Two scales of geopdfs for X’áat’ T’áak watershed.

Sayéik, spirit helper (Douglas Island) & X’áat’ T’áak, town behind an island (Douglas town)

The name Sayéik, spirit helper, describes the 18-mile-long island named by Vancouver for the irrelevant Bishop of Salisbury. In English, the mining town on that island was reflexively given the same name in 1886. In Tlingit, however, the town name is distinct from its mother island’s. It’s called X’aat T’aak by reference to the little guardian island just offshore:

“X’aat means island, the Mayflower island. CK says we can call Sitka that also. The translation is ‘the town behind an island.’ Walter Soboleff said the island in front of Douglas [Mayflower) is called x’aat.” (Marie Olson & Cecilia Kunz, 1992)

Historic structures routes compared to today’s trail complex.

Mature deciduous forest colonizing abandoned mining town

Of my own initiative I’d never have expended much interpretive energy on Treadwell. Nothing about it feels “natural.” Whatever beach it once had is buried under sand, which makes it Juneau’s favorite place to let dogs off leash. They also rampage through the understory of the unAlaskan-feeling deciduous forest, colonized after a series of forest fires (what?!, in Southeast?!) seared the whole place to mineral soil. Because of dogs, and cats cruising at night, what might be a unique community of elsewhere-rare breeding songbirds is what ecologists call a “sink,” where more birds die or waste their reproductive energies than are born.

But the Treadwell historic loop trails were one of 10 systems selected by folks at Parks & Rec during our work on the CBJ Natural History Project.   And as with every place I’ve ever studied, for either love or money, Treadwell captured my imagination. Trees grow out of the tops of crumbling concrete buildings—a place of hope and inspiration. (Maybe mining folks don’t see it that way?) It reminds me of the jungle at Palenque, where bat falcons perch atop Mayan ruins, and the piss and bellow of howler monkeys makes it inadvisable to linger too long under the drip line of verdant, victorious strangler figs.

In this section

Mass wasting finale

In class—our penultimate Wednesday—we reviewed Bay&Valley day, and then transitioned to the concluding Saturday field trip focusing on ‘serious-stuff-coming-downhill.’ For…

2022 | Richard Carstensen | Landforms class archives

Nature near the schools: Sayéik (Gastineau) Elementary. 1991

Materials from the Eisenhower Math and Science series In March, 1991, with Discovery director Cinda Stanek and naturalist Cathy Pohl,…

1991 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages

Sayéik historical series

History from the air Georeferencing old and recent vertical air photos in ArcMap makes it easy to export exactly scaled-&-aligned…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 8 pages

Forests after logging or glaciers

Effects of age and succession type on forest overstory and understory In 1991 I assisted highschool students Joey Bosworth and…

1991 | Joey Bosworth & Erika O'Sullivan | 1 page poster

GeoPDFs Moller-Jumbo

Medium-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in Kaawa.ée Héenak’u, Kaawa.ée’s little creek (Kowee) and Shgóonaa Héenak’u, schooner’s little creek (Lawson)…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Sayéik (Gastineau Community School)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation on trails behind Sayéik, spirit helper (Gastineau Elementary). In apps such as Avenza, on…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

Supplement to the CBJ wetlands surveys, 2016

In summer 2014, Koren Bosworth, Cathy Pohl, Andrew Allison and I surveyed wetlands throughout the CBJ. Although we were not…

2016 | Richard Carstensen | 31 page excerpt (of 512p)

Area descriptions for CBJ wetlands surveys, 2014

Supplement to the 2016 Juneau Wetlands Management Plan In summer 2014, Koren Bosworth, Cathy Pohl, Andrew Allison and I surveyed…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 8 separate pdfs, 2 to 5 MB

Bear-Lawson flight

Quadcopter views behind Anax Yei Andagan Yé, where the sun’ rays hit first (Douglas, harbor area)  Launched from divide between…

January, 2016 | Richard Carstensen | 3 minutes

Bog visit on Sayeik (Douglas Island)

Tracking from skis on fresh snow in deer-&-hare country, Sayéik, spirit helper (Douglas Island). douglasbogs from Discovery Southeast JuneauNature on…

2017 | Richard Carstensen | 96 seconds

Treadwell trailhead signs

In 2010, on contract with CBJ Parks and Recreation, Discovery designed 3-panel sign arrays for 10 trailheads on (or leading…

Treadwell brochure

Four-fold brochure created for the CBJ Natural History Project describes 11 interpretive stations along the Treadwell Mine Historic Trail. On…

2013 | Richard Carstensen | 2 pages