Great When You Can Find Them, by Jeffrey T. Rasic, National Park Service

Jeffrey T. Rasic, National Park Service, is finding hearths.  Rasic spoke at the Alaska Anthropology Association Conference on March 24, 2018.  Rasic’s talk was titled Great When You Can Find Them: Case Studies in Hearth Detection Using Magnetic Survey Methods. Rasic said, “Prehistoric hearth features can yield troves of information about past human behavior, archaeological […]

Mammoth Ivory at the Holzman Site in Interior Alaska

 Kathryn E. Krasinski at the Alaska Anthropological Association Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Krasinski is in front of a poster titled “Pleistocene Mammoth Ivory Use at the Holzman Site in Interior Alaska.” Photos below show the uncovering of the Mammoth Ivory in 2016. by Liz O’Connell, University of Alaska Anchorage

Anomaly in Pacific Ocean Related to West Coast Warm Weather

Something unusual happened off the West Coast in the Pacific Ocean, a warm patch of water referred to as “the blob.” Nick Bond, state climatologist for Washington and researcher for the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, coined the term in 2014. He describes the blob as a circular area of […]

One Weird Name Becomes a Legacy

“The Blob” is not a very scientific term. It sounds more like a child’s toy than anything. Recently, though, it has become both serious and scientific through the work of climate scientist Nick Bond. Bond, a research meteorologist at the University of Washington and that state’s official climatologist, first coined the term in 2014 while […]

Alaska Portraits and Polar Week Film Fest

Photographer Clark James Mishler worked to perfect his portraits in the colorful state of Alaska. “If you want to talk about diversity, Alaska is the best!” Mishler said, “It’s a fabulous mash of cultures and social backgrounds.” Mishler brings you his take on photography in new video ‘Alaska Portraits.’ “I feel very fortunate that my […]

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, […]

Food security and subsistence in Alaska

About 95% of the food people in Alaska purchase is imported. “That’s a problem,” photographer Clark James Mishler told Frontier Scientists. One of his dreams is to “Help build a sustainable food system for Alaska.” Subsistence activities are one puzzle piece of a sustainable food system. Subsistence harvests in Alaska contribute to food security and […]

Cultural wealth, Point Hope subsistence and sea ice

Whale fin slices in the hands of Point Hope locals are evidence of ancient tradition. Subsistence hunting and gathering provide food and raw materials which support rural Alaskan communities. Subsistence activities make possible customs and traditions… they help define culture. A warming Arctic and associated environmental changes threaten these ways of life. Photographer Clark James […]

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 […]

Anchorage event “Bears of the World” 2016

If you’re in beautiful Anchorage, Alaska visit Frontier Scientists at the International Conference on Bear Research and Management. The International Association for Bear Research and Management promotes conservation of bear species based on science-based best practice. “Bears of the World” 2016 isn’t just for scientists; attend engaging public lectures and outreach events. Look for Frontier […]

Wintering Pribilof Rock Sandpiper Science

Rock sandpipers in Alaska videos

“Typically when a bird gets any ice on their body it’s game over.” But not for rock sandpipers overwintering on the mudflats of Cook Inlet, Alaska. Watch new videos about rock sandpipers on FrontierScientists.com featuring science about avian puffballs surviving and thriving despite enduring ice on feathers and feet. Rock sandpipers in Alaska In Cook […]

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 […]

Arctic UAVs game app

Up for a hands-on game challenge? Navigate a flying quadcopter during stormy Alaska weather, catch the perfect aerial shot of rare wildlife, and uncover trails through rough sea ice, all in the new mobile app game Arctic UAVs. Arctic UAVs is available for download now in the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store. […]

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 […]

Hovering UAVs over sea otters

“Do you want lots of kelp forests? Than you want sea otters in your system.” “A kelp forest is a forest; it’s like you’re flying through a redwood forest.” Brenda Konar, professor in marine biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, both dives and teaches divers to handle cold […]

Play Arctic UAVs game app at Arctic Matters Day

Are you attending #ArcticMatters Day? Frontier Scientists (@FrontierSi) will be. On January 14, 2016, visit our table and try your hand at Arctic UAVs– An Alaska Game App. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle challenge mobile game app aims to inspire interest about real science and research opportunities in Alaska. Arctic UAVs is a series of missions […]

Rough but not too rough sea ice

The scientists snapped small icicles off the underside of a chunk of sea ice that had broken away from its pack and rafted up onto the edge of another ice floe. Andrew Mahoney, geophysicist and assistant research professor in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, explained the icicles would taste incredibly salty. “It isn’t […]

Drilling sea ice– extracting a sea ice core

Geophysicist Andy Mahoney balanced a cylinder of ice on the top of his boot for a moment as he extracted it from a drill barrel. The balancing act kept loose snow lying on top of the sea ice Mahoney stood on from attaching itself to the extracted ice’s surface. The ice core looked like art: […]

Beaufort Sea Arctic Sea Ice Field Science Coring

Standing on the Beaufort Sea – new sea ice videos

Whether from the perspective of a helicopter pilot, a research scientist, or a local whale hunter, sea ice is an impactful part of Arctic life. Visit Frontier Scientists to watch new videos: ‘Barrow Ready Waiting‘, ‘Buoys On Ice‘, ‘Standing on the Beaufort Sea‘, and ‘First Year Or Multi Year Ice‘. Geophysicist Andy Mahoney, assistant research […]

