Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
ALASKA SCIENCE FORUM: A float down the Tanana River
This is not Henry Allen's Tanana River. Nor is it the Trail River of people living here thousands of years before the nineteenth-century government explorer struggled his way down the Tanana. But it seems close. I'm on a family trip down the wide brown river, starting where it arcs from the mountains to Fairbanks. Wife, daughter, dog and I will float the river 150 miles to the town of Manley Hot Springs, where our...
Aug 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: The loneliest camp on Earth
One of the quietest places in Alaska was temporarily home to a few hardy people when the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock. An archaeologist has fleshed out what life might have been like during a winter on St. Matthew Island in the 1600s. In some ways, St. Matthew, more than 200 miles from the nearest Alaska settlement (the village of Mekoryuk) is a great place to live: lush with plantlife (some of it edible); mi...
Aug 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Red-backed voles climb into scientific literature
A few years ago, Link Olson wanted students in his mammalogy class to see one of the neatest little creatures in Alaska, the northern flying squirrel. He baited a few live traps with peanut butter rolled in oats and placed them in spruce trees. When he returned the next day, he found no flying squirrels. Instead, peering back at him were the beady eyes of the mice of the north, red-backed voles. The curator of mam...
Aug 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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ALASKA SCIENCE FORUM: Ancient northern pike found in lake mud
While slicing a cylinder of mud he pulled from an Interior Alaska lake, Matthew Wooller ran into a snag. The wire he was using to cut the mud stopped when it hit something solid. He grabbed a knife, carved around the obstruction, and made a discovery. "There were a bunch of bones and very sharp teeth sprouting from the lake mud," said Wooller, the head of the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility at UAF. Suspecting the p...
Jul 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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The northern boreal bird nursery
CUTLINES Photos: 1. A yellow-rumped warbler sits on a nest near the Middle Fork of the Chandalar River. 2. A robin chick in a nest near the Middle Fork of the Chandalar River. 3. Wilderness guide Garrett Jones of Fairbanks next to a spruce tree hosting a robin's nest at eye level. photos by Ned Rozell. MIDDLE FORK, CHANDALAR RIVER — Two-hundred miles straight north of my home in Fairbanks, I'm at the northern edge...
Jun 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
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ALASKA SCIENCE FORUM: An intriguing rock in the Alaska wilderness
NEAR THE MIDDLE FORK, CHANDALAR RIVER — Our knees pressed into crunchy lichen, three of us hunch around a rock the size of a postage stamp. Peter Jenniskens, a meteor astronomer with the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California, is smiling. This rock is unusual: it was sitting on top of day-glow lichen and is dark as a charcoal briquette. “I’m very excited by this top ...
Jun 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Rocks from space in Alaska backcountry
On February 26 at 1:06 p.m., someone in northern Alaska may have seen a torch of light in the cold daytime sky. On that afternoon, satellites detected a meteoric fireball headed toward Earth. An asteroid six feet in diameter penetrated the atmosphere at 13 miles per second, piercing the protective shell of gases at a steep angle. Arriving from the northwest, the asteroid exploded 21 miles above the ground. A spray...
Jun 10, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Denali plants more diverse up high
When Carl Roland was hiking the high country in an Alaska national park not long ago, he thought the landscape looked different than any park in the Lower 48. The alpine zone seemed to be carpeted with more plant species than the much-larger forests and wetlands in the valleys below. When Roland looked at plant inventories from a large chunk of Denali National Park, he confirmed a pattern that seems unique: An inc...
Jun 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Anatomy of the worst fire year
In a gorgeous warm May this year, we have not yet sniffed the bitter scent of flaming spruce. When we do, many of us will think back to a year that still haunts us. In summer 2004, a Vermont-sized patch of Alaska burned in wildfires. That hazy summer was the most extreme fire year in the half century people have kept score. Here's how it happened. May 2004 was warmer than average in the Interior, ground zero for A...
May 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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Seventeen trillion wingbeats over Alaska
And they are here. Sluggish mosquitoes, sprung from the leaves where they overwintered. Moths and butterflies flitting the fields and south-facing slopes. Beetles skittering along in pinstripe-grooved exoskeletons. How many insects are stirring on the surface of Alaska? That's a fun but hard-to-answer question that Derek Sikes recently pondered in response to writer and wilderness guide Michael Engelhard. I was a ...
May 20, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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