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.

Worthington Glacier northeast of Valdez.

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…

Following the warmest March Alaskans have ever felt, forecasters are predicting a mellow transition from ice to water for most big rivers in the state. 

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…

The mushers were gone, and so were the 640 dogs that pulled them out of town. A few days earlier, the volunteers who gave life to Iditarod had climbed into their single-engine planes and lifted off the ice, carrying their noise along with them.

IDITAROD, ALASKA — While gliding along a trail that had just felt the imprint of 2,000 dog feet, Bob Gillis skied over to a rock that jutted from the snow.

Cape Espenberg is an eyebrow of sand, driftwood, and low plants on the northeast corner of the Seward Peninsula. It is now quiet except for the swish of the wind through cottongrass and the songs of birds, but archaeologists have found a large village site there. 

Yakutat once found quirky fame as a surfing destination for the adventurous. Now, residents are looking into capturing wave energy to provide the town’s power.

As I was driving down the highway, I saw a shaggy, gray-black canine cruising along on the snowpack, right next to the road. Could it be one of the hardest animals to spot in Alaska, a wolf?

Across Alaska and a sliver of western Canada, 280 seismic stations silently do their jobs. Hidden in dark holes drilled into rock in boreal forest, northern tundra and mountaintops, the instruments wait patiently for the next tremor.

Twenty some odd years ago I read a sermon by Edward Steimle, a Lutheran; a Christmas sermon. At this time of year, I can’t help but think back to that sermon when my life seems to be getting away from me. It was called “The Eye of the Storm.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — At this annual gathering of thousands of scientists that has grown in step with the increasing number of people on Earth, researchers at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union again sounded the alarm for a quiet place — the top of the world.

The frozen cliffs of Drew Point, Alaska, (population zero) are tumbling to the ocean faster than perhaps any other location in the Arctic. The sea has eaten house-size chunks of tundra at a rate of more than 50 feet per year recently.

Fifteen miles inland from the frozen coast of the Arctic Ocean, Teshekpuk Lake is one of the largest freshwater bodies in Alaska. On its northern shoreline are sandy bluffs that hold fossils of walrus, ringed seals and beluga. Thousands of years ago, this shore was an ocean beach.

Uma Bhatt remembers summers in Fairbanks when she could open a package of crackers, leave it unsealed, and find them in a near-identical state a few weeks later. Those crackers now seem to lose their snap in just a few days.

The magnificent creature was fooled by vocal plumbing — similar to its own but much smaller — imitating the groan of a receptive female. The bull moose grunted twice, then strode through spruce trees at the far side of a river. Brushing branches away with its antlers, it emerged, expecting t…

Stone spear points from Serpentine Hot Springs on the Seward Peninsula hint that ancient people may have migrated northward between ice sheets from warmer parts of America, bringing their technology with them.

Author’s note: In the summer of 1947 my father, Kenneth D. Baker, and a friend, Forrest Davis, ventured up Spruce Creek near Seward in search of gold. In their research, they learned that only a couple of miners had previously prospected the area, and without success. From my father’s notes …

On a November morning long ago, Jeff and Annette Freymueller were feeling the effects of the 1 a.m. flight that had carried them home, to end-of-the-line Fairbanks. There was no rush to get up on that Saturday 16 years ago. They slept in.

Author’s note: In the summer of 1947 my father, Kenneth D. Baker, and a friend, Forrest Davis, ventured up Spruce Creek near Seward in search of gold. In their research, they learned that only a couple of miners had previously prospected the area, and without success. From my father’s notes …

DENALI NATIONAL PARK — When I was 12 years old, I didn’t know permafrost was like frozen lasagna. I didn’t know what permafrost was. I grew up in a small town on the Hudson River in New York.

Leaving cloven hoofprints 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.

Maybe she has the right idea, the arctic ground squirrel. Sniffing the chilly air, looking up to see the first stars of the season, she has decided to check out. A few weeks shy of fall equinox, the squirrel is now bunkered up for winter, three feet beneath the tundra of the North Slope.

Floating down the Fortymile River, we saw a cut in the green hills that hinted of a creek. My canoeing partner and neighbor, Ian Carlson, 13, wanted to see a ghost town. The map told us one should be dead ahead.

The evidence is in: Snowshoe hares near Wiseman eat lots of dirt.“I have thousands and thousands of photos of hares eating soil in this one little spot,” said Donna DiFolco, a biologist and cartographer with the National Park Service. DiFolco has studied hares in the eastern portion of Gates…