The greatest story of man and permafrost

In 1973, Elden Johnson was a young engineer with a job working on one of the most ambitious and uncertain projects in the world — an 800-mile steel pipeline that carried warm oil over frozen ground. Thirty-five years later, Johnson looked back at what he called “the greatest story ever told of man’s interaction with […]

Scraping the bottom with sea ice

“It was coming here to Barrow and going to the sea ice north of here that kept me focused on sea ice for the last 15 years,” Andy Mahoney told Frontier Scientists. Mahoney is a sea ice geophysicist and University of Alaska Fairbanks assistant research professor in geophysics. Thick sea ice Level sea ice might […]

The freezing of Alaska

Beneath a sky of stars and hazy aurora, the heat of an October day shimmers upward. The next morning, leaves, moss and tundra plants are woven into a carpet of white frost; a skin of ice creeps over the surface of lakes. Alaska is freezing once again, responding to the planet’s nod away from the […]

Inconstant sea ice

“If you’re coming to the Arctic, bring a good book.” Andy Mahoney, sea ice geophysicist and assistant research professor in geophysics, University of Alaska Fairbanks, was waiting out bad weather so he and his team could travel by helicopter over sea ice. Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost city in the United States, is surrounded by the […]

Ancient dinosaur newly discovered: Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis

Bone specimens at the University of Alaska Museum of the North once belonged to members of a newly defined dinosaur species: Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis. So far nearly 6,000 individual bones have been cataloged from a group of mostly juvenile dinosaurs of U. kuukpikensis that died on the Arctic flood plain 69 million years ago in a place […]

New videos about the Mead Archaeological Site

October 6, 2015— Frontier Scientists presents field science in the Far North in two new videos: Mead Archaeological Site, Alaska, Part 1 and Part 2. The videos feature Dr. Ben A. Potter, University of Alaska Fairbanks Associate Professor, as well as graduate students participating in excavations. Together they’re refining what we know about human history […]

Polar bears and gulls feeding on whale carcass on the Arctic coast of Alaska. A possible transition zone for disease transmission. / Courtesy USGS

Polar bears and the threat of disease

Genetic studies show that polar bears have “A relatively naïve immune system,” according to research wildlife biologist Todd Atwood, who heads the U.S. Geological Survey – Alaska Science Center Polar Bear Research Program. When polar bears are forced ashore they face new threats from disease. Polar bears, marine predators known for traversing arctic sea ice […]

The antennas of the upper-atmosphere research station near Gakona now owned by the University of Alaska. / UAF photo by Todd Paris

HAARP again open for business

Instead of falling to the dozer blade, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program has new life. In mid-August, U.S. Air Force General Tom Masiello shook hands with UAF’s Brian Rogers and Bob McCoy, transferring the powerful upper-atmosphere research facility from the military to the university. You may have heard of HAARP. Nick Begich wrote […]

Polar bears respond to sea ice habitat loss

More polar bear videos – the cost of finding food

September 8, 2015— Frontier Scientists presents new videos Polar bear swims 400 miles and What makes a polar bear? Also, explore our new site updated with a brand new look and better features: more mobile friendly, same url at FrontierScientists.com. Anthony Pagano, research zoologist with the U.S. Geological Survey – Alaska Science Center, talks about […]

Call to act on climate at Anchorage GLACIER conference

It’s impressive when President Obama visits your home base— Anchorage. And you know something important is happening when two cabinet members, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, top level white house officials, foreign dignitaries, Alaskan Republican senators, and rural Alaskan officials all converge. It’s CLIMATE CHANGE. The Department of […]

Sockeye Fire Summer Solstice

June 21 2015 was this year’s Summer Solstice. But for much of Alaska the long hours of sunlight were obscured by smoke. The Sockeye Fire near Willow Alaska started Sunday and raged, burning over 7,000 acres, forcing evacuations, ravaging homes and other structures and interrupting traffic on the Parks Highway. An admirable firefighting effort involving […]

An oasis on the Seward Peninsula

On a recent ski trip across the Seward Peninsula, I followed a trail along the Pilgrim River broken by five friends. Their path led to a subarctic oasis. Beyond the blank white of frozen river was a small settlement nestled in balsam poplar trees 60 feet high. The cleared fields, old farm equipment, scattered pine […]

App developers present Frontier Scientists app

Fairbanks, Alaska– Frontier Scientists app developers present the new Frontier Scientists app for iOS and Android devices. Use the Frontier Scientists app to explore ongoing science in Alaska and the Arctic, and enrich your Alaskan experience. What: Developers Steven Farabaugh and Aaron Andrews will introduce the Frontier Scientists app, solicit feedback and survey visitors about […]

Impact and the Arctic

Arctic changes have global impacts. This month the United States assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a forum which promotes intergovernmental cooperation in the Arctic region. The U.S. will chair the council from 2015 to 2017. In conjunction a booklet titled Arctic Matters: The Global Connection to Changes in the Arctic has been released. The […]

Kodiak Island grass bluff view bay

Ancient footprints on Beringia

You can see the depressions in the earth when the archaeologists point them out. Each house had a central room connected by tunnels to side rooms. Female relationships guided living arrangements: in a grandmother’s house, each of her daughters’ families would occupy one of the small side rooms. When they gathered there in rooms partially […]

water sample science Sagavanirktok River Alaska

Testing Alaska’s Sagavanirktok and Kuparuk rivers

“We are interested in studying what happens to this material as it makes its way to the ocean… The transformations that it undergoes.” Jason Dobkowski, lab manager in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, explained his work as he crouched on treacherous muddy ground to collect water at a […]

