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Science Seen

Science Seen highlights outstanding feature stories, first-person accounts and other outreach related to Alaska science submitted by readers or seen on the Web. Stories should be clearly related to Alaska or based on Alaska fieldwork. You may submit your story or Web site for consideration.

A warmer, dryer Alaska this summer

Warm and dry was the weather story this August across Alaska. Temperatures in Southeast averaged about a degree warmer than normal, while temperatures in the northwest were a balmy five degrees or more above average. In what is normally one of the wettest months of the year for many locations in state, rainfall fell short of normal almost everywhere, especially along the southern coast. Only a few locations scattered across the Interior saw rainfall totals that were slightly above average. Wildfire activity was below average for the summer of 2007, with less than 400,000 acres burned. Almost 500 fires were reported and these were about evenly split between lightning and human ignition.

| Posted 09.13.07 at 5:01 am

Researcher finds Alaska lake boiling with methane

This August, UAF researcher Katey Walter brought a National Public Radio crew to Alaska's North Slope, hoping to show them examples of what happens when methane is released when permafrost thaws beneath lakes. When they reached their destination, Walter and the crew found even more than they bargained for: a lake violently boiling with escaping methane.

| Posted 09.11.07 at 3:14 am

Research adds to knowledge about polar sea ice

The American Geophysical Union announced the publication of a paper that is helping climate change researchers better understand how to model and understand the role of polar sea ice.

| Posted 09.08.07 at 12:48 am

DNA Analysis Provides Dietary Clues

Scientists studying the diets of Steller sea lions have come up with an innovative use of DNA analysis to determine the relative proportions of prey in sea lion feces. A new study tests the accuracy of this novel technique, and assesses its potential use in sea lions and other animals.

| Posted 09.07.07 at 1:58 am

Fire is the focus of Fairbanks meeting

A burning interest in fires sparked an all-day symposium at the University of Alaska Fairbanks August 15. Scientists and members of the public gathered to discuss the effect of large fire seasons and changing wildland fire policy. In 2004, the largest wildland fire season on record, fires burned 6.59 million acres in Alaska. The following year, Alaska's third largest season, fires burned 4.7 million acres.

| Posted 08.17.06 at 7:18 am

First chicks of season hatch at Sealife Center

The Alaska SeaLife Center is now welcoming some tiny new personalities. One of six Pigeon Guillemots has hatched, and a clutch of Long-tailed ducks has cracked free from its shells. The first puffin chicks of the season have also arrived.

| Posted 07.26.06 at 10:13 pm

March weather brings AK record lows

Alaskans experienced an unusually cold March this year, with a record low in Barrow and Fairbanks' coldest March in more than three decades, according to UAF's Alaska Climate Research Center. The March temperatures represent a change from February's above-normal temperatures and led to increased energy needs throughout the state.

Alaska Climate Research Center | Posted 04.12.06 at 7:05 pm

Exploring Amchitka’s nuclear legacy

Lean, muscular and nearly seven feet tall, blonde-haired oceanographer Mark Johnson leans across the rail of the research vessel Ocean Explorer and scans Amchitka Island's emerald-green bluffs. "It's a beautiful place, no doubt about that," said Johnson, a professor of physical oceanography at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. It was on this lonely outpost along the Aleutian Island chain, some 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage, that the United States conducted three massive underground nuclear tests between 1965 and 1971. The largest--code-named Cannikin--exploded with a destructive power 400 times larger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. More from Alaska Sea Grant writer Doug Schneider:

| Posted 02.02.06 at 3:31 am

Homer residents gather to talk ash

More than 100 people gathered Thursday night in Homer for a community information meeting about Augustine Volcano. And another handful arrived early to learn about ash sample collection, reports Elizabeth Wasserman, an interpretive ranger with the Homer Field Office of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

| Posted 01.22.06 at 4:10 am

Alaskans: Check those volcano rumors

Moments after making an appointment for a car repair, the scheduler called me back. Ashfall was due to hit Anchorage in 15 minutes, she said. They were canceling everyone and closing for the day. I moved my car indoors, found our face masks, then checked the Web for updates. The volcano was in Code Red, actively erupting, but no Anchorage ash was expected. Did someone at my auto glass shop know something the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the Municipality of Anchorage, and the National Weather Service didn't?

| Posted 01.14.06 at 4:29 am

Augustine volcano simmering down

Augustine Volcano appears to be settling down, scientists say. Though scientists this morning downgraded the "level of concern" color code from red to orange, the volcano continues to put on a show, as seen in recent images from the Alaska Volcano Observatory Augustine Island Web Cam.

