Copper Mining in Kennecott, Alaska

https://www.dggs.dnr.state.ak.us/webpubs/dggs/mp/text/mp021.PDF   This article, written by William c. Douglass in 1964, and found on the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys website provides a historical background to copper mining in the early part of the 20th century near McCarthy, Alaska. This could be used as a hook in a junior high or high school earth science course by getting the students interested in the application of geology. They could imagine themselves as the people who helped discover the copper deposits there- what would they have looked for? What kind of rocks would they have expected to find with the deposits? What minerals other than copper does the article mention? How did the knowledge of the Alaska Native inhabitants help them find these deposits? How was the copper extracted at the time, and how would it be extracted if it was discovered today instead of years ago? What kind of environmental concerns would be addressed? It might  also be very interesting for students to connect this with English, history, or Alaska history classes- write a fictional story taking place in the mining area either long ago or present day (check out the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Service website for pictures, both present-day and historical), research the effect that mining activity in the area had on the Alaska Native residents, what was life like for the miners and the families of the miners that lived there, how has mining in the area had an effect on present-day inhabitants of the area?

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