Dobkowski sampling brown water

Tea water in Arctic rivers– carbon pathways

At the turn of the season as snow and ice melt, Alaska’s waterways open up. “This is the highest this river will be this season,” Jason Dobkowski said. “Here is this giant flush of particulate and nutrients that flow through the river. So we are trying to make sure we sample at this big flush […]

Hallo Bay Sunset Katmai NPS

Mercury, cod, and climate change

It’s hard to imagine stalking the shores of Alaska hunting with spear or net more than four millennia ago. Harder still to know that the people living in that already-harsh time faced an even more insidious threat than hunger or the fierce elements. New archaeological findings show elevated levels of toxic mercury in Pacific Cod […]

sled dogs Iditarod ceremonial start

Iditarod sled dogs’ fat burning capabilities

The Ceremonial Start of the 2015 Iditarod, a sled dog mushing race, will be held in Anchorage on March 7th. The Restart will be Monday, March 9th, in Fairbanks. While the race is normally run from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, low snow conditions have forced the race route north for the second time. You can […]

Hubbard, Daanen, Darrow

New videos about Frozen Debris Lobes, geohazards

February 24 2015— Slow landslides in permafrost slide downhill on mountain slopes in the Brooks Range of Alaska. These massive frozen debris lobes are geohazards. They pose a potential threat to the Dalton Highway, Alaska’s lone road to the North Slope. There are 23 identified frozen debris lobes situated less than one mile uphill from […]

Young mountains versus CO2

Considering that the research site was a lake 62 miles north of the Arctic Circle in northeast Siberia, Russia, I didn’t think the topic would turn to mountains. Yet I’ve found a new love for mountains. Everything is interconnected. Lake E project Lake El-gygytgyn sits in a crater that formed 3.6 million years before present […]

Arctic water sampling spring

Aufeis may mark Grayling safe spots

“Who’s eating our fish?!” Heidi Golden posed in her journalistic record of Arctic Research and Exploration studying Arctic grayling. “From the snow tracks we saw, it’s most likely a fox. Other predators in this area might include, birds, wolverine, ermine and wolves.” Golden is an aquatic ecologist and a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Connecticut, […]

Never Alone – Iñupiat storytelling with spirit

A young girl named Nuna aims carefully, flinging her bola at the shards of ice lingering in the windy sky above. The spirits answer. A crane appears: mysterious, beautiful, perhaps even sorrowful. Is it sorrowful for Nuna? I can’t say, but I know I’m entranced. Nuna is the heroine in Never Alone, a game crafted to […]

Squirrels’ role in climate change puzzle

Alaska’s North Slope is home to Arctic ground squirrels. Near the Atigun River their interlaced burrow network takes advantage of sandy soil. The burrows are so interconnected and the entrances so myriad that the scientists working there to decode Arctic ground squirrel mysteries carry a map denoting burrow entrance numbers so they can be certain […]

September 2014 sea ice extent

Continued Arctic changes, 2014

During high school when the day promised heat I used to spend a minute in the morning to put sunglasses on my car. They were ‘shutter shades’, louvered sunglasses printed in bold lines on folded white cardboard meant to be spread just under the windshield. The car may not have contained power anything, a reliably […]

Lab fridge Arctic ground squirrels

“They do their best to approximate a sphere,” Loren Buck explained as he removed the ground squirrel from its lab-made hibernaculum. Hibernating Arctic ground squirrels can sustain a core body temperature of just -2.9°C [26.78°F]. “It’s cold… Do you want to touch it?” Buck uncurled the animal carefully. “He knows he’s being handled, it just takes a […]

Many angles to decode frozen debris lobes

“Something chewed on the casing,” Margaret Darrow explained. “Probably a bear.” Blue chips were scattered from the cracked ABS pipe. Inside the casings that protect the holes drilled in and around frozen debris lobe -A there’s non-toxic propylene glycol. Propylene glycol, this brand a clear greenish liquid, prevents freezing – helpful for scientific instruments – […]

Effective stress and FDL science

“It’s a very dynamic slope,” Margaret Darrow said, standing in front of frozen debris lobe -A. FDL-A is a slow landslide; among the frozen debris lobes documented it’s the closest to the Dalton Highway and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Although the lobes likely began their life as debris left over when Pleistocene glaciers disappeared 10 to […]

Temperamental machinery and FDL science

When the machinery mounted to the man-height pole announced “RTK initialized,” the scientists gave a cheer. It was late afternoon and the morning’s downpour had finally cleared. They were gathered in a sunny spot discussing what was still on the agenda for the day when the rover – the pole and its paramount differential GPS […]

Droughts and fish highways

“I grew up on the shores of Connecticut looking into tidal pools and wondering about the plants and animals living there: where they move to when the tide goes out, and from when the tide comes in, and why. Once I even tracked my cat out my 3rd floor window and onto the roof to […]

Arctic grayling head closeup

Grayling and the great commute

I remember vivid visuals which manage to compress something immense into the space of seconds: the cosmic force of a big bang flinging matter across the universe, Ice Age glaciers clamoring down from the north then retreating again, time-lapse footage of the tides’ rhythmic breathing. Even commuters dancing the stop-and-go of a traffic light. An […]

Arctic ground squirrel release

How to catch an Arctic ground squirrel – for science!

