An article on ancient trees emerging from the melting Mendenhall glacier and quoting Professor of Geology Cathy Connor ran in several media, from the Weather Channel to International Business News the week of September 23, 2013.
The story is of an ancient forest thawed from under the melting Mendenhall Glacier and now exposed to the world for the first time in more than 1,000 years. Stumps and logs have been popping out from the glacier into Mendenhall Lake for nearly the past 50 years. Within the past year or so, researchers based at the UAS Juneau campus have noticed considerably more trees popping up. "There are a lot of them, and being in a growth position is exciting because we can see the outermost part of the tree and count back to see how old the tree was," said Connor. "Mostly, people find chunks of wood helter-skelter, but to see these intact upright is kind of cool." The team has tentatively identified the trees as either spruce or hemlock, based on the diameter of the trunks and because these are the types of trees growing in the region today, but the researchers still need to further assess the samples to verify the tree type.