbed, and melts the surface even faster.

Panorama: Packed and ready to go, before the weather closes us in.

Panorama: A small surface stream drains into a small moulin. That moulins like this exist at such high elevations is not a good sign for the glacier's long-term health.

Panorama: The small blob on the right is soot being carried down the surface of the glacier. You can tell its not just dirt by how gooey it is. The soot can come from all over the world, but most likely forest fires or pollution in Alaska or Asia.

Panorama: Though we have a lot of good memories from the trip, the tranquility of this evening was definitely a highlight.

Panorama: Not the first day we've spent waiting for better weather here, and probably not the last.

Panorama: The internet cafe at Kavik.

Panorama: The namesake of Kavik River Camp.

Panorama: The weather here had been bad for a few days, clogging up the charter schedules. Here a supercub tried to make a break for it, but returned not long afterwards with no joy.


Gigapixel Panoramas
Click on the images below to launch of viewer that will allow you to zoom in with somewhat ridiculous detail; be sure to change to the high dynamic range setting by clicking on the horizontal line (near the hand) until it changes to an S.
(these are currently reduced to about 1/4 size)

McCall Glacier from near LPU2000 (6 May 2010. The glacier is covered by snow this time of year, but not enough to keep it from wasting away in summer. Our camp is near the center of the image and skiway to the left.

McCall Glacier from Camp (04 Aug 2010). This photo location was first used in 1958. The small mountain to the left of center was completely covered by ice at that time. There's essentially no snow left on most of the glacier.

Mt McCall and McCall Glacier (04 Aug 2010). Mt McCall (center) has now lost most of its ice and the glacier has lost nearly all of its winter snow. When the glacier size was in equilibrium with climate, the late-summer snow would have been to the right of center. We're measuring ice temperatures using radar at about that location.

McCall Glacier from Snow Dome (16 Aug 2010). I wanted to get a shot that captured some sense of what it's like to be on a north face. The recently exposed nunataks on Snow Dome provided an opportunity for that. Note how there is no ice on the south-facing slope near center at the same elevation as the camera; the difference is the amount of sunshine each slope receives. The south facing slopes shows trimlines indicating former glacier surface elevation (c. 1880) and the location of perennial snow fields above it; our camp location was not covered by ice during the last advance. Even here, in the most shadowed, north-facing location on the glacier, there is essentially no snow; the whitest surface is actually refrozen meltwater. Simultaneous with this photo capture, an airplane was flying overhead measuring surface elevations using lidar; see if you can find it.

(c) 2010 Matt Nolan.