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 […]

The most remote places in Alaska. Map by Dorte Dissing.

The Most Remote Place in the U.S.

by Ned Rozell- Richard Forman, a Harvard professor of landscape ecology, once visited a mangrove swamp in the Florida Everglades that he described as the most remote place in the eastern U.S. The swamp was 17 miles from any road. What’s the most remote spot in Alaska? Dorte Dissing once […]

Baby Beluga at Alaska Sealife Center

Baby Beluga at Alaska Sealife Center

The  adorable, ever-smiling baby beluga, Tyonek, loves to play. Today after his noon bottle feeding, a staff person from the Shedd Aquarium dribbled water drops into his eager mouth. He discovered the floating pool thermometer and pushed it expertly around like a little tug boat. The water, incidentally, was 46º, […]

Northern sea ice off the coast of Alaska. Photo by Ned Rozell.

Driven by Open Ocean, Arctic Continues to Warm

by Ned Rozell- NEW ORLEANS — At this gathering of thousands scientists at a horseshoe bend of the lower Mississippi River, a few talked about a place far away they have been watching for years. “The Arctic shows no sign of returning to the reliably frozen state it was a […]

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey and workshop. Photo by David Guilfoyle

Collaboratively Unearthing the Past

by Katherine Schake- At a unique curve in the Kenai River, known today as a late-season silver salmon ‘hole’ by locals and named for its color, Turquoise Bend has been discovered as an 800-year-old semi-permanent winter village site of the Denai’na. To the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, this site is not […]

Moose Pass Robotics Team: L to R Casey Bryden, Alejandro Sanchez, Francisco Sanchez, Jack Lindquist and Coach Wendy Bryden with trophies

Moose Pass Robotics Team Wins Two Awards in Kenai

The Moose Pass FIRST Lego® League Robotics team, the Moosebots, won two awards at the recent Kenai Peninsula Qualifier.  The team won the Robot Award and the Judges Award “Against All Odds.” The competition was held on Saturday, December 9th at the Aurora Borealis Charter School in Kenai. The team won […]

A snowmachiner in Thompson Pass measures snow depth with an avalanche probe. Photo by Gabe Wolken.

Skiers, Snowmachiners Help Improve Snow Models

by Ned Rozell- Snow falling silently on Alaska’s mountains will in a few months transform into a medium for migrating salmon, and so much more. “That snowflake that falls on the mountain now is water that flows in streams and rivers late in summer,” said Gabe Wolken, a glaciologist who […]