Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
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 | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: On the track of the wolverine
As I skied on a frozen river, a hairy creature trotted toward me. When the wolverine spotted me, it popped up in the air like an antelope, landed like a cat, and bounced away into the high country of the Wrangell Mountains. Nicknamed the devil bear, woods devil or carcajou, the wolverine has a Latin name, Gulo gulo, that means “glutton.” The Koyukon Indians have a better name, “doyon,” from the Russian “toyon,” wh...
Mar 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Solving the mystery of the South Fork wolf
The wolf lies on a metal table, its white legs and massive paws hanging over the edge. Kimberlee Beckmen, wildlife veterinarian, wears a white lab coat and purple gloves. Scalpel in hand, she positions herself at the wolf’s belly. Beckmen, who just finished a necropsy on an arctic fox that had been hit by a truck on the Dalton Highway, leans in on a wolf found dead on a trail east of Fairbanks. She checked her dat...
Mar 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Mystery of the South Fork wolf
The wolf is no longer stuck to the trail, as it was when the dog musher drove her reluctant team over it. Now covered with snow, the frozen animal is a few steps away, beneath small spruce trees near the South Fork of the Chena River. The only exposed part of its body — a bushy tail — points to the sky. Since the musher discovered the dead wolf a few days ago, someone moved the carcass — maybe the trapper who pass...
Mar 05, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: A walk through the UAF Cold Preserve
It’s mid-February, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. The trail through the boreal forest is right outside my door. The North Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is 1,100 acres of spruce trees, ski trails, two lakes, an exotic tree plantation and a few dozen subtle research projects. Some are humming, twirling, measuring. Others are stained by leaf litter, falling back to the soil....
Feb 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
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AK Science Forum: Alaskans have enjoyed good earthquake luck since 1964
At the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s largest earthquakes, State Seismologist Mike West says Alaskans might learn a lesson from New Zealand. Here in this land at the meeting point of two restless crustal slabs, no one has died by earthquake since 1964. The magnitude 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake zipped a jagged line through 200 miles of glacier ice and tundra in 2002. A magnitude 7.5 earthquake ruptured just...
Feb 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: A great Alaska earthquake meets southern California
An expected event in Alaska could affect millions of Americans. Here’s how: On Thursday, March 27, 2014, a slab of the seafloor larger than human imagination fractures, rumbling beneath the Alaska Peninsula. In several planet-ringing minutes, thousands of years of potential energy releases to become kinetic. A great earthquake occurs right where scientists predicted it would. The Pacific floor plows beneath Alaska...
Feb 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Climate researcher says there’s still time, but not much
Painting the breeze one dozen at a time, monarch butterflies once fluttered across the meadow of James Hansen’s Pennsylvania farm. Now, the climate activist and his wife are lucky to see one. Monarchs are threatened by lack of the only food — milkweed — they eat as caterpillars. Herbicides, land clearing and other people-related activities may be dooming the monarchs. “I wonder if we are witnessing the exterminati...
Feb 05, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Northern news from a big conference
How big is the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting? So big it’s like everyone from Barrow attending on Monday. The residents of Soldotna get Tuesday, Valdez Wednesday, Nome Thursday and Kotzebue Friday. More than 21,000 scientists walk through San Francisco’s Moscone Center during the week, along with others, like me, who are curious about what they are presenting. Thanks again to the Geophysical Institute of ...
Jan 29, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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