One year ago, in a world with the same mountains and valleys but feeling very different, we made a discovery.
One-hundred-two years ago, a strain of influenza virus spread across the globe, eventually reaching Brevig Mission in Alaska. Five days after the flu hit the Seward Peninsula, 72 of the 80 villagers in Brevig Mission were dead.
Eat Right, Bite by Bite! That’s the theme of National Nutrition Month this year. Make March the month to try and focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
On the cusp of Interior Alaska’s springtime, Melinda Webster will not experience it this year. She’ll miss most of summer, too. Webster will soon head north of Earth’s land masses, to spend the next half year cradled in ice.
William Burt was pleased. As the research vessel Oceanus sailed away from Seward in July 2016, his equipment began detecting just the sort of phytoplankton he expected to be floating around the surface of the northern Gulf of Alaska.
Fairbanks’s recent mornings in the minus 30s Fahrenheit may be extending local residents’ winter fatigue, but there are some rewards that come with cold, clear skies.
When two National Hockey League hockey players collide, their pads and body tissues can absorb enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for a minute and a half. During the 60 minutes of a hockey game, players can burn 6,000 calories and lose up to 15 pounds.
In cold, dry, subarctic air, a rocket taller than a house tilts northward, awaiting the moment when a person inside a nearby concrete building pushes a button.
By the summer of 2020, a landslide will bury a portion of the road from the Denali National Park entrance to Wonder Lake. That’s the conclusion of Zena Robert, a UAF graduate student who visited the park in summer 2019.
For the 20th straight year, in December 2019 I carried a notebook into the halls of the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Most of those years the conference was in San Francisco (as it was this year).
A father wakes, rolls out of bed, and drops his toes to cold carpet. He grabs a flashlight and shines it outside the window. The thermometer reads 40 below zero, the only point at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales agree. The red liquid within his thermometer is alcohol; mercury freezes…
North of the village of Hughes, in frigid, sluggish water, dim blue light penetrates two feet of lake ice. The ice has a quarter-size hole, maintained by a stream of methane bubbles. Every few minutes, a brutish little fish swims up, turns to sip air, and peels back to the dank.
In spring of 1946, five men stationed at the Scotch Cap lighthouse had reasons to be happy. World War II was over. They had survived. Their lonely Coast Guard assignment on Unimak Island would be over in a few months.
The holidays can be a great time of year to visit with family, share meals and exchange gifts, but it can also be a very stressful time of year. Many people find themselves stressed out and depressed due to all the demands and self-expectations. Below are some helpful tips for simplifying and making your holidays brighter.
On December 15, 1989, a pilot who had flown a 747 passenger jet all the way from Amsterdam was looking forward to landing in Anchorage. There, he would take a short break before continuing to Tokyo.
A hundred years ago this week, on November 19, 1919, The Seward Gateway announced on its front page “WILL ORGANIZE AMERICAN LEGION HERE TOMORROW.” The meeting would be held at 8 p.m. at the town hall, the old Alaska Railroad building on the site of present-day city hall. The newspaper urged …
More than 100 volcanoes pimple the adolescent skin of Alaska, spreading from ear to ear. Some are loud, flamboyant and obnoxious. Others are sneaky and quiet, escaping notice until a pilot sees a gray plume that wasn’t there yesterday.
After reading my column about biologists who once stocked a Southeast Alaska island with wolves, a reader mailed me a book. In it, the author detailed peoples’ attempts to import raccoons, wild pigs and other creatures to Alaska.
It is a pleasant day for a walk in middle Alaska, with blue sky overhead, sandhill cranes croaking above the UAF farm, and the sharp scent of sliced blades of grass, mowed for perhaps the last time in 2019.
With school back in session, work, and trying to keep a household every day, being active may fall toward the bottom of our list. That is until New Year’s resolution time comes around again.
One fall day in Interior Alaska, a lion stalked a ground squirrel that stood at attention on a hillside. The squirrel noticed bending blades of grass, squeaked an alarm call, and then dived into its hole. It curled up in a grassy nest. A few hours later, for reasons unknown, its heart stopped.
Alaska had been a state for one year in 1960 when its department of fish and game conducted a wolf-planting experiment on Coronation Island in southeast Alaska. At the time, the remote 45-square-mile island exposed to the open Pacific had a high density of blacktailed deer and no wolves. That summer, biologists from Fish and Game released two pairs of wolves on the island.
Many people are thinking ahead as vegetables mature in the garden and hunters get ready for the fall hunting season. For some, September is about getting large amounts of food all at once.
LeConte Glacier near Petersburg is the farthest-south glacier that spills into the sea on this side of the equator. Where that ice tongue dips into salty water, scientists recently measured melting much greater than predicted.
The Piper Super Cub is a nimble favorite of Alaska bush pilots who land on and take off from gravel bars and mountaintops. Engineers who designed the plane in the 1940s found a simple model that still works.
During Patrick Druckenmiller's not-so-restful sabbatical year of 2015, he flew to museums around the world. In Alberta and then London, the University of Alaska Museum’s curator of earth science looked at bones of dinosaurs similar to ones found in northern Alaska.
The relocation of an Alaska village is happening fast this summer, after many years of planning and work. Observers say Newtok’s transition to Mertarvik is flying along because it has to — the Ninglick River bank is crumbling less than 10 yards from a Newtok home.
On a Saturday morning near summer solstice, nine people stood on a smoothed pile of gravel at Mile 5 of the Dalton Highway. A man talking to the group, the fur of a wolverine wrapping his head, had invited us to what he called AlaskAcross 2019, a nonstop 60-mile hiking traverse in northern A…
YAKUTAT — On sandy barrier islands between mountains and the sea, two different birds that look alike lay their eggs side-by-side. Biologists here are learning more about the less-common, more mysterious one.
RUSSELL FJORD — Standing on this smooth gravel shoreline, 15 miles northeast of the town of Yakutat, you can tell something big happened. A forest of dead trees encircles the shoreline. The dry, bone-white stems poke from mint-green alders and willows, 100 steps from the water.
Not long ago, a glaciologist wrote that the number of glaciers in Alaska, “is estimated at (greater than) 100,000.” That fuzzy number, maybe written in passive voice for a reason, might be correct. But it depends upon how you count.
Every spring, millions of ducks touch down on Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, a spread of muskeg and dark water the size of Maryland. These days, more ruddy ducks seem to be among them. Recent sightings of this handsome, rust-colored bird — the males with a teal-blue beak — suggest rud…
In the 1820s, painter and naturalist John James Audubon designed an experiment to test if birds had a sense of smell. He dragged a rotten hog carcass into a field, then piled brush on top of it. After none of the local turkey vultures appeared, Audubon concluded that vultures hunted using th…
Thousands of crabapple trees arrived on pallets last month, destined to become the rootstock for orchardists in Interior and Southcentral Alaska, and an April apple tree grafting classes.
A quick comparison of two great rivers in America: One, the Wabash, runs 503 miles through Indiana, flowing past 4 million people on its journey to the Ohio River. The other, the Innoko, slugs its way 500 miles through low hills and muskeg bogs in west-central Alaska to reach the Yukon. Abou…