At Atigun River, north of the Arctic Circle, the sandy soil is run through with an interlaced network of burrows. The Arctic ground squirrels which call those burrows home have encountered something mundane to you or me, but no-doubt wondrous to them: big tasty taproots, stunningly orange. Carrots! Trapping squirrels The carrots are bait, placed […]

hibernating Arctic ground squirrel lab

The abundantly peculiar Arctic ground squirrel

They survive colder core body temperatures than any other known vertebrate, sustaining a temperature below freezing yet not becoming frozen. They emerge from hibernation with clock-like accuracy

skull and bones Denali

Beating hearts in Denali

“It never ceases to amaze me. No matter what the conditions are, what time of year it is, the place still awes me.” ~ Patricia Owen, wildlife biologist, Denali National Park & Preserve Cold nights have prompted the Denali landscape to turn colors; reds and purples are spectacular tundra accents spread across the wild vista. […]

FDL thaw slump

On the back of the beast

We’ve joined scientists atop a frozen debris lobe, a slow-moving landslide in permafrost. They say we’re ‘on the back of the beast’. In the heavy rain and among fog-shrouded mountains, the scientists are making these uphill treks to record how temperature, water pressure, and local geological properties determine the slope movement of the massive lobes. […]

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. […]

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,”

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 […]

Where are the nests migratory bird science

Fitness for birds in warming Alaska

Jonathan Perez stands in a remote part of Alaska’s North Slope while White-Crowned Sparrows sing from surrounding shrubs and a Jaeger flies overhead, calling. Perez is listening to the bird calls, recording what species sound out and how many individuals are singing. Next to him, an automated device is attempting to do the same.

Pilgrim Hot Springs thermal

Measuring and modeling geothermal resources at Pilgrim Hot Springs

There’s a place where the perennially frozen ground of the Alaskan tundra is interrupted by 2 square miles [~ 5 km² ] of thawed soil. There, cottonwoods and thick brush grow among lazily meandering waterways. The Pilgrim Hot Springs are a pleasant symptom of the geothermal heat which warms the earth deep beneath Alaska’s Seward […]

Pilgrim Hot Springs

Geothermal energy in remote Alaska

Geothermal energy isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when I hear of Nome, Alaska. I think of the event the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates: a 1925 relay of sled dog drivers and their teams who delivered diptheria serum to the stricken gold-rush town, braving blizzards. I think of the extremely […]

ITEX tram operation

Imaging the future of Arctic plant life

If you know where to look in the Arctic, you’ll find strange hexagons dotting the tundra beneath the enduring summer sun. Strange, scattered honeycomb chambers. The open-top hexagonal units shelter 1 or 2 square meters’ worth of tundra plants, passively raising the temperature within their fiberglass walls by 1-3°Celcius.

Migration Over The Brooks Range

Even Wacky Weather doesn’t stop bird migration to Alaska. Scientists on the north side of the Brooks Range at Toolik Field Station find the birds which made it over the mountains have located their nests, indicating procreation has begun.

Alaska research insects vacuuming

Mosquito netting, vacuum power, and bug science

Vacuuming at home isn’t too edifying. How about vacuuming the Alaska tundra to snag a bag full of bugs? That’s an entirely different story. Ashley Asmus, graduate research assistant at the University of Texas at Arlington, is using a huge reverse leaf blower to collect the bugs she’ll study.

HAARP transmitters

What is (and imminently “was”) HAARP?

Googling HAARP used to be useless, which was astonishing for someone of my generation. Even now, most results outline the conspiracy theories behind the $300,000,0000 facility in rural Alaska. Occasionally my good friend and coworker, Dr. Chris Fallen, spoke about HAARP and his experiments there.

Longspur capture bird

Stressed out? Every year migratory birds battle stress, and win

On the tundra a wire walk-in trap has been placed over seed scattered atop icy Alaskan ground. A Longspur alights nearby. It twists its head to eye the seed, hops inside then briefly flaps – unsettled by the trap door closing behind it. The Longspur settles and eyes the ground again, beginning to peck. PhD student Jesse Krause, a researcher […]

white-crowned sparrow Alaska

Thousands of kilometers north – migratory birds and a shifting world

The Arctic is blanketed in snow for 9 to 10 months of the year. Then in May or June, with the Sun shining long overhead, snow melt comes sudden. Mathew Sturm, professor of Geophysics, University of Alaska, Geophysics Institute says the world of the Arctic can go from “White to dark in a space of […]

The ground changing under our feet – Thermokarsts

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Jason Dobkowski stands on the shores of Wolverine Lake. His research site is located in the North Slope of Alaska, nestled near the remote foothills of the Brooks Range. “I’m here studying permafrost thaw slump which is depositing silt and material into the lake behind me. And that material, […]

Tram Powered International Tundra Experiment

Liz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists – Multiple instruments, configured along a tram-like platform, sense the tundra below and gather detailed data while traveling along a 50 meter transect.  “We are gathering measurements that we don’t know exactly how they will be used,” said Steven Oberbauer, professor of biological sciences at Florida International University. The high […]

sled dog Iceland

Iditarod sled dogs’ fat burning capabilities

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – “It is so instinctual to be doing what these dogs are doing…” Iditarod contestant and avid musher Mike Santos believes, “…That it really requires very little training.” Dogs love to run. Still, a musher’s challenges are daunting. Alaskan weather is fierce and unpredictable; handling logistics, supplies, the vagaries of […]

