Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Alaska Science Forum: Arctic lakes getting a closer look
Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but Alaska has more than that in the great expanse of flatlands north of the Brooks Range. These ubiquitous far-north bodies of water — most of them formed by the disappearance of ancient, buried ice that dimples the landscape as it thaws — make the maps of Alaska’s coastal plain look like Swiss cheese. A large group of scientists are now taking a closer look at Alaska’s “the...
May 30, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: The tiny universe on a glacier
A scientist wearing plastic boots and crampons knelt on Gulkana Glacier and pointed at the king of beasts, a snow flea. “He is the top of the food chain on this glacier,” said biologist Nozomu Takeuchi. The snow flea, a tiny wingless insect also known as a springtail, sprang away at the advance of Takeuchi’s finger, landing near a stream of meltwater. Takeuchi opened a notebook and scribbled with a pencil. He was ...
May 23, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Feathered invader flocks to the north
A while back, Ron Koczaja was walking a riverbank in Kasigluk with a village elder when a large, striking bird perched on a powerline. “What is that bird?” the woman asked. “A magpie,” said Koczaja, a teacher in the village. “What’s it called in Yupik?” “I don’t know,” she said. “Them birds never used to be here. There is no word.” Koczaja, a math teacher at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks, remembered this exchang...
May 18, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Underwater gardens filter harbor
On a nice spring day in Kodiak it is a delight to take a stroll along the harbor and let your gaze wander past the mountains in the distance, the breakwaters lined by sea birds and the boats gleaming in the sunshine. Strolling along the docks, you can try to see what lies beneath the surface and you will discover that the dock itself is home to a multitude of life forms. Each float is overgrown with a garden compo...
May 11, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: North Slope wolf's epic trip ends abruptly
Thanks to information from a collar that communicated with satellites, a biologist has closed the book on the long journey of a male wolf that left its pack one year ago and wandered thousands of miles through northern Alaska. When I last wrote about the wolf in August 2011, the silvery black creature was somewhere in the rolling tundra east of Deadhorse, having traveled more than 1,500 miles from its former home ...
May 09, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Siberian language shows mysterious link to Alaska
Spoken by only a few dozen people, a language uttered in river villages 3,000 miles from Alaska is related to Tlingit, Eyak and Athabaskan. This curious link has researchers wondering how people in the middle of Siberia can be related to Alaskans and other North Americans, and what it means to the populating of the Americas. When he visited Kellog Village in central Siberia a few years ago, Edward Vajda stirred th...
May 02, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Tiny animals feed the biggest ones
What’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner? How about 660 pounds of shrimp? That is about the amount a grown gray whale scoops up per day. Why so much? Because the gray whales that are just now swimming past Kodiak on their northward migration have fasted for several months since they left our climes last fall on their migration to the coast of Mexico. What draws them back to Alaska every year are tiny shrimp. I am us...
Apr 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Unusual measures measure unusual snow
After a winter of outstanding snow conditions, three scientists drove snowmachines up Valdez Glacier this spring, curious to see how far they could get. They made it across the frozen lake at the toe of the glacier, up the First Bench and then the Second Bench (both named by prospectors long ago who labored up the glacier, trying the low-percentage “All-American Route” to the Klondike). The researchers followed th...
Apr 25, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Big, slow species first of summer mosquitoes
After researching the mealtime mechanisms of mosquitoes, I’ve come up with a fool-proof plan to keep the bloodsuckers off me this summer. First, I’ll wear light-colored clothing. Second, I’ll bathe more often in an attempt to be as odorless as possible. Third, I won’t exhale while I’m in the woods. “Snow mosquitoes,” the big, sluggish mosquitoes that are the first to irritate us, survive the winter by bundling up ...
Apr 18, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Explorer’s magnetic measurements ring true
More than a century ago, Roald Amundsen and his crew were the first to sail through the Northwest Passage, along the way leaving footprints in Eagle, Nome and Sitka. Pioneering that storied route was a dream of Amundsen’s since his boyhood in Norway, but he also performed enduring science on the three-year voyage of the Gjøa. Amundsen, from Norway, was 30 years old when, in the early 1900s, he envisioned and then ...
Apr 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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