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If you had asked me as a youth what I wanted to be, I would probably have said something about a biologist and working near the ocean.

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You may not notice it as you scooped fish out of the Copper River or rode your bike through the tawny light of 10 p.m., but Alaska is about to make a left turn toward winter.

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“I came here 40 years ago, when I just moved up from Juneau,” Kes Woodward says in a South Carolina accent soft as butter. “These trees were just saplings.”

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In Alaska’s infinite waters swims a handsome, silvery fish. Until recently, we knew little about the Bering cisco, which exists only around Alaska and Siberia. Then a scientist combined his unique life experiences with modern tools to help color in the fish’s life history.

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On the final cabin trip of the spring, as my friend Andy and I skied along a packed ribbon of snow, the wolf tracks were a surprise.

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The Alsek, a world-class rafting river that flows into the Gulf of Alaska from its headwaters in Canada, may soon abandon the lower part of its drainage for a steeper one 15 miles away. 

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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.

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Bowhead whales are true northern creatures, swimming only in cold oceans off Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and Russia. These bus-size whales have the largest mouths in the animal kingdom, can live for 200 years and can go without eating for more than a year due to their remarkable fat …

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Jan. 23, 2021, is the 50th anniversary of Alaska’s all-time cold temperature: minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded by a weather observer at Prospect Creek Camp.

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Makoto Odlin picked the perfect year to submit an entry into the Eric Lochman Memorial Big Buck Contest. Any other year and the winning rack he entered would have barely sniffed the top 10.

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More than 100 years ago, a man traveled north on a mission most people thought was ridiculous — to see if crops would grow in the frozen wasteland known as the Territory of Alaska.

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During the darkest days of Alaska’s winter, black-capped chickadees stuff themselves with enough seeds and frozen insects to survive 18-hour nights. Where the chickadees spend those long nights was a mystery until a biologist tracked them.

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On a certain weekday during each of the past 13 Decembers, I have settled into a chair at a long table, pulled out my notepad and listened to experts talk about the changes they have noticed north of the Arctic Circle.

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“On winter mornings, just as the sun’s uncertain light slopes across the Tanana Flats, ravens fly over my log cabin on their daily commute to town. Perhaps, like me, they would prefer to remain here in the hills above Fairbanks, where temperatures are usually ten or twenty degrees warmer. Bu…

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Ice that floats on far-north oceans has been dwindling the last few years. Scientists have described the shrinking of this solar reflector — once bigger than Russia and now taking up less space than Australia — as a breakdown of the world’s refrigerator.

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Will Harrison, who knew the world’s bumpy plains of ice as well as his old neighborhood in Saint John, New Brunswick, has died. He was 84.

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Biologist Stacia Backensto has fooled a raven. When trying to recapture birds on Alaska’s North Slope during her graduate student days at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she wore a moustache and beard. She also strapped pillows to her waist.

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On the first day of October, a little girl pulls on her rubber boots and rushes outside into crisp fall air. She knows the days are getting shorter, but she doesn’t realize Alaska is a week past the autumnal equinox.

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Blustery conditions on Sunday at Salonie Creek Rifle Range tested shooters in a benchrest centerfire match. 

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Michael Kerwood continued his torrid shooting on Sunday at the Salonie Creek Rifle Range. 

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The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has decreased bag limits for sockeye salmon in the Saltery River drainage for anglers to two per day and two in possession from Saturday to Dec. 31, according to a department press release. 

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Alaska’s landscape has an unusual feature that allows us to enjoy cheap bananas in Fairbanks and other things that make life better in the subarctic.

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A scientist recently wondered which animal travels farthest across the landscape in one year. In doing his research, he found a few Alaska creatures near the top of the list.

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Eddie Arellano Jr. felt fishing euphoria during the first week of June.

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A little after 6:30 p.m. on May 29, a black bear attacked 53-year-old Wasilla resident Mike Becwar, who was out jogging near Pump Station 5, where he works as a wastewater treatment specialist.

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High summer is here in middle Alaska. North of Fairbanks, in bright sunshine, alder flycatchers are perched in spruce tops, just arriving from Bolivia and Peru. A few steps away, accompanied by the smell of sulfur, dozens of carrion flies buzz on and above a moose carcass.

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After the final steps of a long run in early March, Greg Finstad took his pulse rate. His heart was at 38 beats per minute. Perfect. The reindeer biologist and marathon runner was in top shape to run this year’s Boston Marathon.

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Last night I went out for a drink with a couple of friends. As we arrived, the band was just leaving after playing for an empty room all evening and we had our choice of, well, all of the tables.

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On the cusp of Interior Alaska’s springtime, Melinda Webster will not experience it this year. She’ll miss most of summer, too. Webster will soon head north of Earth’s land masses, to spend the next half year cradled in ice.

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Nate Becker lives with his family on a quiet stretch of the Yukon River as it flows into Alaska. On a recent ski trip, I visited the Beckers’ home along with two geologist friends. Nate had a question for them.

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Today, I was woken up by the sounds of playing children. There is a lot of shouting and screaming involved, a lot of stomping of running feet, doors opening and slamming shut, and a lot of energy. As the kids were outside in the snow, I spent some time watching as they were totally engulfed …

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We just skied 100 miles of the frozen Yukon River, two friends and I, until it got too cold for our skis to glide, and we flew back to Fairbanks on a plane that landed on both skis and wheels.

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KODIAK — Most of us have heard of the great trout fishing in other parts of the country and around the world. If you’re a fishing crazy like me, you’ve probably even dreamt about them.  

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KODIAK — I’m delighted to report a momentous weekend. My wife and I visited a favorite beach and connected with our first pink salmon! They’re few and scattered now but with each passing day more and more will be converging along our beaches. By the end of the month, there will be hordes alm…

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KODIAK — If you’re new to Kodiak and love deer hunting and venison, there’s a nice surprise in your future. But don’t feel alone if it catches you unaware.