News Archive

September 22, 2016
Alaskans love fungi. This was evident one Saturday when author and mycologist Lawrence Millman offered a mushroom walk at Creamer’s Field on one of the wettest days of the yellow-leaf season.   “Eighty people showed up in the rain, all eager to learn about fungi,” Millman said by email after returning to his home in Massachusetts. “I dare say the hunter-gatherer instinct is alive and well...
September 15, 2016
CANWELL GLACIER — This summer, Sam Herreid has slept for 12 nights on these rocks that ride slowly downhill on a mass of ice. For a few days at a time during the last six summers, the 28-year-old has lived on this ephemeral landscape in the eastern Alaska Range. From his regal perch, he is learning how rock cover affects glacier melt.   Sometimes, the Ph.D graduate student at Northumbria...
September 8, 2016
Rabies is a death sentence for any animal. Experts have wondered how a virus survives when it kills all the creatures it infects.   "We don't have a really good answer to that," said UAF's Karsten Hueffer. "It probably has to do with the long incubation time of the virus, which can be months."   Hueffer and his colleagues, including four university undergraduate students, wrote a...
September 1, 2016
UAF FARM FIELDS — Gliding in with their wings folded like paper airplanes, nine Canada geese drop their paddle feet and prepare to land in a corner of this cleared plain.   On this early fall day, the birds could use an air traffic controller. Their landing zone of barley stalks is clogged with the rusty brown bodies of sandhill cranes, strutting like Mick Jagger.   The geese flap...
September 25, 2016
While Alaskans have long endured dense mosquitoes and frigid air, we’ve always had the absence of venomous snakes and dog ticks.   But the latter may be establishing themselves here. Ticks that infest red squirrels, snowshoe hares and a variety of birds have always been present in Alaska, but a team of biologists and veterinarians recently found five non-native ticks on Alaska dogs and...
September 13, 2016
Alfred Brooks was a geologist who traveled thousands of miles in Alaska and left his name on the state’s northernmost mountain range. Twenty years before his death in 1924, he also left behind a summary of what Alaska was like more than one century ago, when “large areas (were) still practically unexplored.”   In his 1906 government report, “Geography and Geology of Alaska. A Summary of...
September 5, 2016
MOOSE CREEK DAM — For the thirteenth consecutive day, four plates of steel in a framework of concrete have quietly saved Fairbanks.   Heavy rains in the basin of the Chena River, the waterway that spawned Fairbanks, have swelled the river to where motorboats can’t squeeze beneath downtown bridges.   Dam-tenders here have responded by lowering steel gates into the river. The gates...
August 17, 2016
Date: August 26, 2016 -August 27, 2016 Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Location: HAARP, mile 11.3 Tok Cutoff; Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitor Center, mile 106.8 Richardson Highway The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute is planning a special public lecture and open house at the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program research facility later this month. The lecture will be...
August 1, 2016
Using the tiniest of clues, scientists have determined what probably killed the woolly mammoths of St. Paul Island — thirst. “It looks like climate did them in,” said Matthew Wooller, the UAF scientist who in 2013 went to St. Paul as part of a diverse team and brought back lake cores for analysis. “The smoking gun looks like access to freshwater resources was the coups de gras.” Wooller and other...
July 28, 2016
For all the descriptive Alaska place names out there — like the Grand Canyon, the Wall of China and the three Death Valleys — there are some that make you wonder. Elephant Point is just south of the Arctic Circle on a tundra peninsula north of Buckland. Village residents are at Elephant Point right now, living at their fish camps and catching salmon. Elephant Point was the site of a village where...