AUGUSTINE ISLAND WEBCAM / Alaska Volcano Observatory | Posted 01.12.06 at 7:17 pm

Augustine ‘Code Red’ for more eruptions

Today's two early morning explosions at Augustine Volcano were likely just the beginning, say experts who have set the "level of concern" code for activity at Code Red. According to information released today by the Alaska Volcano Observatory, "an explosive eruption could occur with little or no warning."

S. PREJEAN / Alaska Volcano Observatory & USGS | Posted 01.12.06 at 5:23 am

Sea lions all aboard for research

Two years ago, scientists with the Alaska SeaLife Center set up a special platform in Alaska's Resurrection Bay, hoping that sun-loving sea lions would willingly climb aboard for rest, relaxation—and research. When the animals didn't cooperate, the project seemed adrift. But this summer, some good fishing finally brought the animals on-board.

Photo by Brendan Smith, Alaska SeaLife Center, NMFS 881-1168 | Posted 09.09.05 at 11:40 pm

Icebreaker Suffers Engine Failure in Beaufort Sea

icebreaker suffers engine failure

On Thursday August 18, the Canadian icebreaker Louis S. St.-Laurent experienced a
failure of the starboard shaft that left her temporarily shut down in the pack ice of the
northern Beaufort Sea.  For a week the engine department labored at a colossal repair job that is normally handled in the shipyard.  While progress continued down below, the science team struggled to continue its work.  One attempt to deploy ice buoys was foiled by a crack forming in the ice between the mooring crew and the ship.  On August 23, the team finally succeeded in getting the buoys installed.  This dispatch is a recount of that successful day.

Photo by Chris Linder

| Posted 09.01.05 at 4:24 pm

Missive from an icebreaker: Deploying buoys in the Beaufort


I feel like I have just walked on the moon. After two weeks of staring at this alien icescape from the comfortable confines of the icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent, it was a shock to feel the crunch of hard snow underfoot… to stare up at the Louis from the ice.

Photo credit: Chris Linder / WHOI | Posted 08.16.05 at 6:12 pm

Team recovers data from under Arctic ice


“Ten seconds of sheer terror followed by five hours of intense boredom.” That’s how technician John Kemp describes what it’s like to recover a moored buoy containing a year’s worth of scientific data from beneath Arctic pack ice, reports correspondent Chris Linder in this special dispatch from sea.

Photo credit: Chris Linder | Posted 08.10.05 at 8:08 pm

Citrus-scented seabirds repel pests

Fairbanks, Alaska-If you want to keep Alaska's ravenous mosquitoes at bay, consider living among a colony of crested auklet seabirds. According to a study in July's Journal of Medical Entomology, crested auklets emit a citrus-like odor that effectively repels mosquitoes and other pests.

Photo: Hector Douglas | Posted 08.01.05 at 7:02 pm

Researchers return to icy Arctic gyre

For the third year, an international science team is studying climate change in one of the most inhospitable places on the planet-the Arctic Ocean's Beaufort Gyre. Cruise participant and documentarian Chris Linder of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution invites ASO readers to read dispatches and see photos from the field as the research progresses, starting this week.

