Science

A detail of William Dall’s 1870 Alaska map, from “Alaska and its Resources.” 

A Scientist’s View of Alaska, 150 Years Ago

by Ned Rozell- One year before Alaska became part of America, 21-year old William Dall ascended the Yukon River on a sled, pulled by dogs. The man who left his name all over the state was in 1866 one of the first scientists to document the mysterious peninsula jutting toward […]

Final FREEzing Wednesday to see Baby Beluga

Final FREEzing Wednesday to see Baby Beluga

Wednesday,  February 28 is the final FREEzing Wednesday at the Alaska Sealife Center. Bring your friends and family between 10 am and 5 pm to say good-bye to Tyonek, the baby Beluga whale, before he flies to Texas. Admission is free to Alaska residents. Many thanks to the Alaska Sealife […]

The Bering Land Bridge at the height of the last ice age. Map by Nancy Bigelow.

Was the Bering Land Bridge a Good Place to Live?

by Ned Rozell- During the coldest days of the last ice age, the Bering Land Bridge was 1,000 miles wide, a belt buckle the size of Australia that connected North America and Asia. That mysterious land of green plants, streams and hills persisted for thousands of years, until seas swelling […]

Aurora is space weather made visible. Photo by Ned Rozell.

Space Weather: Havoc Caused by the Sun

by Ned Rozell- Space weather affects snowplow drivers carving through Thompson Pass in a whiteout, Iowa farmers dropping seeds of corn, and wedding planners who release white doves during the ceremony. These and other customers subscribe to daily forecasts from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado. Rodney […]

A map of the Yukon River drainage showing major and minor spawning grounds of chinook salmon. Photo courtesy of Randy Brown.

Where Are the Yukon Chinooks Headed?

by Ned Rozell- In a packed university conference room, biologist Randy Brown spoke of chinook, the fatty king of far-north salmon. “It’s more than just a fish, it’s a culture,” Brown said to the Fairbanks crowd, many of them Alaska Natives. Brown is the lead author on a paper in […]

Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl February 9-11

Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl February 9-11

2018 marks the 21st National Ocean Science Bowl regional competition in Alaska. The NOSB’s goal is to build awareness and knowledge of the ocean science through a competitive format. The Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl is the regional competition for Alaska high schools focusing upon relevant ocean topics. Participating teams present […]

Town of Seward Alaska, taken from an H-21 on Easter Sunday 1964. Photo by Frank C. Fox photographs, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Coastal Alaska Spared a Tsunami, But Why?

by Allison Sayer for Seward City News- Last week, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook the state. The prolonged shaking prompted many coastal residents to immediately seek higher ground. A tsunami warning was issued for Southeast and Southcentral Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula, the Aleutians, and British Columbia. Due to the size of […]

Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), where climate change has already happened. Photo by Ned Rozell.

Utqiagvik, Where the Climate has Changed

by Ned Rozell- Two things happened on top of the world this week. In Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), on January 22 the sun topped the horizon for the first time since mid-November. The day before that, January 21, was the first time since Halloween the town’s thermometers recorded a below-normal daily […]

Your Hair Knows Where You’ve Been

Your Hair Knows Where You’ve Been

by Ned Rozell- Sprouting from your head at the rate of more than three inches a year, hair is a recorder of the things you eat and drink and where you ate and drank them. An Ottawa-based researcher once assembled a countrywide database of Canadians’ hair designed to help the […]

Cropped image of the Porcupine caribou herd captured in July 2017 by Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Nate Pamperin. Pamerin and others at the agency used the images to count a record number of caribou in 2017, about 218,000. Images courtesy of Nate Pamperin, Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Image of Porcupine Herd Travels Cross Country

by Ned Rozell- There are no photographs of bison spilling by the thousands across the Great Plains. By the time cameras came along, most of the bison were gone. John Wright of Fairbanks believes he has an Alaska version of what that photo might have been. His image, 12 slide […]

An American dipper on the Sanctuary River in Denali National Park. Photo by Ned Rozell.

Dippers Swim Alaska Rivers Throughout Winter

by Ned Rozell- On the upper Chena River in the heart of a cold winter, a songbird appeared on a gravel bar next to gurgling water that somehow remained unfrozen in 20-below zero air. Then the bird jumped in, disappeared underwater, and popped up a few feet upstream. The bird […]

Porcupine Caribou Herd Grows to Record High Numbers

Porcupine Caribou Herd Grows to Record High Numbers

(Fairbanks) — A July 2017 photocensus shows the Porcupine caribou herd has grown to an estimated 218,000 animals, a record high since population monitoring of the herd first began in the 1970s. “Caribou were aggregated well for the survey and we accounted for all of the radiocollared animals in the […]