Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
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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Alaska Science Forum: Spring equinox tips the light northward
My thermometer here in Fairbanks is stuck on single digits today, but the height of the sun and a quick online check informs me that this is indeed the spring equinox. We will experience daylight for half the day, which was beyond imagining when the sun was two fingers above the Alaska Range in December. In many places, including the green foothills of New York’s Adirondack Mountains where I grew up, this equinox ...
Mar 28, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Searching for secrets within the Alaska sled dog
Mike Davis lives in Oklahoma, but he travels to Alaska all the time to work with our greatest athletes. “I’m up here about once a month, about half around Anchorage and half around Fairbanks,” the Oklahoma State University veterinarian and exercise physiologist said on the phone from Wasilla. “If I could settle on a single address, I could get a Permanent Fund Dividend.” Davis was in Wasilla for the start of the I...
Mar 21, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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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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