Chris Linder / WHOI | Posted 08.01.05 at 3:13 am

Blue mussels may not be messengers of warming planet

A few months ago, Dave Norton was up late listening to the radio when he heard a story that divers had found blue mussels in the high arctic, a sure sign of global warming. Or was it? More from Alaska Science Forum's Ned Rozell.

| Posted 05.02.05 at 8:24 pm

Scientists seek secrets of frozen frogs

Frozen frogs were featured in an NSF-supported documentary on NOVA's scienceNOW, reports writer Randy Vines. The North American wood frog is a remarkable amphibian that survives the winter with a heart-stopping strategy: This frog, found from southern Ohio up to the Arctic Circle, can literally "freeze and thaw" along with normal winter-spring weather patterns.

US Fish & Wildlife Service | Posted 05.02.05 at 5:25 pm

Take a virtual ride of Iditarod trail

Have a Windows-based computer? Try out a new interactive 3-D tool that allows users to "fly" along the path of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The project is intended as a public test of a visualization tool developed by Instiitute of Northern Engineering researcher Matt Nolan, announced the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

| Posted 03.09.05 at 5:49 am

Spring will bring thinner ozone layer, predict experts

Record cold temperatures in the Arctic's upper atmosphere have scientists predicting the loss of the protective layer of ozone over the Arctic as spring approaches, reports Doug Schneider for Arctic Science Journeys Radio. Experts predict the thinning will most likely have the greatest impact on northern Europe.

| Posted 03.08.05 at 5:18 pm

Sea lions suffer from “fast food” diet

In the recent documentary film "Super Size Me," the filmmaker explores the effects of a strict diet of fast food on his own body. His health fails rapidly over a period of one month. Although he resumes a normal diet following his self-imposed ordeal, his experiences eerily parallel the plight of entire populations of Steller sea lions in Alaska, which have been in dramatic decline since the late 1970s, reports the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Consortium.

| Posted 03.08.05 at 5:13 pm

Researchers find a living fossil in permafrost

In a Fairbanks lab not too long ago, a man squinted through a microscope at a slide of melting ice from the Fox permafrost tunnel. Richard Hoover knew he was looking at organisms that were alive when the wooly mammoth and saber-toothed cat roamed Alaska, but he didn't expect to see them born again. Ned Rozell reports on the amazing find from an Interior Alaska tunnel for Alaska Science Forum .

| Posted 03.07.05 at 9:02 pm

Northern owls visit Outside birdwatchers

Hundreds of boreal and other owls usually seen only in the far northern forests are being spotted as far south as Minnesota, a place where glimpsing just one would usually be cause for excitement, reports Audubon's director of citizen science Paul Green at The Great Backyard Bird Count project Web site.

| Posted 02.16.05 at 6:40 pm

Quake shakes, stirs Anchorage

"Did you feel the shaking? Report it here," says the home page of the Alaska Earthquake Information Center page. And, within a half hour of a 5.0 magnitude quake centered just 8 miles north of Anchorage today, more than 260 people had done it.

| Posted 02.16.05 at 4:58 pm

Tsunami quake ‘nudges’ Alaska volcano

Shortly after the earth shook 7,000 miles away, so did Alaska's Mount Wrangell -- and Alaska Volcano Observatory scientists don't think it was a coincidence, reports Alaska Science Forum's Ned Rozell.

| Posted 02.07.05 at 11:32 pm

Scientists see ice in Arctic’s near-future

Prefer your Alaska unbaked? Despite longterm warming trends, two Alaska scientists tell Arctic Science Journeys producer Doug Schneider that they believe recent recent rapid change is mostly due to natural short-term cycles, which are due to reverse.

Photo by TERRY WHITLEDGE for ASJ Radio | Posted 02.07.05 at 11:18 pm

Skatepark sea otter on the mend

With help from Jason Wettstein at the Alaska SeaLife Center comes this tale of broken bones at the skatepark. But don't blame the ollie (or any other skateboard trick). The injured party is a sea otter with a bite wound, the SeaLife Center's first admission for 2005.

JASON WETTSTEIN / ALASKA SEALIFE CENTER | Posted 02.07.05 at 11:10 pm

Fairbanks students explore Mars

From Fairbanks, Casey Grove and Amy Hartley report on a team of space-minded graduate students seeking connections between Alaska and Mars.

