News Archive

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...
August 3, 2017
SAGANAVIRKTOK RIVER — August, here so soon. And we just passed Trans-Alaska Pipeline mile 100, which means that distance remains on our summer hike from Valdez to Prudhoe Bay. My dog Cora and I started walking on April 30, which means we’re in our fifth month of sleeping outside. For this week, I’m hiking with Eric Troyer, who ran the White Mountains 100 race in less than two days this spring. I...
July 28, 2017
ATIGUN RIVER — Goodbye, red squirrels. On our summer-long hike along the path of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, this morning my dog Cora and I left the last tangle of boreal forest along America’s highway system. We walked away from a campsite of white spruce and balsam poplar that shielded us during a rain and wind storm the day before. The squeak we heard from a red squirrel, whose diet is mostly...
July 20, 2017
I suspected my brief dogless period was coming to an end when my wife and daughter were looking at puppies on the Internet. We had a few months earlier lost Poops, a Labrador retriever mix, to a tumor on a front paw. Though it was strange not to have a creature greeting you with socks in its mouth, I was enjoying the break from responsibility. But Kristen and Anna found a crop of puppies being...
July 13, 2017
JIM RIVER — On this cobble bar north of the Arctic Circle, it is a fine day. The sky is a sheet of blue, a breeze wraps us with clean air, a sandpiper mom shrieks over her hatchlings. They are gray-blue puffballs, extra cute and almost invisible amid the stones. In short, this is a perfect morning for the human creature, with its narrow range of comfort regarding temperature and insects. Along my...