Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
Science
 
The mystery of 53 dead caribou in the Alaska Range
Forty-two years ago, an Army helicopter pilot flying over a tundra plateau saw a group of caribou. Thinking something looked weird, he circled for a closer look. The animals, dozens of them, were dead. The pilot reported what he saw to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The caribou, 48 adults and five calves, were lying in a group. The way their carcasses rested showed no signs that the animals had been runni...
Jul 02, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
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Ever-changing: the number of Alaskan glaciers
A glaciologist once wrote that the number of glaciers in Alaska “is estimated at (greater than) 100,000.” That fuzzy number, perhaps written in passive voice for a reason, might be correct. But it depends upon how you count. Another glaciologist saw an example of the confusion when he visited Yakutat Glacier. Yakutat, near the Alaska town of the same name, is a withering glacier that calves into a deep lake of its...
Jun 25, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Ever-changing: the number of Alaskan glaciers
A glaciologist once wrote that the number of glaciers in Alaska “is estimated at (greater than) 100,000.” That fuzzy number, perhaps written in passive voice for a reason, might be correct. But it depends upon how you count. Another glaciologist saw an example of the confusion when he visited Yakutat Glacier. Yakutat, near the Alaska town of the same name, is a withering glacier that calves into a deep lake of its...
Jun 25, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Arctic Alaska shines in a different light
Slicing through the top quarter of the Alaska map, the Arctic Circle marks the boundary of perpetual light. North of the line, the sun won't set on summer solstice. But somehow the breezy, treeless tundra of Barrow has a more arctic feel than Fort Yukon, also pole-ward of the line but home to dense spruce forests and Alaska's all-time high temperature of 100 degrees. A more "ecologically sound" definition of the A...
Jun 18, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
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Old-growth spruce destroyed at research site
This spring, John Yarie learned of the death of the oldest living things he knew. Since 1988, the silviculture professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks had measured and fertilized a stand of giant spruce trees on a hillside south of Fairbanks. A few weeks ago, forest technicians visited the site and found that one dozen trees had been cut down, possibly by "wood poachers." "I'm just really disappointed some...
Jun 11, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
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Astronaut recruit: Alaska a good analog for space
Jessica Cherry spends her favorite moments looking at Alaska from above. As a new recruit for a class of astronaut candidates, she may someday view the world from miles higher. Cherry, 37, is a pilot and professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' International Arctic Research Center and Institute of Northern Engineering. She flies small aircraft all over the state for fun and research. She is also a member o...
Jun 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Woods of Alaska stir after long winter slumber
It’s late May, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. The season has changed since February, the last time I wrote about walking through the North Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The North Campus is a rectangle of more than 1,000 acres that begins a few steps south of my door and ends at the university’s multistory research buildings. The spruce-dominated forest, bordered on all s...
May 28, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Seismologists answer the call to rural Alaska
Natalia Ruppert was at the dentist when she heard the ping of a text message on her phone. When she rose out of the chair, she noticed a magnitude 4.2 earthquake happened near Noatak. “Aftershock,” she thought, as she remembered her recent visit to the northwest Alaska village of about 500 people. Ruppert, a seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Center in Fairbanks, last week flew north at the request of Northwe...
May 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Minto Flats the home of hidden faults
Just over the hill from Fairbanks is a broad, swampy lowland pocked with lakes and sliced by crooked brown streams. You could hide Anchorage in Minto Flats, home to more moose, beavers and northern pike than people. The spongy surface of the flats is good for a few things: making mosquitoes and hiding the effects of frequent earthquakes. Seismologists can’t see any giant rips on the self-healing surface, but they ...
May 14, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend
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Teshekpuk Lake Observatory a special place
TESHEKPUK LAKE -- Suspended in glass on the oil stove, the coffee leans south, as if the giant lake has a gravitational pull. Though Ben Jones has leveled this cabin before, he sees a useful function in the current slope, caused by thawed permafrost. Any snow blown in during the long winter will drain through the door when the warm air comes, he figures. Jones sees most coffee pots as half full, I have observed. T...
Apr 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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