UAF Geophysical Institute | Posted 02.07.05 at 11:01 pm

Defrosted ancient moss not a good sign for Alaska

The melting of glaciers in Alaska is far from an isolated occurrence. Recently defrosted moss in the Andes adds to the evidence that suggests the world is warming rapidly reports Ned Rozell after sitting in on this year's American Geophysical Union scientific meeting for Alaska Science Forum.

| Posted 01.12.05 at 1:03 am

Burned up: Special team assesses fires’ aftermath

Even while fires were still burning this fall, experts began shifting their attention to the aftermath of the worst fire season in Alaska history, reports Ed Bovy of the Bureau of Land Management Alaska State Office. "Now what?" was on the minds of Alaskans and land managers alike. Would villagers now have to face the specter of reduced wildlife populations available for subsistence harvest? What about potential mudslides, insect outbreaks, unsafe bridges, and even invasive weeds?

BLM Alaska Frontiers | Posted 01.11.05 at 11:55 pm

Images show threat as Aleutian refuge faces spill

Steve Ebbert of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge recently posted some photos of the grounded freighter Selendang Ayu, off Unalaska -- some of which show spilled fuel. Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that the spill could take months to clean up and threatens sensitive wildlife on the western side of Unalaska Island in the Aleutian chain.

Steve Ebbert | Posted 12.11.04 at 1:31 am

What’s Behind the ‘Freshening’ of the Arctic?

Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., who are lookng at links between Arctic seawater and climate change say that a significant increase of freshwater flow to the Arctic Ocean could slow or halt the "conveyor belt" current responsible for redistributing salt and thermal energy around the globe.

| Posted 12.10.04 at 4:39 pm

Alaskan indulges in mercury madness

Ned Rozell admits it: He's a thermometer junkie:

| Posted 12.10.04 at 4:30 pm

‘Scat’ DNA offers diet details

It is well known that environmental factors such as seasonal variations in prey abundance can trigger changes in the diet of many marine mammals. But how animals respond is a mystery. Scat analysis, or the examination of fecal matter -- in combination with DNA techniques -- is helping to solve this mystery, reports the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium.

| Posted 12.10.04 at 4:19 pm

Follow a year in the life of a sea lion

Vancouver Aquarium's AquaNews continues to bring monthly reports from remote South West Brothers Island in Alaska, where a small group of scientists is studying populations of Steller sea lions.

Morgan Davies | Posted 12.10.04 at 4:12 pm

Dallas scientist digs Alaska’s dinosaurs

A Dallas scientist with a passion for Arctic dinosaurs and a University of Alaska Fairbanks geologist have secured $450,000 from the National Science Foundation to study dinosaur bonebeds on the North Slope, announced the Dallas Museum of Natural History.

Sonya Senkowsky | Posted 11.29.04 at 7:28 am

Fish diet a factor in harbor seal declines

Four new harbor seals arrived at the Alaska SeaLife Center late last June and now are making their public debut. The seals -- Atuun ("song"), Qilak ("cloud"), Susitna ("sleeping lady"), and Miki ("small one") -- are more than pretty faces. They are research animals vital to understanding the dilemma of the seal decline off Alaska's shores.

Alaska SeaLife Center | Posted 11.24.04 at 7:00 am

Ocean floor muck reveals secrets of the past

Bruce Finney brought back an unusual souvenir from his recent 34-day cruise through southeast and southcentral Alaska: about a third of a mile's worth of the ocean floor. So reports Ned Rozell in the most recent Alaska Science Forum:

| Posted 11.11.04 at 11:24 pm

Blimps are looking over unwanted clover

If you saw an orange and blue blimp floating over the Matanuska River this summer, reports Arctic Science Forum's Ned Rozell, you weren't hallucinating. Scientists launched the 15-foot long, tethered blimp to help them document a growing problem in Alaska--the invasion of non-native plants.

