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The research vessel Sikuliaq navigated among and around the chunks and slabs of Arctic sea ice above Alaska for several weeks on two voyages this fall, breaking through frozen slabs when it had to, just as its sturdy hull is designed to do. It's now on a third trip.

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Last week, I wrote about some of the breaks the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has enjoyed during its 75-year existence.

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We just had a party up here, to celebrate the Geophysical Institute’s 75th year of existence. Seventy-five years also happens to be the average life expectancy for a human these days.

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Years ago, I worked for a hunting guide on a river in the middle of Alaska. One of my duties was to drive a motorized canoe full of moose meat upstream to a gravel bar where he could fly it out.

With the new school year starting soon and schools opening, it is time to think about lunch. The best way to make sure your child has fun and healthy lunches is by packing them at home. 

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Leaving cloven hoof prints from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, more than 3,500 muskoxen live in Alaska. All of those shaggy, curly-horned beasts came from one group of muskoxen that survived a most remarkable journey in the 1930s.

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On a fine June day about 100 years ago, in a green mountain valley where the Aleutians stick to the rest of Alaska, the world fell apart.

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Greenup — the great, silent collective explosion of freed tree buds that had been frozen all winter like a clenched fist — will happen any day now in much of Alaska. The phenomenon is easy to notice here in middle Alaska, which is locked up in black-and-white for much of the year.

In Ferry, Alaska, a balsam poplar leaf emerges from a bud in May.

“Greenup” happens in Interior Alaska when leaves unfold after a long winter, as is happening on this birch tree.

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In Alaska’s infinite waters swims a handsome, silvery fish. Until recently, we knew little about the Bering cisco, which exists only around Alaska and Siberia. Then a scientist combined his unique life experiences with modern tools to help color in the fish’s life history.

If you walk through a lumberyard this month in anticipation of building a home, addition, or shed, be ready for sticker shock. Prices on plywood, chipboard and studs are noticeably up, and the average price of lumber overall has almost tripled since COVID hit just over a year ago.

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Iliamna Volcano seen from Ninilchik, Alaska, in a photograph by Roy Boone.

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The glaciers and rock of 10,015-foot Iliamna Volcano.

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The June 2019 rock-and-ice avalanche down Red Glacier on Iliamna Volcano, taken on a flyover a few days later by Loren Prosser of Ninilchik.

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The Alsek, a world-class rafting river that flows into the Gulf of Alaska from its headwaters in Canada, may soon abandon the lower part of its drainage for a steeper one 15 miles away.