Local researchers plan 3,500-mile snowmachine expedition

This article originally appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, March 9, 2007

Local researchers plan 3,500-mile snowmachine expedition

By DERMOT COLE, Staff Writer

LONG RIDERS: Fairbanksan Matthew Sturm has traveled thousands of miles by snowmachine across the Arctic on
research trips since 1994, but next week he plans to leave on an expedition that tops them all.

Sturm, along with four other scientists and outdoorsmen, will leave Fairbanks on the Chena River at the start of a
six-week trip scheduled to end more than 3,500 miles away near the shores of Hudson Bay in northern Canada.

The goals of SnowStar 2007 are to conduct research on scientific topics related to snow and satellite
measurements and to promote education by linking schools across Alaska with those in various parts of Canada
and the Lower 48.

Sturm’s daughter, Skye, has designed a Web site on which the travelers will post daily dispatches via satellite
phone connections. Students will be able to track the daily progress of the expedition at
www.barrenlands.org.

The men plan to camp along the way and stop at schools from Circle, on the Yukon River, to Baker Lake, near the
mouth of the Thelon River, sharing stories about the Arctic and scientific lessons to be gained in the North. The trip
is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

“We will also share our passion for Arctic history. Our route has been designed to pass through as many historic
locations as possible,” the team members said on their Web site. “We will have with us enlargements of historic
photographs which we will share with villagers and place on the Web site. From the trail we will post dispatches,
pictures and audio clips related to the history and natural systems.”

Sturm, 54, said the fuel supplies on their sleds will make up the biggest portion of their cargo, though they will also
be carrying food, research equipment, camping gear and computers.

Others in the party are Fairbanks machine shop owner Jon Holmgren, dubbed “The man who can fix anything” by
his companions; UAF Professor Dan Solie, Colorado scientist Glen Liston, and researcher Henry Huntington of
Eagle River.
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March 2007