Photo by TRISH WURTZ / UAF | Posted 11.11.04 at 11:09 pm

Near future may hold an ice-free Arctic shipping route

A group of international scientists predict the Arctic Ocean could be largely ice-free by 2050, making trans-Arctic shipping common. Doug Schneider has more in this week's Arctic Science Journeys Radio.

| Posted 11.11.04 at 11:01 pm

Report brings widespread attention to Arctic climate change

With the release this week of a four-year comprehensive assessment of Arctic climate change research that emphasizes where researchers agree rather than where they don't -- an international team of scientists has boosted the profile of an issue once thought to be too esoteric, complicated and speculative to make the news. A US News & World Report article in the Nov. 8 issue by science writer Charles Petit is one of the first indications that the press is, well, warming to the story.

Arctic Climate Impact Assessment | Posted 11.10.04 at 7:31 am

Why are moose so nosey?

So you thought all the big questions had already been answered? Researchers at Ohio University are looking into why moose have such big noses, when other members of the deer family do not. Ned Rozell explains their curiosity in this week's Alaska Science Forum.

Alaska Science Forum photo | Posted 11.05.04 at 5:46 am

Southeast wolves depend on salmon

Salmon is an important seasonal food source for Alaska wolves -- especially for growing pups, reports Riley Woodford in the November edition of Alaska Wildlife News.

Image by AMY RUSSELL / Alaska Wildlife News | Posted 11.05.04 at 5:30 am

Alaska volunteers to help track nation’s birds

More than 100 birdwatching Alaskans participate in Cornell University's Project FeederWatch, a citizen-science project in which volunteers from across the country count the numbers and kinds of bird species that visit their winter bird feeders around their homes. This year's birdwatching season begins the weekend of November 13.

Cornell University | Posted 11.04.04 at 6:59 am

Koyukuk study: subsistence fish needs go beyond salmon

Salmon is a fundamental part of life for many rural Alaskans. The arrival of salmon in spring sets in motion a cycle of activity that lasts through summer and into fall. Salmon is the fish of choice, a source of sustenance and a foundation of many cultures. But there are regions throughout Alaska where salmon is scarce, if available at all. In these regions, other fish may play a more important role in the subsistence harvest. A newly published report, funded by the Fisheries Monitoring Program, examines the importance of non-salmon species to the people of the Koyukuk River region.

USFWS - Office of Subsistence Management Alaska | Posted 11.03.04 at 6:49 am

Interns flocking to help study murrelets

University interns are gaining valuable work experience while they help the Department of Fish and Game learn more about the murrelets of Snettisham Inlet, writes ADF&G writer Kristen Romanoff, who joined them in the field earlier this year.

| Posted 10.28.04 at 11:18 pm

Solar forecast for ‘06: calm, fewer auroras

A NASA researcher who's been watching the sun says that a sun without spots today likely means that a "solar minimum," or time of decreased solar activity, is coming about a year ahead of schedule -- by the end of 2006.

NASA | Posted 10.28.04 at 11:04 pm

Even when dead, salmon enhance streams, rivers and forests

During a good year in Bristol Bay, a surge of more than 100 million pounds of sockeye salmon fights its way upstream, spawns, and dies. In Bristol Bay and elsewhere in Alaska, this incredible pulse of salmon carcasses enriches streams and rivers and makes young salmon hardier.

MARK WIPFLI PHOTO / Alaska Science Forum | Posted 10.28.04 at 10:58 pm

Warming tundra could speed up climate change, says NASA

Research conducted at Alaska's Toolik Lake suggests that climate warming in the Arctic tundra could accelerate the Earth's climate change, reports NASA.

NASA | Posted 10.27.04 at 12:35 am

For seals, fewer herrings means greater risk

Where are the harbor seals going? The harbor seal population in Prince William Sound decreased roughly 63 percent between 1984 and 1997. The seals are still losing ground, and only a small portion of the decline can be attributed to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Researchers this winter and summer braved the seas to discover why these animals are disappearing so rapidly.

| Posted 10.27.04 at 12:13 am

Tyrannosaur fossils found in Canadian Arctic

Hans Larsson, a McGill University (Montreal, Quebec) paleontologist, has found physical proof that Canada's Arctic regions once had a Jurassic era. Scientists have suspected that dinosaurs lived in Canada's great north eons ago, yet it remained an unproven theory, since no bones had ever been uncovered.

McGill University Newswire | Posted 10.26.04 at 5:55 am

For research purposes, some whales best heard, not seen

It's worth listening in to learn more about killer whales, say researchers working in Southeast Alaska.

Marine Mammal News | Posted 10.26.04 at 5:44 am

In Calif., some Alaska science stories are legend

The USGS shares how a men's room conversation kept the Alaska pipeline from premature meltdown - and a tale of danger in the line of duty in Alaska that changed one geologist's life forever.

By Marion Softkey / The Almanac | Posted 10.25.04 at 5:54 am

Researcher spending winter with sea lions

Two seasoned biologists are set to live for one year amongst 600 Steller sea lions on a small remote island in Alaska as part of Project "Steller Watch," reports the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium.

North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium | Posted 10.25.04 at 5:29 am

Powerful memories, powerful computer helped create tsunami documentary

Producers of the recently aired documentary Ocean Fury: Tsunamis in Alaska, focusing on the tsunamis that devastated coastal Alaska after the 1964 earthquake, tapped two powerful Alaska resources: the Alaska Region Supercomputer (used to produce animations to help explain the physics of tsunamis), and the collective memory of survivors.

| Posted 10.25.04 at 12:58 am

Return of the Caribou

The caribou would return, the elders said.
More than a century after they were last seen in their winter range on Alaska's Seward Peninsula, tens of thousands of caribou are migrating back into the area, just as the ancestors of present-day reindeer herders predicted.

Photo courtesy Reindeer Research Program / UAF Institute of Arctic Biology | Posted 10.18.04 at 11:42 pm

Researchers seek solutions for fish-filching whales

Some sperm whales and killer whales have found a shortcut to catching fish; let fishermen do it for them. But researchers are seeking a way to deter the animals' habit.

| Posted 10.11.04 at 2:19 am

Fumbling Fingers Led to Discovery of New Alaska Marine Habitat

If not for a slippery strainer, marine scientists Katrin Iken and Brenda Konar might have missed finding a new Alaska marine habitat this summer. Doug Schneider of Arctic Science Journeys tells the story behind the discovery.

| Posted 10.11.04 at 2:01 am

Russian-US researchers battled stormy seas, cultural differences

Reuters reporter Jeffrey Jones wrote evocatively on a recent Russian-American collaboration that included 36 scientists from many disciplines -- all aboard a Soviet-era vessel that "smelled of years' worth of cigarette smoke, sweat and fried onions."

| Posted 10.06.04 at 8:00 pm

Melting tundra would release glut of greenhouse gases, suggests study

Despite their sub-zero temperatures, ecosystems of the frozen north may actually accelerate global warming, University of Florida researchers have found.

Image of Toolik Field Station courtesy National Science Foundation | Posted 09.23.04 at 9:35 pm

Robot sub successfully follows, films octopus

A robotic undersea camera designed to film the elusive giant Pacific octopus successfully followed and filmed one of the creatures this summer in Prince William Sound, report researchers.

Photo by David Scheel | Posted 09.23.04 at 4:35 am

Glacier photos tell story of climate change

A UAF professor returned to the scene of Brooks Range glacier photographed in 1958 and snapped another, largely icefree, image last year. The resulting photo offers "a solid argument for climate change in the Arctic," reports UAF's Ned Rozell.

Photo by Austin Post | Posted 09.23.04 at 1:38 am

NASA in town to discuss “exploring, managing a changing planet”

NASA researchers are presenting Earth and space science findings in Anchorage all this week at the 2004 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) at the Egan Convention Center. My slightly annotated version of the NASA presentation announcements follows -- or you can link to the NASA site to get the original.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL | Posted 09.20.04 at 5:31 pm

Site takes readers to ‘Edge of the Arctic Shelf’

Writer/photographer Chris Linder is filing daily reports and images from the Coast Guard cutter Healy all this month at the cruise Web site "Edge of the Arctic Shelf."

