In the Fall of 2013 Wilderness Classroom Expedition Leader, Amy Freeman, joined a team of geologists on a research expedition to the Slate Islands. The Slate Islands are an remote archipelago (group of islands) in Lake Superior, about six miles off shore from the town of Terrace Bay, Ontario. The islands were created when a meteorite struck the earth a long time ago. The team spent two weeks gathering data on the islands. Their goal is to better understand the history and the effects of the meteorite impact that formed the islands. They collected rock samples, which the scientists took back to their lab at the University of California Berkeley for further study.
Lake Superior has a cooling effect on the islands, so some arctic and alpine plants live there. The Slate Islands are also known for a particular animal, woodland caribou. These caribou don’t have any natural predators on the islands. In addition to studying the geology of the islands, the team Woodland Caribou and other animals.
The team leader is Nick Swanson-Hysell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at University of California Berkeley.