Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Alaska Science Forum: Recovering wreckage from 60 year-old crash site
It’s not often that glaciologists help with the recovery of long-lost human remains, but military officials recently enlisted Martin Truffer for that purpose. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute professor and graduate student Dave Podrasky came up with useful information on a Southcentral glacier that held plane wreckage and the remains of military men killed in a crash 60 years ago. Colony Gl...
Sep 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Signs of life in a place far away
ST. MATTHEW ISLAND — “Oh, look, another tooth,” says Dennis Griffin, dressed in raingear and caked with wet soil. Griffin, the state archaeologist with Oregon’s State Historic Preservation Office, has traveled to one of the least-walked hillsides in Alaska to search for evidence of his species. On a tundra rise with a gorgeous view of Hall Island and a nice panorama of St. Matthew Island, he has today found a fox ...
Aug 29, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Impressions of a place far away from everywhere
ST. MATTHEW ISLAND — I’m stretched out on a mattress of tundra plants that are growing more than 200 miles from the nearest Alaska village. I’m here on my own private ridgetop while eight other people, all scientists, are somewhere on this 30-mile-long wedge of tundra, rocky beaches, lakes and bird cliffs in the central Bering Sea. We nine make up the entire human population of St. Matthew. On our 25-hour boat rid...
Aug 22, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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When reindeer paradise turned to purgatory
During World War II, while trying to stock a remote island in the Bering Sea with an emergency food source, the U.S. Coast Guard set in motion a classic experiment in the boom and bust of a wildlife population. The island was St. Matthew, an unoccupied 32-mile long, four-mile wide sliver of tundra and cliffs in the Bering Sea, more than 200 miles from the nearest Alaska village. In 1944, the Coast Guard installed ...
Aug 15, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: The most remote spot in the state
A friend once sent me the following quote, from the pages of “Hawk’s Rest,” a book by Gary Ferguson about a wilderness outpost in Yellowstone National Park: “Out of the million square miles of basin, range, peaks and prairies that compose the interior West, the farthest it’s possible to be from a road is a trifling 28 miles.” Richard Forman, a Harvard professor of landscape ecology, once visited a mangrove swamp i...
Aug 08, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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A voyage to St. Matthew
Fifty-five summers ago, when Dave Klein first stepped on St. Matthew Island, driftwood on the beaches held no plastic bottles and hundreds of reindeer roamed the tundra hills. When the 85-year-old naturalist returns next week for his sixth trip to one of the most remote islands of the world, he knows he’ll see lots of plastic and no reindeer, along with some changes he can’t yet imagine. “It’s such a fabulous plac...
Aug 01, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Tides and red tides sweep in on the Fourth
Recently, Kodiak joined the rest of the Nation in the annual Independence Day festivities. The Fourth of July wouldn’t be the same without fireworks, and as a parent of a teenage boy I know he looks forward to this occasion to live out his pyromaniac desires. As we traveled to our favorite fireworks location shortly before midnight with the trunk full of fireworks and two excited boys in the rear seat of the car, ...
Jul 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Examining the fly that bugs Alaskans
While boating down the Yukon River during the hottest summer recorded in Alaska (1915, when Fort Yukon reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit), missionary Hudson Stuck wrote about the wildlife that most bothered his party. “With the failure of a little breeze and the overcasting of the sky, the weather grows oppressively sultry and a swarm of horse-flies, or moose-flies as they are called in these parts, makes appearance ...
Jul 18, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Cold War’s odd arctic innovations
“Rectal Temperature of the Working Sled Dog.” “Cleaning and Sterilization of Bunny Boots.” “Comparative Sweat Rates of Eskimos and Caucasians Under Controlled Conditions.” These are some of the studies completed by scientists who worked for the Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory from the late 1940s to the 1960s. Developed during the Cold War to “solve the severe environmental problems of men living and working in the A...
Jul 11, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Camera captures curious canine
Sometimes you get lucky. Ken Tape feels that way, after a time-lapse camera he set up in northern Alaska captured a full-frame portrait of a wolf. He shared the image with me, and, now, with you. This spring, Tape, author of the book “The Changing Arctic Landscape,” set up 14 time-lapse cameras in Alaska north of the Arctic Circle. He programmed them to snap one picture every 15 minutes from April 24 to May 23. He...
Jul 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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