La Perouse Landslide debris 2014

68 million ton landslide in Alaska: Mount La Perouse

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – February 16, 2014– A roar sounded unheard somewhere in the vicinity of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in remote southeast Alaska. Stone and debris, long part of Mount La Perouse, suddenly bowed to gravity as one of the mountain’s near-vertical flanks collapsed.  The colossal landslide carried an estimated […]

smoke layer temperature inversion

Atmospheric layers driving accelerated far North warming

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Recent research published in Nature Geoscience states that the largest contributors to warming in the Arctic are the region’s distinct surface temperatures coupled with the Arctic atmosphere’s prevailing vertical temperature structure. The research suggests that diminished snow and melting ice cover, previously thought to have the largest impact on […]

Yukon Quest sled dogs

The Yukon Quest: a community icon in a changing environment

Azara Mohammadi for Frontier Scientists – The Yukon Quest tradition formally began in 1984 as a 1,000-mile sled dog race beginning in Alaska and ending in Canada’s Yukon Territory. The trail commemorates an historic route, dubbed the “Highway of the North,” passed down by mushers since the Arctic Gold Rush era. Prospectors, missionaries, mail carriers, […]

Alaskan tundra plants

Nitrogen’s intense impact

Nitrogen is one of the most abundant elements on Earth; nitrogen gas (N2) makes up 78% of Earth’s atmosphere. Nitrogen is also an essential element for all organisms. In order to live and grow, plants and animals need the hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) which compose water, as well as carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and […]

Alaska in the 2013 Arctic turmoil

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – “The Arctic is not like Vegas. What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The major changes that we see in reduction in sea ice, reduction in spring snow cover extent, increasing vegetation that changes the radiation balance of the surface, potential changes in greenhouse gas fluxes, […]

Imnavait Creek water tracks

Snow’s journey underground

In Alaska’s North Slope snow can be called overeager. Scientists at Toolik Field Station know that —except for the second half of August— they can expect it to snow any day of the year. Even during the brief summer, fierce storm fronts sometimes bring snow that melts away in 70°F (21°C) weather the very next […]

cross country skiing Alaska

Trapped in a cracked snow globe

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Snowball fights. Snow angels and lovely ice sculptures. You can truck across it or ski through it. Snow might be a heavy reality you shovel every day, or a glittering crystalline landscape far away. Or both. Whatever snow means to you, it means something much more complex to the […]

Mendenhall Glacier ice cave

A forest revealed under glacial ice

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier is shrinking, and its retreating ice has bared the remains of an ancient forest. Preserved stumps and trunks, many still rooted and even bearing bark, sit in a gravelly mix of stone churned up by the glacier. The trees are being exposed to open air for […]

alaska satellite map comparison

Alaska, updated — modern maps detail the 49th state

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – The U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Mapping Initiative has released more than 400 new digital topographic maps for the state of Alaska. It doesn’t stop there – the initiative will give us a clear view of Alaska, creating a complete set of more than 11,000 maps over the next 6 […]

Cathy Cahill unmanned aerial vehicle volcanic aerosol research

Taking to the sky to better sniff the air

On a cool spring morning in the mountains of southwest Washington, 12-year old Cathy Cahill helped her dad plant scientific instruments around the base of trembling Mount St. Helens. A few days later, the volcano blew

Redoubt volcano plume

Mount Redoubt sounds off

Volcanoes are an awe-inspiring and hazardous part of our planet. And now, they’re being made to sing. Scientists are turning seismic data into audio data in order to grasp just what’s going on deep in the Earth’s crust, and better forecast future explosive eruptions.

zonal polar jet stream

Under pressure: Arctic trends sparking extreme weather at large

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists In September 2012, at the end of last summer, the Arctic sea ice extent reached a record low since satellite measurements began. And, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, summer sea ice extent in the Arctic has declined roughly 40 percent in the last three decades. The […]

Columbia Glacier breakup satellite 2010

Eyes on Columbia Glacier’s retreat

The Landsat mission, a joint effort between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has been collecting data on Earth’s physical features via satellite since the 1970s. “The Landsat data record — humanity’s longest continuous record of our planet from space — has been an invaluable tool for scientists and decision-makers in […]

Big booms over the northland

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – Near a small village in Russia, Marina Ivanova stepped into cross-country skis and kicked toward a hole in the snow. The meteorite specialist with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and Vernadsky Institute in Moscow was hunting for fragments of the great Chelyabinsk Meteorite that exploded three days earlier. This […]

VIIRS as an Arctic Nightlight

Liz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists – During winter in the Arctic it’s “night” almost all the time, but thanks to the new Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) we no longer have to be in the dark about what’s going on with the weather.  Here is a VIIRS/DNB image of the Alaska […]

Burned Alaska may cause more burned Alaska

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – The blackened scars that Alaska fires leave on the landscape may result in more lightning, more rain in some areas just downwind of the scars, and less rain farther away, according to two scientists. Nicole Mölders and Gerhard Kramm, both of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, […]

Telaquana Mountains, Alaska

AAA Conference Gives Life to Ancient Stories and New Revelations

Liz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists – “Ancient ice is melting and yielding many things we haven’t seen before,” said Jeanne Schaaf, National Park Service archaeologist,  at the Alaska Archaeological Association Conference in Anchorage. Three antler arrow points, rare organic artifacts of a type not seen in the area previously, were found at two remnant ice […]

Aniakchak volcanic caldera from above

Arctic volcanism helps date ancient archaeological sites

“By dating ash,” said Richard Vanderhoek, “An archaeological site in Alaska, can be placed on a chronostratographic timeline.” Or in other words: the chemical makeup of the ash, matched with a volcano eruption, will provide an approximate date of the site. Archaeologists worldwide have dated ancient sites

walrus - lone

A Walrus at the Edge of the Ice

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists Sea ice is the foundation of an entire Arctic ecosystem. Algae flourishes where the ice is active, providing sustenance for hordes of zooplankton. Birds feed on schools of small fish sustained by the zooplankton. There are species of seabirds which live here and nowhere else, and others whose natural rhythms […]

permafrost Atlas of the Cryosphere map (NSIDC) (NASA)

