Wielding chainsaws to mine fossils frozen in permafrost and flying drones to map thousands of footprints, intrepid paleontologists discover that dinosaurs thrived in the most unlikely places – the cold and dark of the Arctic Circle. Arctic.
This is the pitch for a “NOVA” program that will air at 9 p.m. on January 19 on KUAC TV 9.1. The program repeats at 4 p.m. on January 23.
The documentary focuses on two major dinosaur sites in Alaska that are the focus of research by University of Alaska Fairbanks professor and UA museum director Patrick Druckenmiller: the North Slope and Denali National Park. For several years, he co-led expeditions to the sites in search of bones, teeth and traces of dinosaurs that lived in the Arctic about 70 million years ago.
“I was approached by a London-based media company a few years ago about joining our team for some of this work. At the time, we were planning a new kind of expedition: doing field work in the arctic in the winter, we went there for safety reasons, you dig along the cliffs which are in danger of collapsing unexpectedly in the summer when the permafrost thaws. We wanted to excavate the largest layer of rock containing dinosaurs in Alaska, and we did it. The camera crew was there to record it all. They also joined our team in Denali to document some of the largest track sites. state dinosaurs.
Druckenmiller hopes that viewers of the “NOVA” program will get a sense of the uniqueness of Alaskan dinosaurs, the climatically challenging world they lived in at the time, and the importance of polar dinosaurs in understanding global issues such as dinosaur migration, hot climate versus water. composure and reproduction. “I also think there are important lessons to be learned from the difference between the world and what it may be in the future,” he said.
“I am grateful to work with an excellent team of collaborators, students and volunteers. I’m also proud that our work has helped put Alaska on the map as a globally significant place for the study of dinosaurs. There is so much more to learn.
Nancy Tarnai is Marketing and Communications Manager for KUAC TV 9/FM 89.9.