After a boxed and viewing the poster session at University House, AUF buses took participant to a choice of three excursions. I chose to go to the Behind the Scenes at the UA Museum of the North. This museum has a focus on research and student training. We were taken on a guided back room tour, which began with the loading dock. One might not think of this as the first place that you would show guests, but when you are dealing with collections that include dinosaur skeletons and sleds, getting artifacts in and out of the building is important. From there we went down into the research and collections area. We viewed various freezer and specimen preparation areas. We passed through the large compact storage shelves full of artifacts of all sorts –mammoth tusks, historical field gear and indigenous tools and goods. At the end of the collections tour we were able to examine a number of artifacts by hand. These included seal skin mittens, a mammoth tooth, an Eskimo yoyo and several bird skins There were many students around, some packing up goods to head out into the field. In one of the labs, students prepared bird skins for storage. The final lab we visited was the cryo lab, where biological samples, including DNA are stored in liquid nitrogen.
After the museum tour, the group joined the other tours at the Rasmuson Library to view the collection of polar maps that Katherine Arndt and Rose Speranza had prepared for us to examine. It is always a a thrill to see the rare maps. The afternoon finished up with refreshments in the Library.