Carbon in permafrost and tomorrow’s atmosphere

Carbon is the building block of life. Our knowledge of current climate change, however, has us counting how much carbon enters the atmosphere. We burn fossil fuels, adding anthropogenic (human-caused) carbon dioxide to the air. Meanwhile, natural processes also add carbon to the air. We know that methane can arise from warming lakes and oceans. Methane traps […]

Bison Bob steppe bison skull

Bison Bob a big discovery on the North Slope

As she scraped cold dirt from the remains of an extinct bison, Pam Groves wrinkled her nose at a rotten-egg smell wafting from gristle that still clung to the animal’s bones. She lifted her head to scan the horizon, wary of bears that might be attracted to the flesh of a creature that gasped its […]

archaeology Alaska North Slope mesa

Climate change and the people of the mesa

Alaska was once the setting for an environmental shift so dramatic it forced people to evacuate the entire North Slope, according to Michael Kunz, an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management. About 10,000 years ago, a group of hunting people lived on the North Slope, the swath of mostly treeless tundra that extends north […]

Snowmobiles snowy mountain travel

Alaska’s Ned Rozell reads in SF at Writers With Drinks

Liz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists – Who isn’t thirsty when it comes to good prose? Ongoing San Francisco’s Writers With Drinks mixes it up Saturday, December 8, 2012, at the Make-Out Room, 7:30pm. Ned Rozell, science writer from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will read from his book Finding Mars. Rozell joins SF luminaries Amy Tan […]

Birds Hall Island Alaska

A far-off place, all for the birds

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – 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 […]

North Polar map Stielers Handatlas

Know your land: Alaska maps

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Over eight thousand historical maps of Alaska are now available to the public through the United States Geological Survey’s Historical Topographic Map Collection. The collection includes maps of Alaska crafted as long ago as 1899, maps created to commemorate Alaska’s induction into statehood in January 1959, and more. Records of […]

A Portal to Toolik Field Station

Laura Nielsen for FrontierScientists We know that the Arctic holds unique climate conditions and a complex carbon balance. Tundra fires and thawing permafrost release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, while unique ocean currents and cold waters prompt higher levels of ocean acidification. Methane emerges from sea and soil. The Arctic sea ice cover shrinks to increasingly startling extents. Plant life […]

Ocean Acidification

  Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists Will ocean acidification spell a watery grave for vital parts of marine ecosystems? Marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, named ocean acidification global warming’s “equally evil twin.” * Burning fossil fuels — coal, oil, natural gas — cutting down forests and other post-industrial […]

Cray Inc. provides “Fish” for Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC).

Liz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists – Fairbanks, Alaska, October 2, 2012 – “As Alaska’s Research University UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks) must continue to provide the best tools, ARSC is one of the most important tools available,” said Brian Rogers, Chancellor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. And the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center’s new tool […]

Alaska’s view of the new sea-ice minimum

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – 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 […]

Glaciologists help with recovery of human remains

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – 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 […]

Fire is a natural part of the boreal forest ecosystem

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – With their mushroom clouds topped with cauliflower crowns, plumes from wildfire smoke are again a common sight in Interior Alaska, which — with barely a sprinkle of rain — just experienced one of the driest Mays in the 100-year written record. Though it’s a normal human reaction to think of […]

Arctic lakes getting a closer look

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but Alaska has more than that in the great expanse of flatlands north of the Brooks Range. These ubiquitous far-north bodies of water — most of them formed by the disappearance of ancient, buried ice that dimples the landscape as it thaws — […]

Thermokarst Project

Survey: Abrupt permafrost thaw increases climate threat

Marie Gilbert for UAF Cornerstone – As the Arctic warms, greenhouse gases will be released from thawing permafrost faster and at significantly higher levels than previous estimates, according to survey results from 41 international scientists published in the Nov. 30 issue of the journal Nature. Permafrost thaw will release approximately the same amount of carbon […]

Alaska creatures without us

In Alan Weisman’s book, The World Without Us, the author ponders “a world from which we all suddenly vanished. Tomorrow.” In last week’s column, a few experts discussed the fate of Alaska structures if Alaskans were to disappear. This week, people who study Alaska’s wildlife donate some thought to the subject. Alaska’s lack of people […]

Journey into the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

One hundred years after the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is still a moonscape of ash and volcanic rock, without a tree or shrub in sight. The valley, located on the Alaska Peninsula where the Aleutians hook on to mainland Alaska, is a silent reminder of the […]

Dinosaurs in the Wrangell Mountains

The more Tony Fiorillo explores Alaska, the more dinosaur tracks he finds on its lonely ridgetops. The latest examples are the stone footprints of two different dinosaurs near the tiny settlement of Chisana in the Wrangell Mountains. Fiorillo, a dinosaur hunter with the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, recently wrote of the foot […]

Geologic methane seeping from thawing cryosphere

Geologic methane is seeping through the edges of thawing permafrost and receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland, according to a study recently published in the journal Nature Geoscience. University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Katey Walter Anthony led the study, which, for the first time, documents the widespread occurrence of these terrestrial sources of geologic methane […]

