Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
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Alaska Science Forum: Grinding fish heads for the goodness within
NIKISKI — In a chilly building across Cook Inlet from the white pyramid of Mount Redoubt rest a few dozen plastic-lined cardboard totes filled to the brim with an amber liquid. Each chest-high cube holds about a ton of fish oil extracted this summer from the heads of salmon. It’s a product that would have been lost to the Kenai River if Pat Simpson had not recovered it. Simpson, 49, is a fisherman-turned-entrepren...
Dec 11, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Biologist creates legacy at village goose camp
When Craig Ely thumbed through his collection of photos of Alaska Native kids and biologists gathered in front of an old church, he knew he had to make a yearbook. Not for himself, though he would savor the memories, but for all the kids who had helped him do science since the 1980s. The U.S. Geological Survey biologist has executed on that project, working with talented colleagues to create a book with pictures o...
Dec 04, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: By the light of the moon
Laura Prugh knew she shouldn’t bother trying to trap kangaroo rats in the California desert on nights when the moon was shining. Professors had told her that small mammals make themselves scarce under the light of the moon, lest they become a meal for a predator that spotted them. But Prugh had no choice. She had so many study plots at Carrizo Plain National Monument she needed to set out her traps every night she...
Nov 27, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Visiting bats and the hot maggots of autumn
After she read a column on Alaska bats, Pat Holloway of Fairbanks sent me a photo of a little brown bat that made it into her house this summer. It surprised her, as bats tend to do when they appear in your home. After she stopped shrieking and ushered the bat out through an open screen, she searched her house the point of entry. In her loft, Holloway saw a screen with a crack at its corner no wider than a pencil....
Nov 13, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Alaskans’ vitamin D production slows with the season
Interested people are needed to participate in a one-year study to assess the effects of long dark winters on the vitamin D and calcium levels of Fairbanks residents. So began a recruitment poster Meredith Tallas created more than 25 years ago. Now living in California, in 1983 Tallas was a University of Alaska Fairbanks student who wanted to study how levels of a vitamin related to sun exposure fluctuated in peop...
Nov 06, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Biologist sees value in unchanged landscape
George Schaller has studied gorillas in Rwanda, lions on the Serengeti, pandas in China, antelope in Tibet, and many other animals in wild places around the planet, but he thinks the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is unique among them. He visited there in 2006 for the first time in half a century. “On the Sheenjek (River), we climbed the same cliff I climbed in 1956, and looking out there was no difference — no r...
Oct 30, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Scientists endure nights on mountaintop perch
Leaning against her Thermarest pad in a helicopter coated with ice, Taryn Lopez imagined herself as the little girl rocking to sleep in her parent’s boat. Just before she drifted off on that early September night, the volcano researcher wondered if the climbing ropes would hold the Jet Ranger to the wind-pounded volcano on the spine of the Alaska Peninsula. “We weren’t sure if we’d wake up the next morning having ...
Oct 23, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Where are the Alaska bats right now?
Eileen Weatherby of Fairbanks once contacted me to inform that her cat carried in a surprise one September morning. Instead of the usual vole, her cat had captured a bat. “I was startled because I thought bats in the Interior were pretty rare,” she wrote in an email message. Eileen is right. Alaska bats are creatures at the far, frigid edge of their existence, but they do live in Alaska, in places with trees, perh...
Oct 16, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Wildfire hits close to home for scientist
While pounding nails on a roof extension for his shed this summer, Scott Rupp heard a roar that almost scared him off the roof. Three planes with bellies full of fire retardant swooped low, then banked over the mountain behind his home. “I looked up and saw this big smoke cloud,” said the part-time farmer and leader of an organization devoted to studying climate change. “That was my first sense that this was somet...
Oct 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: 90-mile aqueduct still etched in Interior hills
Like a bright yellow contour line painted above the Steese Highway, the Davidson Ditch now reveals itself by the flagging autumn birches and poplars that clog its path. The 90-mile system of canal, pipeline and tunnel becomes harder to see with each passing day, but the engineering triumph once helped prevent Fairbanks from ghosting out. The 1920s-era aqueduct provided the water needed to float dredges the size of...
Oct 02, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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