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10 March 2017

Far-north mallards thriving on the edge

With dogs’ breath fogging the 30-below zero air at their knees, 71 Iditarod mushers steamed their way down the frozen Chena River in Fairbanks on March 6. Upstream, just a few miles behind them, 500 ducks were surviving in a one-mile stretch of open water.

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3 March 2017

Far-north lake trout living in mystery

In early March up on the frozen Arctic Coastal Plain, as the wind sculpts snow into drifts, it’s hard to tell northern lakes from surrounding tundra. But lurking deep beneath that flat white world are toothy predators as long as your arm.

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13 February 2017

Sea to Space Trek: Oceans, The Final Frontier

On board we have holographic microscope. (Yes, holographic!) In contrast to a normal microscope, the recorded holograms can refocus the microscopic image at different distances to the camera.

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10 February 2017

More tropical nights in Alaska’s future?

By the end of this century, Alaskans may be enjoying tropical evening breezes for about a week each year. That’s an increase from the almost zero such nights we currently savor.

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26 January 2017

Full Moon Helps Illuminate Science on the Sevilleta!

Everyone had to keep their eyes wide open for the Sevilleta’s cottontails and black tailed jackrabbits – not an easy task at 2am!

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29 December 2016

The rigors of research in the cold

When Fairbanks is 40 below zero, the safest place for field scientists is in front of a computer.

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26 December 2016

Hydrothermal Hunt: From ‘Wow!’ to ‘Why?’

It takes two and a half hours to get to the seafloor, but the view you get is worth the wait.

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9 December 2016

To Alaska and then some for Yukon lynx

“My wife saw a lynx out there, sitting next to the chicken coop like a lion, twitching its tail and looking at the chickens and ducks,” said Ralph Lohse, who lives with his wife Linda on property between the Edgerton Highway and the Tonsina River. They watched the lynx for 40 minutes, until it leapt to webbing on top of a chicken coop.

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6 December 2016

Local high school students get “into” water chemistry!

Encouraging students to be involved in hands-on collection of scientific data and to be confident in teaching others about their findings is one of the greatest aspects of citizen science.

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24 November 2016

Bowhead whales may be world’s oldest mammals

Bada found that most of the adult whales were between 20 and 60 years old when they died, but five males were much older. One was 91, one was 135, one 159, one 172, and the oldest whale was 211 years old at the time of its death. That whale was gliding through the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas when Thomas Jefferson was president.

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21 November 2016

Between the Trees and the Tundra

In Alaska, trees growing at the very edge of their northern range may be influenced by warming climate. Will they eventually take over the tundra beyond?

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15 November 2016

Porcupines of the Rio Grande

Thus far, about 90 quill samples have been collected. Quills are modified hairs that are easily detached when the porcupine smacks its body into something. Contrary to popular belief, a porcupine cannot “shoot” its quills as a defensive strategy.

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14 November 2016

Hunting The Natural Treeline in Central Nepal, Part 3

Landslide season conspires with apple season and the Hindu festival of Dashain to push three field researchers to the limit.

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11 November 2016

Hunting The Natural Treeline in Central Nepal, Part 2

Three hundred sheep, four frightful dogs and one week of treeline work in an incredible landscape.

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10 November 2016

Hunting The Natural Treeline in Central Nepal, Part 1

Achyut Tiwari relates how he and his colleagues endured everything from a drunken porter to huge dogs, dizzying mountain trails and even a landslide to conduct their field work in Nepal. His research is on climate responses in treeline dynamics and growth climate in central Himalaya and Hengduan mountain, China. Tiwari is originally from Nepal and is affiliated with Xishungbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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4 November 2016

Should birds stay, or should they go?

One of the many tools birds use to migrate — besides the metal bits in their heads that help them sense Earth’s magnetism — is their ability to use infrasound. Infrasound consists of frequencies too low for us to hear. The aurora, volcanoes, underground nuclear detonations, and stormy seas emit infrasound waves. “Birds flying over the Rockies can hear the surf of both the Atlantic and Pacific,” Sharbaugh said.

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