Author Archives: rlallen6

Blog 5: Teller

Teller Settlement




Teller is a federally recognized tribe that as of 2018 has a population of 237. It is located in the Nome census area, 72 miles northwest of Nome itself. Teller sits on the southern half of a spit of land that separated Port Clarence Bay from Grantley Harbor. This is all located on the Seward Peninsula. The whole village is not on the spit, it expands pretty far inland. The village has a total area of 2.1 square miles.    

Teller’s climate is located in the transitional climate zone. This means that it is mostly tundra with some boreal forest. They experience long, cold winters and short, warm summers. Grantley harbor, part of Port Clarence Bay, is usually ice-free from early June to mid-October. It has an average snowfall of 46.2   inches per year, with 76 days out of the year having precipitation. The average high temperature is about 30 ºF, and the average low temperature is about 17 ºF. The highest recorded temperature is 82 ºF, and the coldest recorded temperature is -36 ºF.  

In recent years, the Nome-Taylor Highway has been ruined by permafrost. The airport in Nome has had patches of permafrost thaw on the runway, causing expensive repairs. Teller is located next to the water of Point Clarence Bay, and with the permafrost thawing, their bluffs are susceptible to erosion.  

 Warming temperatures have caused sea levels to rise, and since Teller is a coastal community, they have been greatly affected by erosion. Storms are also a side effect of this climate change, contributing to the continuing erosion. Birds and mammals have also died off because they couldn’t adapt to the changing climate. They have also experienced extensive flooding, and are considered at risk for flooding by the Government Accountability Office. Because of the flooding and erosion, I think that Teller will have similar issues as Shishmaref, and will eventually have to move to a new location or just farther inland.  



The top three main forms of income that the residents of Teller have are public administration, health care and social assistance, and retail trade. Transportation and education are the next most popular forms of income. The average income per resident is about $10,000 per year, and the average income per household is about $26,000 per year. Both of these numbers are well below the national average. There has not been a recent economic boom, Teller’s unemployment rate is about 12%, and their job market rate has gone down by 0.5%. However, in the early 20th century, Teller had a large economic boom because it was a major trading center. The population was about 5,000 people compared to the 237 people in 2018. Tourism is essentially nonexistent in Teller. They have an airport, but there are no hotels or buildings aimed at tourism.  

Teller has an airport, which is mainly a landing strip. The airport is located pretty far away from Teller itself, you have to drive a few miles on the Nome-Teller Highway to get to the middle of the community. Teller consists of mainly residential buildings, and then there is the school and what seems to be a warehouse with several shipping containers surrounding it.  

Teller is a fishing community, and the residents fish from Salmon River, Pilgrim River, and Agiupuk River. They have several fish camps that they use during the summer, where they primarily catch red salmon. During the summer and winter, they fish for pike, and during the spring and fall, they fish for herring, whitefish, and tomcod. None of this fishing is for profit though, it is for subsistence. Nobody in Teller gains income by fishing, hunting or agriculture.  

For electricity, Teller uses a diesel generator, and fuel costs about $5.00 per gallon. Power is provided by the Alaska Village Electric Coop. Fuel is provided by the Teller Native Fuel Business. They receive their fuel by barge, and while there is no data on where the shipments come from, it can be assumed that they need to rely on shipments from larger communities like Nom. For water, they have a water treatment facility, but there is no data on what their primary source of water is or how many people have access to that water.

Blog 3

The most dangerous part of Alaska is the South East area. It’s susceptible to flooding, erosion, and tsunamis. There are also active volcanoes in this area. Scientists have discovered active underwater volcanoes. This area is also susceptible to landslides. This part of AK is vulnerable to many natural hazards, making it the most dangerous part of Alaska.

In October 2015, there was an earthquake in the Wrangell-St. Elias park, causing a landslide of 440 billion pounds. This then triggered a tsunami with waves over 600 feet, devastating the Taan Fjord. In June 2016, a 4,000 ft high mountainside collapsed in Glacier Bay National Park, which caused over 100 million pounds of rock to be deposited onto Lamplugh Glacier. Landslides are particularly devastating, and the fact that this area has a large number of them means that this area is dangerous.

The Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault lies in South East AK, stretching for 1200 km. Over the past 120 years, there have been six earthquakes that have been 7 or greater. In 2013, there was a 7.5 magnitude earthquake near the town of Craig, which caused scientists concerned because the fault runs offshore, which could cause major issues in the future.

Blog 2

Fig 2.5 is one of my favorites because it’s always so crazy to see how much bigger Alaska is than all of the other states. Of course, I knew that Alaska was much larger than even Texas, but when it’s but into perspective it’s very eye-opening. I think that people always underestimate Alaska because it’s so far north and so it’s easy for people to assume that Alaska is not a large state, but rather a small one.

Fig 2.3 is another one of my favorites because I didn’t realize that Alaska had different kinds of forests. I knew that South-East Alaska had more rainforests, but there are also three different variations in the interior alone. The next time I drive home to Anchorage I’m going to pay extra attention to the forests as I drive through them.

Fig 2.2 was an interesting map to look at because it shows just how scarce health care facilities are in Alaska. Growing up in Anchorage, I never had to worry about getting adequate health care because I’d always had it. But looking at this map, it’s shocking to see that there are only about 15 actual hospitals for the entire state, and most of them are concentrated in South-Central and South-East Alaska.

Fig 2.1 is kind of cool because it’s funny to see how much of our understanding of Alaska has changed. The shape is right in this map, but there are so many landmarks and bodies of water that aren’t mapped. The interior is also described as “The Great Marshlands” instead of tundra, which is an interesting description of an area that we now know is different.

Blog 1: Introduction

I was born and raised in Anchorage, AK. I loved growing up in Anchorage because the summers are absolutely beautiful and the winters aren’t too cold. I have never lived anywhere else in the US or Alaska, but I have visited many places in Alaska and several states as well. I am now currently residing in Fairbanks for school.