News Archive

February 22, 2018
During the coldest days of the last ice age, the Bering Land Bridge was 1,000 miles wide, a belt buckle the size of Australia that connected North America and Asia.   That mysterious land of green plants, streams and hills persisted for thousands of years, until seas swelling with glacial melt ate it up. All that remains are mountaintops that are now St. Lawrence and other islands, and the...
February 15, 2018
Space weather affects snowplow drivers carving through Thompson Pass in a whiteout, Iowa farmers dropping seeds of corn, and wedding planners who release white doves during the ceremony.   These and other customers subscribe to daily forecasts from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.   Rodney Viereck works there. He and his teammates monitor eruptions on...
February 8, 2018
In a packed university conference room, biologist Randy Brown spoke of chinook, the fatty king of far-north salmon.   “It’s more than just a fish, it’s a culture,” Brown said to the Fairbanks crowd, many of them Alaska Natives.   Brown is the lead author on a paper in which he documented all the known Yukon River chinook salmon spawning beds in the U.S. and Canada. The fish...
February 1, 2018
The annual volume of water from melting glaciers has begun to drop in almost half the 56 large river basins investigated in a recent study, a trend that the authors say will expand to other basins and affect water supplies across the globe. Research conducted by Regine Hock of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute and Matthias Huss of ETH Zürich in Switzerland projected...
February 1, 2018
What’s this? Another aftershock?   That’s hundreds now, each more faint than the last.   Sorry, I guess I’ve moved on. I should pay more attention, given that you — a 7.9 deep in the seafloor not far from Kodiak — are the most powerful earthquake on the planet since one off Mexico last August.    It’s just that you’re so mysterious, hard to define. And you got buried in...
January 29, 2018
2018 Science For Alaska Lecture SeriesDate: Jan. 30, 2018 – March 06, 2018Time: Tuesdays, 7 – 8 p.m.Location: Raven Landing Center, 1222 Cowles Street, Fairbanks AK The 2018 Science for Alaska Lecture Series will offer free public talks about current research each Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Raven Landing Center in Fairbanks, starting Jan. 30. Subjects will include Alaska’s weather history, the...
January 25, 2018
Two things happened on top of the world this week. In Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), on January 22 the sun topped the horizon for the first time since mid-November.    The day before that, January 21, was the first time since Halloween the town’s thermometers recorded a below-normal daily average air temperature.   The returning daylight for the continent’s farthest north...
January 12, 2018
There are no photographs of bison spilling by the thousands across the Great Plains. By the time cameras came along, most of the bison were gone. John Wright of Fairbanks believes he has an Alaska version of what that photo might have been.   His image, 12 slide frames stitched together to show the Brooks Range rising from northern tundra, is papered on a wall of the University of Alaska...
December 21, 2017
NEW ORLEANS — As a child, Deb Long spent many hours at the post office in Ester, Alaska. Her mother Ruth was the postmaster there. As an adult, she has settled into a funky little house that stands on brick legs in the Holy Cross section of New Orleans. She likes to listen to jazz while trimming her banana tree and working on a former wagon house she rents out as an airbnb.   After she...
December 14, 2017
NEW ORLEANS — At this gathering of thousands scientists at a horseshoe bend of the lower Mississippi River, a few talked about a place far away they have been watching for years.   “The Arctic shows no sign of returning to the reliably frozen state it was a decade ago,” said Jeremy Mathis, an oceanographer with the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle.    He was one of...