Toolik Field Station

STATION NAME AND OWNER The Toolik Field Station (TFS) belongs to the Institute of Arctic Biology of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. LOCATION TFS is located 210 km south of Deadhorse and 600 km north of Fairbanks in arctic Alaska. The field station is situated north of Gates of the Arctic National Park, and its location allows scientists to access the Brooks Range, the arctic foothills and the arctic coastal plain. BIODIVERSITY AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT TFS is situated in the arctic foothills province of the North Slope, which is characterised by rolling hills and broad valleys underlain by continuous permafrost. The area is dotted with lakes, and the vegetation is dominated by dwarf-shrub and tussock tundra. Caribou and Arctic ground squirrels are frequently observed at the field station, and moose, musk-oxen and grizzly bears are encountered occasionally. HISTORY AND FACILITIES TFS was first established in 1975 to support an aquatic research program. The field station evolved from a 10-person tent camp into a premier arctic research laboratory and science support facility capable of supporting up to 150 researchers. The field station includes several laboratory trailers and tents, a lecture hall, various dormitory accommodation styles, a kitchen and dining hall, shower and laundry facilities, and a tool shop. TFS is open year-round and provides transportation to and from the station, basic science support, high-speed internet, GIS services, general use laboratory and field equipment, herbarium, and baseline environmental and meteorological data. GENERAL RESEARCH AND DATABASES Research themes at TFS are wide-ranging and dynamic and currently include the structure and function of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of the arctic foothills and tundra, the effects of Climate Change in these regions and the feedbacks to global Climate Change through gas and hydrological fluxes. TFS-based research has also led to significant discoveries on the adaptations of plants and animals to the Arctic and to population-level changes in phenologies and distributions. Existing databases hosted at TFS include climate records and baseline environmental monitoring. A substantial body of research data collected by the arctic LTER program are also available from their website. HUMAN DIMENSION TFS is located in the North Slope Borough of northern Alaska close to the Dalton High-way. Anaktuvuk is the closest native village, which is situated in the Brooks Range about 150 km west of TFS by air. ACCESS TFS is accessible by road from Deadhorse and Fairbanks. The field station provides transportation to and from these towns, and snowmobiles, boats, trucks, and bicycles are available for local transportation. A helicopter scheduled through the National Science Foundation is based at TFS. TAKE A TOUR AROUND THE STATION This service is provided by INTERACT partner Mapillary