Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Alaska Science Forum: Research sniffs out what a bird’s nose knows
After reading a recent column about whales’ ability to smell, a few people wanted to know more about the same sense in birds. “Every bird that’s been studied has a sense of smell,” said Julie Hagelin, a biologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who has pondered that overlooked ability in birds for years. Hagelin’s is a small but expanding field that has changed how some people interpret bird behavior. Biolog...
Mar 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Super cool bark beetles can beat the freeze
As we pull on our winter coats and wool hats to shield our tropical bodies from the cold, there is a creature in our midst that survives Alaska’s coldest temperatures bare-naked.     The red flat bark beetle lives as far north as there are balsam poplar trees in Alaska, hunkering down for the winter in the moist area between dead bark and tree. Scientists like Todd Sformo have found most of them in the larval stag...
Mar 07, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Cleaning up after NASA rocket parts come down
VENETIE — The cozy log structure smells of coffee, gasoline, and spruce logs burning in a stove made from a 55-gallon drum. Inside the building that serves as the Village Council headquarters for Venetie, Josh Bundick explains a new policy that rewards villagers who find spent rocket parts launched from north of Fairbanks. The Venetie men and women in the cabin look at one another when Bundick mentions that Nation...
Feb 22, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Glacier hiking adventure for girls launches Alaska version
After more than a decade on the glaciers of Washington, Girls on Ice is coming to Alaska. Girls on Ice is a program in which nine girls spend 11 adventurous days on a glacier with professional women glaciologists and mountaineers. The program is the creation of Alaska glaciologist Erin Pettit, who it up the program not long after she helped lead field trips for inner-city elementary schoolers in Los Angeles. “They...
Feb 15, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Beloved Alaskan scientist leaves colorful legacy
Alaska scientist Davis “Dave” Sentman died in December 2011. The man who named “sprites,” colorful discharges that burst upward from thunderclouds, was 66 years old. Sentman, a professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute, retired from the university in spring 2011. This gave him more time to follow a remarkable sense of curiosity that was evident as his brothers sorted through S...
Feb 08, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Eroding islands and disappearing glaciers
The latest meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco in December 2011 featured hundreds of talks about Earth science, some of those relating to Alaska (and some of those comprehensible to a non-scientist). Here are a few items from the notebook I carried around the Moscone Center. Aleutian island morphs speedily Chris Waythomas of the Alaska Volcano Observatory in Anchorage spoke of how Kasatochi ...
Feb 01, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Southeast bay is site of killer waves, deadly tides
One of the prettiest places in Southeast Alaska has felt some of nature’s most violent behavior. Lituya Bay, on the Pacific coast about 100 miles southeast of Yakutat and 40 miles west of Glacier Bay, is the site of the largest splash wave ever recorded. In 1958, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake triggered a tremendous landslide into the ocean. The wave that followed reached 1,740 feet above sea level on a hill opposite ...
Jan 25, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Record cold, no record snow for Kodiak in December
KODIAK — As Kodiak continues to bear the consequences of a snowier than average January, the Alaska Climate Research Center has released statewide climate figures for the last month of 2011. Observers reported a warmer than average December for much of Alaska. Kodiak, Nome, Barrow and King Salmon showed colder average temperatures than expected from the long term. Kodiak was 2.8 degrees colder than the long-term a...
Jan 18, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Engineer recalls pipeline, permafrost
In 1973, Elden Johnson was a young engineer with a job working on one of the most ambitious and uncertain projects in the world — an 800-mile steel pipeline that carried warm oil over frozen ground. Thirty-five years later, Johnson looked back at what he called “the greatest story ever told of man’s interaction with permafrost.” Strung out over and beneath the surface of Alaska from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, the Tran...
Jan 11, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: The Alaska porcupine’s winter in slow-motion
While running through Bicentennial Park in Anchorage, biologist Jessy Coltrane spotted a porcupine in a birch tree. On her runs on days following, she saw it again and again, in good weather and bad. Over time, she knew which Alaska creature she wanted to study. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, how does he do it? How does this animal make it through winter?’” Coltrane said during the December defense of her doctoral thesis...
Dec 28, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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