Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Alaska Science Forum: Forty years of change on top of the world
SAN FRANCISCO — From a lecture hall within a land of warm breezes and flowering December plants comes a story of a creature 2,600 miles north, where the sun will not rise for another 50 days. At the 2012 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, biologist George Divoky had 15 minutes to present his lifetime of work with a bird that adapted to year-round life in the Arctic during the last ice age. Divoky led ...
Dec 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Yakutat time, correcting some errors, big meeting in San Francisco
A few people contacted me after a column I wrote on time zones a while back. Flip Todd of Anchorage called to say Yakutat clocks displayed a different time than those anywhere else in Alaska prior to 1983. Back then, before Alaska went to the current two-time-zone system, Yakutat followed Yukon time, one hour removed from both Juneau and Anchorage. Flip also corrected my misspelling, in a later column, of the Tako...
Dec 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Goodbye to a giant of glacier research
High-school dropout Austin Post’s career began in the 1950s, when colleagues made up the title “Senior Meteorologist” to include him in a funding proposal. Post later recalled with humor that he misspelled both of those words on his application. Despite objections from the secretary that processed his paperwork, Post then embarked on a decades-long adventure of capturing images of North America’s glaciers from the...
Nov 28, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Ancient skeletons of McGrath raise questions
The room smelled of a smoked moosehide covering a table that held birch-bark baskets and a white box rimmed with beadwork flowers. Inside the box were the smooth bones of an adult man, a teenager and a child dug up within sight of the McGrath School. The discovery, recently announced in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor’s Center in Fairbanks, is unique because bones don’t often last for hundreds of years wh...
Nov 21, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Doubling our daylight savings
Last week, Carl Benson accepted a lifetime achievement award from the place he has worked since Dwight Eisenhower was president. As the 85-year-old snow and ice scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s Geophysical Institute rose to applause from his friends and coworkers, memories rushed back to me. One was the frigid January day he invited me along in his car to a busy intersection...
Nov 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Snow researcher finds his Arctic
Imagine planning a dream journey across a landscape you have seen for years, if only in your mind’s eye. You get to choose the means of transportation, the never-before-done route, and your travel companions. These friends are invited because they can remove and replace a snowmachine clutch, they share your excitement at seeing what’s beyond the next river bend, and they make you laugh in the cook tent at dinnerti...
Nov 07, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Lake stars and windshield cracks now forming over Alaska
As Alaska’s billion lakes become colder and harder, some of them will sport mysterious, spidery cracks extending from small holes in the ice. This phenomenon inspired a geophysicist to figure out what he calls “lake stars.” “I thought something so pretty and relatively commonly observed should be understandable, so I pursued it,” said Victor Tsai, who wrote perhaps the only paper in existence on lake stars. Tsai, ...
Oct 31, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: A far-off place, all for the birds
HALL ISLAND — On this windy, misty August day, there are perhaps one million birds clinging to the cliffs that buttress this Bering Sea island. These seabirds, crazy-eyed and with bodies both sleek and clumsy, need solid ground for just a few months to hold their eggs. When their summer mission is complete, the birds scatter to the vastness of the sea. The temporary human population on Hall Island is six — five bi...
Oct 24, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: American dipper swims throughout Alaska winters
On the upper Chena River in the heart of a cold winter, a songbird appeared on a gravel bar next to gurgling water that somehow remained unfrozen in 20-below zero air. Then the bird jumped in, disappeared underwater, and popped up a few feet upstream. The bird continued snorkeling and diving against the current of the stream, which is so far north that in December direct sunlight never touches it, instead bathing ...
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Mystery wolf didn’t survive in Alaska
An Alaska wolf that disappeared about 12,000 years ago just made another appearance. No one will ever see this wolf, but scientists have found that it was different from Alaska’s wolves of today, and it was not like its Ice-Age contemporaries that lived in, among other places, Los Angeles. Blaire Van Valkenburgh is a UCLA researcher who lives and studies very close to the La Brea Tar Pits in downtown Los Angeles. ...
Oct 10, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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