Armchair
Scientists: Monitoring Caribou Climate
Tracking Daylength in Caribouland
Thanks
to technology, you can sit in the comfort of your climate controlled
classroom and conduct science observations in the Arctic. What does
a day look like to our caribou?
We
have daylength information from a small community called Old Crow, where
many Porcupine caribou congregate during the winter and early spring. Located
at 67.65
N, and 139.50, Old
Crow is situated at the confluence of the Crow and the Porcupine Rivers.
The only Yukon community located above the arctic, it is a small town of
about 300 aboriginal people; known as the Vuntut Gwitchin. People in Old
Crow enjoy long summer days and experience the short days of summer.
Study
the information below and use it to make some predictions about the
caribou. We will be adding new sunrise and sunset times each week for
you.
Date 
Sunrise 
Sunset 
Hours
of
Daylight 
Hours
of Darkness 
12/24/01 
twilight
starts 10:53 
twilight
ends 16:05 
* 
24.0 
12/31/01 
12:48 
13:58 
1.0 
23.0 
01/07/02 
12:15 
14:38 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
01/14/02 
11:45 
15:14 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
01/21/02 
11:16 
15:47 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
01/28/02 
10:46 
16:21 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
02/04/02 
10:18 
16:50 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
02/11/02 
9:50 
17:19 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
02/18/02 
9:21 
17:47 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
02/25/02 
8:55 
18:14 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
03/04/02 
8:24 
18:40 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
03/11/02 
7:56 
19:05 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
03/18/02 
7:27 
19:30 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
03/25/02 
6:58 
19:55 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
04/01/02 
6:28 
20:18 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
04/08/02 
6:00 
20:46 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
04/15/02 
5:30 
21:12 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
04/22/02 
5:00 
21:39 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
04/29/02 
4:30 
22:08 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
05/06/02 
3:58 
22:38 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
05/13/02 
3:24 
23:12 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 
05/20/02 
2:47 
23:51 
(You
calculate) 
(You
calculate) 





Daylength
recorded at Old Crow, Yukon (67.65N, 139.50), on the Porcupine River.
Recorded in military time;13:00 = 1PM
Try
This:
 Make
a graph of the number of hours of daylength from late December (Winter
Solstice) to midJune (Summer Solstice).
 Keep
a record of the hours of daylength in your hometown every Monday
from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice and compare your day light
with the caribou's daylight on the Porcupine River.
 Calculate
how much more daylength there is everyday and graph the change.
Journalling
Questions:
 Take
a look at the locations of the caribou in their wintering grounds.
Predict how they respond to the change in daylength of their habitat.
Do you think the migration will move in relation to that change?
 Did you
know the caribou live in almost total darkness for about 2 weeks
every year? (The sun doesn't rise above the horizon from about December
15 to December 27 every year.) How would you feel if it were dark
for 2 weeks every winter where you live?
 Do you
think that temperature is affected by the amount of time the sun
is out?
 How do
the caribou find food when days are so short, or when the sun never
rises?
To find
out more about the temperature in Old Crow, Yukon each week:
To learn
more about Old Crow its history and culture:
