News Archive

October 18, 2017
The wolf tracks appeared as they always do, as a surprise.   On a day between fall and winter, with the leaves fallen and browning but the ground not yet hard, I was walking with my dog and an a.m. radio. We were descending a four-wheeler trail on a hillside 20 miles from the nearest town, Minto.   The dog was exercising its need to move after a summer of walking across the state....
October 5, 2017
Life exists everywhere you look. Even on glacier ice, home to inch-long worms, snow fleas, bacteria and algae.   When gathered by the millions on the ice, algae cells can help make the water they need to survive. Alaska scientists recently studied this living agent of glacier melt.   “If you went to a place on a glacier and scraped the algae away, about 20 percent of the melting...
September 9, 2017
Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute are exploring the changing chemistry of the Arctic’s atmosphere to help answer the question of what happens as snow and ice begin to melt. The research, led by chemistry professor William R. Simpson, is concerned with the Arctic’s reactive bromine season, which is the period of time when bromine is consuming ozone, producing...
October 5, 2017
In her study of one of the farthest north lynx populations in North America this summer, Claire Montgomerie used her ears. While looking at the satellite tracker a female lynx was wearing, Montgomerie saw the animal was hanging around a hillside north of the Arctic Circle, not far from Coldfoot. The University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student suspected the lynx might have paused in its...
October 2, 2017
The new blue antenna that sits atop the Elvey Building at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is now operational. The antenna was installed in March and replaced an antenna that had been a West Ridge landmark for the past 25 years. Staff at the Alaska Satellite Facility ground station have been testing the new 9-meter satellite dish since then. The new antenna will improve the satellite facility’s...
August 30, 2017
Building the unmanned aircraft systems industry in Alaska and the North will be the theme of the Alaska UAS Interest Group’s annual meeting in Fairbanks Sept. 13-15 at the Wedgewood Resort. There will also be an icebreaker on the 12th for registrants. The meeting will bring industry people together to learn about the latest ways to use unmanned aircraft for research, exploration, infrastructure...
August 17, 2017
A few days ago, Cora the dog and I walked across a footbridge spanning a natural moat flowing through northern tundra plants. There, we reached mile 0 of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the finish of a south-to-north walk across Alaska, most of it on the service road that parallels the pipeline. Though the orange-and-black mile markers along the pipe read 800 in Valdez and 0 near Prudhoe Bay, due...
August 10, 2017
FRANKLIN BLUFFS — I said goodbye to my final hiking partner today outside a van on the side of a gravel highway. For the remaining 40 miles in my summer hike along the path of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, it will be just Cora and me. When I walked away from Eric Troyer and the muddy Northern Alaska Tour Company van that was taking him south, I wondered if he was relieved or bummed not to keep going...
August 9, 2017
The most common types of satellite images are only able to see the “top” of the sky — if it is a cloudy day, the satellite will only be able to see the tops of the clouds. For weather forecasters studying sea ice, this can be a large problem. “Consider if you were riding a satellite looking down at Alaska in the springtime,” said Eric Stevens, a science liaison at the Geographic Information...
August 3, 2017
University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers recently gave Juneau and Sitka new information about what ocean waters near these Southeast Alaska communities might do during a tsunami. The information came from UAF Geophysical Institute tsunami modelers Elena Suleimani and Dmitry Nicolsky. They’re working to provide inundation maps and other information to the 60 to 70 Alaska communities that could...