Flying machines for the dirty, dull and dangerous

Some places in this world are just too dirty, dull or dangerous for human pilots to fly. An airspace in the latter category is anywhere near gas flares in Alask’s oil fields. With only a few seconds of warning, flames blast high in the air from a network of pipes, releasing the stress of sucking […]

Unmanned Aircraft: Arctic science & technology

Speeding over Arctic sea ice, small remote-controlled aircraft snag video footage and high-definition shots of endangered Steller Sea Lions in their natural habitat. Quiet and unobtrusive, the machines can serve as Special Op.s for researchers. Low-altitude remote sensing using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has vast potential… and we’re only beginning to explore it. Gregory Walker, […]

Fly Scout Fly is a new video about Greg Walker’s work with unmanned vehicles in Alaska

Liz O’Connell for FrontierScientists – Fairbanks, Alaska, June , 2012– “So our job is to get it out there, get exposure to the technology, get people to understand it’s benefits and its limitations. And see how it can solve their problems.” said Greg Walker, Unmanned Aircraft Program Manager at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Impressively […]

Wind-aided birds on their way north

After flying northward from Chile, a whimbrel landed in late March in an alfalfa field near Mexicali, Mexico. The handsome shorebird with a long curved beak left its wintering ground in South America one week earlier and flew more than 5,000 miles. Nonstop. In one of the great migrations happening all over the world right […]

Recovery after world’s largest tundra fire raises questions

Four summers ago, Syndonia Bret-Harte stood outside at Toolik Lake, watching a wall of smoke creep toward the research station on Alaska’s North Slope. Soon after, smoke oozed over the cluster of buildings. “It was a dense, choking fog,” Bret-Harte said. The smoke looked, smelled and tasted like what Bret-Harte has experienced at her home […]

Dig Afognak: Revealing the Past, Strengthening the Future

Play in the dirt with Dig Afognak Laura Nielsen for FrontierScientists If uncovering archaeological treasures and exploring local culture appeal to you more than simple sightseeing, you’ll want to check out the Kodiak Archipelago the next time you can make it to Alaska. The Afognak Native Corporation’s program Dig Afognak has visitors, archaeologists, and Native […]

Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – On a late summer evening a few years ago, a scrap of birch bark caught William Manley’s eye as he walked along the edge of an ice field in the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains. The geologist yelled to nearby archaeologist Jim Dixon and Ruth Ann Warden of the Ahtna Heritage Foundation. […]

Alutiiq basket weavers share insight with Russian curators

Fairbanks, Alaska, April 24, 2012 – “The Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (MAE) and the Russian Ethnographic Museum in St. Petersburg Russia have the earliest collections of Kodiak baskets, grass and spruce root, in the world,” said Sven Haakanson, executive director of the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository. In 2010, Haakanson traveled with six Native […]

Far-north permafrost cliff is one of a kind

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – In northern Alaska, an amphitheater of frozen ground is thawing where a northern river is cutting it, exposing walls of ice. The feature, known by scientists as “yedoma,” is the largest of its kind yet found in Alaska. Jim Helmericks, who lives with his wife Teena on the mouth of the […]

New videos about archaeology findings in Northwestern Alaska area

February 28, 2012– Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Bill Hedman cries out in amazement as he uncovers a prehistoric tool from a small hole he has dug in a treeless expanse of tundra. As the lone BLM archaeologist for 12 million acres of public land in northwestern Alaska, Hedman covers a gigantic area, nearly all […]

The longest non-stop migratory flight

LLiz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists – Early on Bob Gill, Research Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), thought Bar-tailed Godwits’ journey from Alaska to New Zealand was a non-stop flight. Faced with skepticism from his colleagues, but armed with satellite technology, Gill tagged a female Godwit he named E-7.  By tracking E-7 in […]

New videos about Permafrost, a blog about the Dog Mushing Weather Dance, and a video description of FLOPs

January 31, 2012– Permafrost is an underground phenomena but three new videos, with beautiful footage and photos, allow you to see permafrost with your own eyes. University of Alaska-Fairbanks scientists Vladimir Romanovsky, Sergey Marchenko, and Ronald Daanen describe permafrost in videos “It’s a Bore Hole”, “The Permafrost Tilted House” and “Permafrost Patterns”. We should get […]

Flowing tongues of rock, ice and dirt

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – A few years ago, Ronald Daanen was driving north of Coldfoot on the Dalton Highway, looking for drunken trees. He pulled over when he saw some tipsy spruce on a hillside. The University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist thought the tilted trees would be a classic sign of thawing permafrost, ground […]

One Mean Dance Partner: How Mother Nature Twirls the Sport of Dog Mushing

Kristin Knight Pace for Frontier Scientists – The brittle cold of Dead Dog Flats is enough to make my parka crinkle as I ladle out the hot mixture of fat and tripe, chicken protein and kibble. One by one the dogs emerge from their houses and, by the time I have gone through the whole […]

Frontier Scientists’ new video describes FLOPs in supercomputing

January 15, 2012– If you know what a FLOP is, you can stop reading now. But if you don’t, take note and watch “What’s a FLOP?” http://fsci15.wpengine.com/projects/computational-science/ It will be your primer to the next step in computational science. “Computational Science is a primary means of discovery in the world today. It’s a way of […]

ASH? WHAT ASH? *#/! ASH!

Roughly translated and abbreviated; ASH? WHAT ASH? *#/! ASH!, was the conversation between the Anchorage control tower and the KLM pilot who had the misfortune of flying through a volcanic ash cloud on a December morning in 1989. It was dark, as it is most December mornings in Alaskan North.

