Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
Science
 
Alaska Science Forum: Ancient skeletons of McGrath raise questions
The room smelled of a smoked moosehide covering a table that held birch-bark baskets and a white box rimmed with beadwork flowers. Inside the box were the smooth bones of an adult man, a teenager and a child dug up within sight of the McGrath School. The discovery, recently announced in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor’s Center in Fairbanks, is unique because bones don’t often last for hundreds of years wh...
Nov 21, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Doubling our daylight savings
Last week, Carl Benson accepted a lifetime achievement award from the place he has worked since Dwight Eisenhower was president. As the 85-year-old snow and ice scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s Geophysical Institute rose to applause from his friends and coworkers, memories rushed back to me. One was the frigid January day he invited me along in his car to a busy intersection...
Nov 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Snow researcher finds his Arctic
Imagine planning a dream journey across a landscape you have seen for years, if only in your mind’s eye. You get to choose the means of transportation, the never-before-done route, and your travel companions. These friends are invited because they can remove and replace a snowmachine clutch, they share your excitement at seeing what’s beyond the next river bend, and they make you laugh in the cook tent at dinnerti...
Nov 07, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Lake stars and windshield cracks now forming over Alaska
As Alaska’s billion lakes become colder and harder, some of them will sport mysterious, spidery cracks extending from small holes in the ice. This phenomenon inspired a geophysicist to figure out what he calls “lake stars.” “I thought something so pretty and relatively commonly observed should be understandable, so I pursued it,” said Victor Tsai, who wrote perhaps the only paper in existence on lake stars. Tsai, ...
Oct 31, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: A far-off place, all for the birds
HALL ISLAND — On this windy, misty August day, there are perhaps one million birds clinging to the cliffs that buttress this Bering Sea island. These seabirds, crazy-eyed and with bodies both sleek and clumsy, need solid ground for just a few months to hold their eggs. When their summer mission is complete, the birds scatter to the vastness of the sea. The temporary human population on Hall Island is six — five bi...
Oct 24, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: American dipper swims throughout Alaska winters
On the upper Chena River in the heart of a cold winter, a songbird appeared on a gravel bar next to gurgling water that somehow remained unfrozen in 20-below zero air. Then the bird jumped in, disappeared underwater, and popped up a few feet upstream. The bird continued snorkeling and diving against the current of the stream, which is so far north that in December direct sunlight never touches it, instead bathing ...
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Mystery wolf didn’t survive in Alaska
An Alaska wolf that disappeared about 12,000 years ago just made another appearance. No one will ever see this wolf, but scientists have found that it was different from Alaska’s wolves of today, and it was not like its Ice-Age contemporaries that lived in, among other places, Los Angeles. Blaire Van Valkenburgh is a UCLA researcher who lives and studies very close to the La Brea Tar Pits in downtown Los Angeles. ...
Oct 10, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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A ‘totally weird’ dinosaur; new waste study in Denali
A couple of summers ago, David Tomeo was exploring a creekbed in Denali National Park, preparing for a field seminar on the park’s dinosaurs he would help lead a few weeks later. With a trained eye for the impressions dinosaurs pressed into mud millions of years ago, Tomeo walked to a large boulder in the middle of a landslide. “Right in the middle of it, a four-toed track stood out,” said Tomeo, program director ...
Oct 03, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Alaska’s view of the new sea-ice minimum
As the northern end of the globe nods away from the sun at fall equinox, the amount of sea ice floating on the northern oceans is now at the lowest amount ever detected by satellites, a period that goes back to 1979. This new sea-ice minimum follows an extremely cold Alaska winter that led to the formation of thick ice off the northern coast. In spring 2012, it looked like old times for ice floating off northern A...
Sep 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Girls on Ice program visits Gulkana Glacier
This summer, the Girls on Ice program visited an Alaska glacier for the first time. It probably won’t be the last, said organizer Joanna Young. “We talked about how the girls would be inspired, but we didn’t count on how much we would be inspired,” said Young, a graduate student in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In July, she, two other grad students, and a mou...
Sep 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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