Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Old-growth spruce destroyed at research site
This spring, John Yarie learned of the death of the oldest living things he knew. Since 1988, the silviculture professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks had measured and fertilized a stand of giant spruce trees on a hillside south of Fairbanks. A few weeks ago, forest technicians visited the site and found that one dozen trees had been cut down, possibly by "wood poachers." "I'm just really disappointed some...
Jun 11, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Astronaut recruit: Alaska a good analog for space
Jessica Cherry spends her favorite moments looking at Alaska from above. As a new recruit for a class of astronaut candidates, she may someday view the world from miles higher. Cherry, 37, is a pilot and professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' International Arctic Research Center and Institute of Northern Engineering. She flies small aircraft all over the state for fun and research. She is also a member o...
Jun 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Woods of Alaska stir after long winter slumber
It’s late May, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. The season has changed since February, the last time I wrote about walking through the North Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The North Campus is a rectangle of more than 1,000 acres that begins a few steps south of my door and ends at the university’s multistory research buildings. The spruce-dominated forest, bordered on all s...
May 28, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Seismologists answer the call to rural Alaska
Natalia Ruppert was at the dentist when she heard the ping of a text message on her phone. When she rose out of the chair, she noticed a magnitude 4.2 earthquake happened near Noatak. “Aftershock,” she thought, as she remembered her recent visit to the northwest Alaska village of about 500 people. Ruppert, a seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Center in Fairbanks, last week flew north at the request of Northwe...
May 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Minto Flats the home of hidden faults
Just over the hill from Fairbanks is a broad, swampy lowland pocked with lakes and sliced by crooked brown streams. You could hide Anchorage in Minto Flats, home to more moose, beavers and northern pike than people. The spongy surface of the flats is good for a few things: making mosquitoes and hiding the effects of frequent earthquakes. Seismologists can’t see any giant rips on the self-healing surface, but they ...
May 14, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend
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Teshekpuk Lake Observatory a special place
TESHEKPUK LAKE -- Suspended in glass on the oil stove, the coffee leans south, as if the giant lake has a gravitational pull. Though Ben Jones has leveled this cabin before, he sees a useful function in the current slope, caused by thawed permafrost. Any snow blown in during the long winter will drain through the door when the warm air comes, he figures. Jones sees most coffee pots as half full, I have observed. T...
Apr 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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Riding the bumps of the far northern trail
WEST OF NUIQSUT — A sick snowmachine awaits rescue here on the snow-covered ice of this boot-shaped lake. After an 85-mile journey from our last stop at Umiat, one of the Ski Doo Skandics sputtered to a crawl a few miles from our intended campsite here. The loss of one of their essential research tools has not stalled the trio of scientists traversing Alaska's North Slope to poke shallow holes into its frozen lake...
Apr 23, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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Summer comes early in the far north
TOOLIK FIELD STATION -- Despite a wind that makes today's minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit feel like minus 39, a worker at this research camp in blue-white hills north of the Brooks Range has proclaimed this the first day of summer. Today, the population of Toolik Field Station increases from nine -- five people running the camp, three scientists and me -- to 16. Seven support staff members are making the 10-hour drive...
Apr 16, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
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A springtime journey on the arctic coastal plain
Cold water the color of iced tea wets the boots of Chris Arp as he yanks a power auger from the hole he just drilled in this quiet lake, a few miles from his office at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A whiff of sulfur ? a sign there's not much oxygen in this pond born when ancient frozen ground thawed ? wafts upward as Ben Gaglioti clears slush from the hole with a shovel. Gaglioti, a graduate student and USGS...
Apr 09, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Trees awaken from winter's nap
POKER CREEK — On this south-facing hillside bathed in spring sunshine, trees are swelling like hot dogs. "They're all a little thicker than they were last week," Jessie Young says of the birch, aspen and occasional spruce in this pleasant open forest about 30 miles north of Fairbanks. Despite the penetrating warmth of the sun at spring equinox, the woods here in the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed are as q...
Apr 02, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend
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