Alaska volcano observers kick serious ash

With active volcanoes as close as 80 miles of Anchorage city limits, Alaskans are grateful for the professional volcano watchers who work in a nondescript building on the campus of Alaska Pacific University, topped with a massive array of tracking and communication instruments. “The August 18, 1992 Spurr eruption, sent an ash cloud here that […]

Sharing a planet with volcanoes

The scientists at the United States Geological Survey – Alaska Volcano Observatory (USGS-AVO) in Anchorage, Alaska don’t only have an impressive title – volcanologists – they also pursue an engaging, challenging career. Alaska contains over 130 volcanoes and volcanic fields.

Old age: it’s all in your mind when it comes to geologic time

It’s just a matter of time before one of the volcanoes in the chain that lines Cook Inlet erupts. But time in geologic terms is a bit like the federal deficit; so vast in scope it’s hard to comprehend. The Cook Inlet volcanoes of south central Alaska are practically babies when it comes to earth […]

The Arctic videographer’s wildest card: the weather

Our plan: a two-day video shoot to Cape Alitak on Kodiak Island in May 2010 to document the petroglyphs under study by the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Preserve. We had the best possible guides–the head researcher studying the rock art, anthropologist Sven Haakanson and his museum crew–to help us complete the scripted story we wanted […]

Alutiiq jewelry plugs

Ancient Alaskan Labrets: jewelry that spoke louder than words

Merry Ann Moore for Frontier Scientists – Labrets, ornamental lip plugs worn through a perforation in the lower lip or cheek, are a frequent find in coastal Alaskan archaeological sites.  From prehistoric times, members of Aleut, Eskimo, and Indian hunter-gatherer tribes wore them for personal adornment, to reflect social affiliation, and to broadcast hereditary rank.  […]

Cross-Cultural Art, a view of the Cape Alitak Petroglyphs

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – At the southern end of Kodiak Island, like gems hidden among the rocks of Cape Alitak, you can find petroglyphs carved into stone. These petroglyps are engraved images of faces, people, animals, spirals and shapes. Sven Haakanson, the executive director of Alutiiq Museum, works to document these petroglyphs. You […]

Shaman Whalers of Ancient Kodiak Island

Merry Ann Moore for Frontier Scientists – Until the jet age, human survival in the unforgiving climate of the Gulf of Alaska’s islands was a matter of what sustenance could be drawn from the sea.  Ongoing research into petroglyphs found on Kodiak Island’s rocky shores is adding to understanding of a fascinating whaling culture that […]

Future Directions: Beyond Matcharak Lake

The 2008-2009 excavations at Matcharak Lake confirm many assumptions about the Denbigh people 4000 years ago. We have shown the Denbigh to be specialized caribou hunters at least when they are in the mountains. We have shown the extensive use of organics as tools and that these earliest of Paleo-Eskimos were skilled artisans. Although research […]

Ancient Hunters of the Western Brooks Range: Integrating Research and Cultural Resource Management

Ancient Hunters of the Western Brooks Range: Integrating Research and Cultural Resource Management by Jeff Rasic for Alaska Park Science – {Title Image: Screening sediment to retrieve small artifacts at the Tuluaq Hill site. Wrench Creek and the De Long Mountains in the background.} “Look at this one!” “Hey, here’s another over here!” “This one […]

Excavations at the Hungry Fox Archeological Site, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

Excavations at the Hungry Fox Archeological Site, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve by Jeff Rasic for Alaska Park Science – Gates of the Arctic National Park, spanning the central portion of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska, is filled with remote river valleys that are hundreds of miles from the nearest city […]

Reflections on the Lake Matcharak Paleo-Eskimo dig

By investigating material culture, technological remains from our human past, we can better understand the way people interacted with the environment thousands of years ago. It can give us answers to how people adapted to change, whether it is climactic, technological, or interactions with other cultures. We as a global society are still facing these […]

Notes after our summer field work: Lake Matcharak

When we were working at the Matcharak Lake Denbigh Site in 2009, we noticed on a map that there are other spots around the lake which look like promising spots where people might have lived. So one day instead of excavating, Victoria and I took our boat across the lake and went on a short […]

Matcharak Lake: A seasonal mountain camp

The results of my studies identified four species of fish, dominated by arctic grayling, burbot, lake trout and northern pike, two species of bird, mostly willow ptarmigan, but a few duck bones (species unidentified) were recovered as well. This is important because ducks are migratory species only found in the Brooks Range in warmer months […]

The preservation of archaeological bone

A midden is basically a prehistoric trash dump. After processing animals for consumption, the unusable remains were often discarded in an area of the camp where people were not working and sleeping. Normally in the harsh arctic environment, bones on the surface waste away rather quickly. At Matcharak Lake, however, conditions were just right to […]

Uncovering the frozen remains of a Paleo-Eskimo culture

The Denbigh Flint Complex is the term used to define artifacts left behind by the earliest group of Paleo-Eskimos in Alaska. More broadly, the Denbigh are part of the Arctic Small Tool tradition, the first group of people to colonize arctic America from Alaska to Greenland, after the retreat of the massive ice-sheet that once […]

History in ice, a Paleo-Eskimo excavation

Does watching the archaeologists featured in Paleo-Eskimo videos hard at work– peeling away earth, getting excited over discovering an artifact– summon feelings of jealousy for anyone else? It does for me. The three archaeologists are working to uncover truths 4,000 years old. Situated in Gates of the Arctic National Park, their dig site reveals an […]