Water by the numbers in rural Alaska

22% of rural Alaska homes lack running water and a flush toilet, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation – Division of Water. Photographer Clark James Mishler described the difference between living in an urban Anchorage residence and living in parts of rural Alaska as stark: “It’s like living in a third world country, […]

Matcharak archaeology hunting bones butchering paleo Native subsistence Alaska

Paleo subsistence: hunting, bones, butchering at Matcharak archaeology site

“Up until the point that the Matcharak Peninsula Site was found, you could essentially fit all the identifiable materials from these Northern Archaic sites into a shoebox,” archaeologist Joe Keeney said. The Matcharak Peninsula site is “A very unique site that has such good preservation, and such high numbers” of bones. The site’s details shed […]

Photosynthesis capacity forest needles Research Experience Undergraduates

Secret lives of evergreen needles

Benjamin Russell pointed out different years of growth on a white spruce tree, using bud scars found on the back of the branch to segment off different growing seasons’ needles. “This is the new growth, the growth from this season. And see how abnormally large this is compared to the rest of the tree? That […]

Starving trees and the boreal forest

“There are many many factors there. And we can only make rational policy decisions if we know how the system works.” Bjartmar Sveinbjornsson is a professor of biological sciences and the director of the Environment and Natural Resources Institute at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He’s hosted two student as part of the National Science […]

Boreal Forest Growth videos released

On FrontierScientists.com, watch new videos featuring Boreal Forest Research in Alaska: ‘Why So Small?‘, ‘How Tree Needles Age‘, and ‘What Are Stomata?‘. “It isn’t just the climate impacting the vegetation but the vegetation impacting the climate,” Bjartmar Sveinbjornsson explained. “As the globe warms up are the forests going to spread and are they going to […]

Sea otter UAV health checkup

Spying on sea otter activities lets biologists measure populations of other species in the otters’ habitat. “It’s just a lot of work to get densities of clams and marine species like that,” described wildlife biologist Daniel Monson. To get a better idea of ecosystem health, scientists can use Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology to take […]

Old Dogs, Alaska and the New World

When people first walked across the Bering Land Bridge thousands of years ago, dogs were by their sides, according to researchers who wrote a paper published in the journal Science. Scientists from Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles used dog DNA material — some of it unearthed by miners in interior Alaska — to conclude that […]

UAVs trail building potential sea ice maps

Trail building potential with UAV maps

“Breaking ice: it’s a community effort where a large amount of ice is leveled by the use of only hand tools,” said Eyal Saiet. Trail building off Barrow’s shore happens every spring. “It can be more than a month’s effort of breaking trail, so anything that can help breaking trail is of value.” “Sea ice […]

Sniffing The Arctic videos are released

Temperatures in the Arctic are warming twice as quickly as the global average. Globally, 2015 was the hottest year on record (reported by NOAA and NASA) and the month of January 2016 saw a new record low level for Arctic sea ice extent (reported by the NSIDC). Sea ice loss alters the solar radiation balance […]

Isotopes in the water cycle story

For the past 20 years, Dr. Jeff Welker, a Fulbright Distinguished US Arctic Chair, has been investigating the water isotope cycle in the Arctic and across all of N America. His US Network for Isotopes in Precipitation (USNIP) and his Alaska Water Isotope Network (AKWIN) are multi-site programs that quantify the means by which the […]