Photo by CHRIS LINDER / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Posted 09.17.04 at 6:32 pm

Scuba-diving scientists discover new coral-like habitat in PW Sound

PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND, Alaska-While researchers in Alaska this summer used high-tech submersibles and huge ships to plumb the deep-ocean depths in search of new species, a team of scuba diving scientists working from an Alaska fishing boat has discovered an entirely new marine habitat just a stone's throw from shore.

University of Alaska Fairbanks | Posted 09.16.04 at 4:52 pm

Canadian aquarium takes over care for Alaska sea otter

A baby sea otter rescued off the coast of Alaska in July is now being cared for at the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada, where visitors can watch the animal's constant care via a live camera feed.

Vancouver Aquarium | Posted 09.14.04 at 7:36 pm

Rehabbed Alaska seal tracked to Russia

An orphaned seal released in early August has made it to Russia, reports the Alaska Sealife Center.

Alaska SeaLife Center | Posted 09.14.04 at 6:19 pm

Is Alaska the next stop for West Nile Virus?

A summer of testing suspect Alaska birds for the presence of West Nile virus, turned up none found to be carrying the disease, which is transmitted in the wild through infected mosquitoes. The virus so far this year has killed 28 people and sickened more than 1,000 in the United States. Will it ever make it to Alaska? Hector Douglas reports.

Iowa State University Entomology Department | Posted 09.14.04 at 5:12 pm

Some farmed salmon slip into Alaska streams

State fisheries experts are on the lookout for farmed Atlantic salmon making their way into Alaska streams, reports ASO

| Posted 09.12.04 at 5:44 pm

Stream specialists assess state’s waters

A team of Alaska water quality scientists spent a few weeks this summer wading (and sampling) a couple dozen creeks in the state's smoky Interior, reports Alaska Science Forum.

NED ROZELL / Alaska Science Forum | Posted 09.09.04 at 5:35 am

Reporting from the wolf den

What's it like wriggling into a Southeast Alaska wolf's den looking for pups while the pack howls around you?

Alaska Wildlife News | Posted 09.03.04 at 11:03 pm

Melting glaciers may lead to more quakes

Recently published NASA-USGS research suggests that retreating glaciers in southern Alaska may be opening the way for future earthquakes.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | Posted 08.18.04 at 10:58 pm

Center’s eiders aren’t ducking romance

No eggs yet -- but there have been waddling, wing-flapping and a few other signs of courtship among some rare, diving seaducks at the Alaska Sealife Center.

Alaska Sealife Center image | Posted 08.18.04 at 1:45 am

How do summer fires affect overwintering caribou?

The USGS Alaska Science Center's "Project of the Month" seems particularly timely: "Assessing wildland fire impacts on the winter habitat use and distribution of caribou within Alaska's interior boreal forest ecosystem."

Image USGS Alaska Science Center | Posted 08.18.04 at 1:40 am

Maybe sea lion is an acquired taste?

Those sea lions that eat marine mammals demonstrate regional preferences.

North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium | Posted 08.17.04 at 11:33 pm

Four decades visiting an Alaska volcano

Glaciologist Carl Benson just can't stay away from Mount Wrangell, reports Ned Rozell.

Photo by SAM SCOTT /Alaska Science Forum | Posted 08.17.04 at 1:47 am

Lost slides tell of 1913 Arctic expedition

The grandson of a Cape Cod, Mass., scientist recently discovered 53 photographic slides from a 1913 expedition to arctic Greenland, where his grandfather traveled as a 31-year-old botanist and geologist.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Posted 08.09.04 at 11:09 am

Speaking of Alvin …

The deep-diving research sub was in Alaska Friday when the National Science Foundation announced Alvin's impending retirement.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Posted 08.09.04 at 10:31 am

Wildfire smoke strands pike researchers

When smoke from Interior wildfires stalled the return flight of US Fish & Wildlife Service researchers Mark Bertram and Jim Akaran, they were stuck for four extra days at remote Burman Lake.

MARK BERTRAM / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Posted 08.07.04 at 11:26 pm

Alvin Returns to Gulf of Alaska Seamounts

The deep-diving research sub Alvin is in Alaska waters again for the third time since 1999.

