Initial Publication Date: May 24, 2018

Field Trip Guide: The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami--Consequences of Living on the Leading Edge in Alaska


This is a guide to a field trip that visits sites in Anchorage, Girdwood, and Whittier, Alaska. The focus of the trip is the understand the science and societal impacts of the 1964 Alaska Mag 9.2 earthquake as well as the ongoing EarthScope research on geohazards to help us better plan for future events. Participants also practice a tsunami evacuation walk as way to foster discussion of preparedness actions and challenges.


Although this particular field trip was designed for adult educators (teachers, park/museum interpreters, and emergency management educators) the same basic sites and topics could be done with secondary or college level students or interested community members. The instructors/presenter would need to make modifications based on their learners level and interest.

Teaching Notes

  • It can help engage learners to pose questions or point out features to consider at the outset of a field trip stop. Let participants wrestle with their own answers and come up with many of their own ideas, before perhaps helping steer them in the direction of the leading scientific consensus or debates.
  • A great complement to the portion that goes through Anchorage is the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake Photo Tour of Anchorage
  • If you wish to visit the Bird Point GPS station, it would be best to Contact ANGLE to first be put in touch with UNAVCO, which runs the station.
  • You may wish to print out a larger version of this tectonics image to refer to during some discussions with the whole group.

Reference Information

Author/Developer: Robert Witter (ANGLE Project)