Ned Rozell, UAF Geophysical Institute
A University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist wants to find out when the last woolly mammoth fell to the grass in Alaska. He is asking for help from an unusual source: people like you.
“Lakes seem, on the scale of years or of human life spans, permanent features of landscapes, but they are geologically transitory, usually...
The year is 1905. You are a prospector in Alaska relaxing in your cabin after a chilly day of working the tailings pile. Craving a cup of joe, you pull a tin of coffee off the shelf. Though you can’t imagine it, that distinctive red can, the one you will later use for your precious supply of nails, will long outlive you. And it will give an archaeologist a good idea of when you made your Alaska home.
In a gorgeous warm May this year, we have not yet sniffed the bitter scent of flaming spruce. When we do, some of us will think back to a year that still haunts us. In summer 2004, a Vermont-sized patch of Alaska burned in wildfires. That hazy summer was the most extreme fire year in the half century people have kept score.
We had so much snow this year — knee deep on top of the river,” he said. “When that melted off, it laid on top of the ice and helped soften it up.”
NORTH OF COLDFOOT — The lynx looks out from inside a chicken-wire cage. Despite its loss of freedom and the nearby squeaking of boots on cold snow, the wild cat looks calm, as if it might be resting while digesting a snowshoe hare. Knut Kielland, a professor with UAF’s Department of Biology and Wildlife, used to trap lynx for their fur. How he does for research.
Because of where Southeast Alaska sits — at the wetted lips of the planet’s widest expanse of blue — it is often soaked by atmospheric rivers, firehoses of moisture flowing up from the tropics. And even though the forests and muskegs of Southeast Alaska have evolved to drink up and shed stunning amounts of rain, sometimes it is too much.
Ned Rozell writes: Once again, I got “Shalaned.” This time was in a 55-mile multisport race held on snowmachine trails east of Fairbanks on March 5, 2022. Even though Shalane Frost started 15 minutes after I did and was on skis rather than the snow-bike I was riding, she passed me on the first big climb.
When Dave Covey walked up with a smile, your day was about to become calmer. And then he fixed your irritating computer problem in 10 seconds. He left us last week — a quiet exit that was totally Dave. He died at 64 of cancer he told few people about.
Right about now, songbirds in Brazil are shifting on their perches, feeling mysterious impulses that will soon make them leap off their branches and head toward Alaska.
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