ASO file photo by S. Senkowsky | Posted 08.05.04 at 4:12 am

Zoo Offers Refuge to Polar Seabirds

The Cincinnati Zoo has developed programs to breed, study, and educate the public about arctic and antarctic seabirds.

Photo courtesy Hector Douglas/Arctic Science Journeys | Posted 08.05.04 at 3:35 am

Mount Spurr Volcano Rumbling

Due to a recent surge in seismic activity, the Alaska Volcano Observatory has raised to "yellow" the level-of-concern color code for this volcano near Anchorage.

AVO file photo by C. Nye | Posted 07.29.04 at 3:35 am

Blue Whales Sighted in Gulf of Alaska

NOAA scientists recently sighted endangered blue whales in Alaskan waters, the first documented report of these whales off Alaska in three decades.

Photo courtesy of NOAA | Posted 07.29.04 at 3:03 am

Biologists writing book on AK dragonflies

While doing research for an upcoming field guide on Alaska's dragonflies, Juneau biologists John Hudson and Bob Armstrong have documented at least three new species, reports Riley Woodford.

Photo by BOB ARMSTRONG / Alaska Wildlife News | Posted 07.27.04 at 4:25 am

Are Floods the Future for the Interior?

While many Interior rivers were trickling this summer, glacier-fed rivers such as the Gerstle have been swelling, shifting -- and overflowing.

Alaska Science Forum | Posted 07.23.04 at 4:14 am

Denali tourists gather wolf data

When the wildlife seems scarce at Denali National Park, "Wolves of Denali" tourists have an advantage: radio tracking equipment.


Fairbanks air worse than Mexico City, Beijing

Thanks to fires, air quality specialists say the level of particulates in Fairbanks air is measuring more than three times the level that the EPA terms hazardous, reports UAF's Ned Rozell.

NED ROZELL / Alaska Science Forum | Posted 07.19.04 at 3:39 am

Humpbacks: muses of the sea?

Researchers aboard the NOAA ship McArthur report finding more than a hundred humpback whales for photo ID studies July 1-8 in Southeast's Chatham Strait.

Photo by ALLEN WOLMAN / NOAA-NMML-NMFS-AK Fisheries | Posted 07.15.04 at 3:56 am

Biologists work to re-establish rare bird

In his latest missive from the western Aleutians, Ned Rozell crawls through the grass with a leading ptarmigan expert to help a rare subspecies of the state bird reclaim its former range.

Alaska Science Forum
| Posted 07.14.04 at 6:14 pm

Visit to nuclear test site proves poignant

University of Alberta researchers tell of their visit to abandoned Amchitka island, where they probed for residual radiation from tests conducted decades ago. The experience was "haunting," a researcher said.

BEV BETKOWSKI / University of Alberta Express News | Posted 07.14.04 at 5:58 pm

Steller sea lion scat shows evidence of large fish dinners

A new way of interpreting partly digested fish bones found in Alaska sea lions indicates the animals have been eating much bigger pollock than once thought, reports Marine Mammal News.

Image by ROLF REAM / NOAA-NMFS-ALASKA FISHERIES-NMML | Posted 07.13.04 at 4:40 am

Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Bad Seafood

When it comes to detecting spoiled fish, the human nose usually knows.

Image by ALEXANDRA OLIVEIRA / Arctic Science Journeys Radio | Posted 07.03.04 at 1:02 am

NASA satellite images show Alaska fires from space

As extreme fire behavior in Alaska continued, NASA captured this image of yellowish-gray smoke hanging over the state with an instrument on NASA's Terra satellite.

Image by JACQUES DESCLOITRES / NASA-Goddard | Posted 07.02.04 at 5:32 am

Missives from the Tiglax

Alaska Science Forum writer Ned Rozell tells of three weeks volunteering on the Tiglax, a research vessel of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge in the Aleutian Islands.

NED ROZELL / Alaska Science Forum | Posted 06.18.04 at 3:44 am

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