Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
Amazing Nature: Small life forms are of big importance
The ocean has an endless supply of life forms and topics to write and learn about. Nonetheless, sometimes I sit in my living room staring into space and wonder what the topic of the next amazing nature column should be. On the last such occasion, my son asked if I had ever written about bacteria. I have not, and at first I wondered how to write about those minute life forms that in most people only spur images of ...
Mar 15, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Collecting free flowers
If you like the idea of free flowers, listen up. This is the best time of year for starting a fresh batch of geraniums. By snipping a few cuttings from your, or a friend’s overwintered plant, you’ll be rewarded with cheerful displays of pink, white, salmon or red flowers. Before you grab a pair of shears and go knocking on your neighbor’s door though, mentally prepare yourself. Not all geraniums come through winte...
Mar 04, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Biology and symmetry of sea stars
Once again, it is that time of year when Kodiak fifth-graders visit the Ocean Science Discovery Lab on Near Island to conduct a scientific experiment complete with predictions, measurements, data recording and analysis. The stars of the unit are sea stars, and we begin by talking about the biology of stars. Later, we move on to sea star geometry and math, only to wrap it up in a discussion of statistics. If that s...
Mar 01, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Lake Iliamna’s secret monster fish
This article is the result of a special request. During a party conversation, a longtime Kodiak resident and ex-fisherwoman told me she always reads the amazing nature column. Encounters like this have kept me going for three years and I am now in the process of writing the 100th article. At that party, under a large Christmas tree, I asked her if there was any topic that she would like me to write about. After th...
Feb 01, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Drill ship
T’was a dark and stormy night in Kodiak as the old year 2012 yielded to the new 2013. I was surprised to wake up at midnight to see fireworks lighting my window. Who out there was actually able to even get a rocket fuse lit with winds and rain ripping mercilessly? As I lay and wondered, a frightened neighborhood dog yowled and the shadows of branches swung wildly across my room. The storm had been raging for a few...
Jan 04, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Christmas in the ocean
It is the season for snow, ice, candy, stars, cookies and tinsel. Among ocean educators, the holidays have spurred a fun game of listing animals that have some reference to these things in their names. Quite a few ocean animals have “Christmas” in their name, though I think these names have less to do with the holiday than with the colors red and green. Regardless of their origin, there are more than enough season...
Dec 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Students study salmon near and far
Last Friday was the deadline, and with relief and a smile I clicked on the “send” icon on my email. Attached to the email addressed to the coordinator of the 2013 statewide Ocean Science “Tsunami” Bowl competition in Seward was the team research paper of the Kodiak High School team. After many weeks of work with the small group of students, it felt really good to send it off. The general topic was announced in ear...
Dec 07, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Lingcod near the top of the food chain
Recently a friend was telling a story of catching a lingcod. It was just another fishing story, but with a nod in my direction he said: “did you know that the males watch the nest while the females swim away?” I didn’t know and I realized that perhaps this was another Kodiak fish species worth finding out about and writing a column for. When researching lingcod, the first thing I found out was that there is a fish...
Nov 23, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: What do we know about the Ocean?
I recently had the opportunity to join educators and policy makers from Europe and the United States in an effort to create a forum for marine educators to get together and exchange ideas and experiences. In the US we have the National Marine Educators Association. These are teachers, informal educators, university professors, museum curators and all sorts of people who spend their working lives marveling at the o...
Nov 09, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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The Beginnings of Life in the Ocean
Life is such a marvelous thing. It is within us, and all around us in its myriad different forms, large as the blue whale in the ocean depth and small as the invisible bacteria on the countertop, your fingertips, and even in the air we breathe. While we have wondered about life’s origin since the days human brains are complex enough to ask such a question, we have not solved the mystery of what created that first ...
Oct 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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