Fairbanks, the golden heart of Alaska

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Today was a busy day. Students started out at the Museum of the North learning about the culture, history, art, and ecosystem of Alaska. Then, we ate lunch at Pioneer Park. Pioneer Park is a public area that many tourist visit. From Pioneer Park, students went to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. There a park ranger explained politics of public lands in Alaska from many perspectives. Lastly, students discovered Fairbanks in their Place-As-Text exploration.

Tomorrow, we will leave Fairbanks to travel the Dalton Highway. I (Dr. Pederson) will not be blogging for a few days because we will not have internet or phone service. Mr. Josh Blakely will be updating the blog with our progress and locations.

Stay tuned!


Today, we purchased enough food for 13 people to travel up the Dalton Highway and back. Lucky, the LU@YNP (Longwood University at Yellowstone National Park) has feeding students while traveling down to an art and a science. Like many things in the LU@TAC program, we used the LU@YNP model for planning our meals.

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We are almost there!

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As we begin our journey to Fairbanks and Northern Alaska, you can get daily updates here!

While we will not have cellphone service on days we spend on the Dalton Highway, we will be checking in each evening (using a satellite phone) with Mr. Josh Blakely at Longwood University and he will post updates here.


For three days at the end of May, students in the Alaska program studied at Longwood University. During these three days, students learned about and discussed issues that will be examined during their time in Northern Alaska. One of the issues this course will focus on is the use of pipelines to transfer natural resources. Students met with David, who helped build the Trans-Alaska pipeline in the late 1970s. Today, he works with the Friends of Nelson County to oppose the natural gas pipelines being proposed in Virginia. Additionally, students talked with a medical anthropologist about the potential historical and health implications of the proposed compressor station in Buckingham County, VA. These local issues will help students understand similar issues in Alaska through political, environmental, and economic lens.

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Course Information

This course will count for GNED/ENGL 400, or Goal 13. We will be in Alaska from June 19-June 28th. After you return you will need to turn in your assignments via Canvas online.

Here are some cost details – (Scholarships are available!)

The trip costs are approximately $750 per person. That may be paid in multiple parts.
That includes your local travel (by minivan), transfer to and from the airport,
all lodging, almost all meals, use of classroom space, visits to local museums,
guest speakers and guides, etc.
Deposits are made to Cashiering using a special deposit slip that can be picked up from Dr.Pederson or Dr. Poplin. It is very, very important that you
keep your copy of your receipt in a
safe place so that any accounting errors can be corrected (and it
does happen, unfortunately).
2.You also must buy a plane ticket. That is
not included in the fee cited above. Ideally everyone would
travel from their home airport to Fairbanks, AK arriving on
Monday, 19 June, and leaving Fairbanks on
Monday, 28 June. Those tickets usually run about $500-
800, but in past years they have been both
higher and lower than that range.
3. Longwood will bill for the tuition credits separately.
Tuition and fees for Summer 2017 can be found
on the Cashiering and Student Accounts website
(http://www.longwood.edu/studentaccounts/tuition-fees/undergraduate/). It is useful to compare the costs for completing a course on campus during the
semester and in the less expensive off-campus mode during the summer. Compared to rates for the current academic year, the summer course is about $300
less in tuition and fees (VA in-state rate).
4. We will stay in University dorm rooms, and we will camp out
(3 nights), and we will stay in minimalist
hotels in Prudhoe Bay.
5. Except during your airport adventures to and from the Alaska, all breakfasts, lunches, snacks will be
6. You will need pocket money for most dinners, impulse snacks,
hot drinks, souvenirs, etc.
7. The deadline for the course application is March 17th