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Arctic Science Blog

Dalton Highway Trans Alaska Pipeline.

Acceleration, and age-old frozen debris lobes

Less than one mile upslope from Alaska’s Dalton Highway, there are 23 frozen debris lobes looming. Frozen debris lobes (FDLs) are something like a cross between a landslide and a glacier. They’re silty sand and gravel, stones, icy frozen soil as well as liquid water kept from freezing by the intense pressure of the slow-motion push downhill. […] Read More >

Pacific Brandt

The merits of plasticity

Whether a species thrives or flags can have resounding consequences. When we think of our changing world, we imagine an ecosystem occupied by organisms which are interlinked. Photosynthesizers like plants and phytoplankton which harvest energy from the Sun occupy the lowest trophic level, while the herbivores that eat them are on the second trophic level, supporting higher […] Read More >

An arctic ground squirrel being weighed in a research lab. / Image Erin Hooley, University of Alaska Anchorage Office of Advancement

Biological clocks: Where arctic ground squirrels meet ‘social jet lag’

Arctic ground squirrels may seem like little more than a brief thrill for your dog on a hike up Flat Top, but scientists are convinced they’re worth a serious second look. Ongoing research at UAA, funded jointly with UAF through a National Science Foundation grant, has documented their amazing biological clocks—unique among vertebrates—and prompted questions […] Read More >

river ice Alaska

When your only highways are ice

“The first half of the trip was in the forest and the second half on the tundra. The difference that those ecosystems imposed on the snow cover was beautifully manifest,” Matthew Sturm reminisces. He’s referencing a long snowmobile journey from Fairbanks, Alaska to Hudson Bay in Canada, chronicled in his book Finding the Arctic (University […] Read More >

snowmobile journey Matthew Sturm

Matthew Sturm – insight into the Arctic

Over four decades after entering the Arctic Circle for the first time, Matthew Sturm, snow scientist and University of Alaska professor, still looks on the Arctic as a place of wonder. In Finding the Arctic (University of Alaska Press, 2012), a story of history and culture along a 2,500 mile snowmobile journey from Alaska to […] Read More >