April 19, 2019

Birds large and small sniff their way through life

In the 1820s, painter and naturalist John James Audubon designed an experiment to test if birds had a sense of smell. He dragged a rotten hog carcass into a field, then piled brush on top of it. After none of the local turkey vultures appeared, Audubon concluded that vultures hunted using their eyes alone.


April 17, 2019

Innoko is a long river short on people

A quick comparison of two great rivers in America: One, the Wabash, runs 503 miles through Indiana, flowing past 4 million people on its journey to the Ohio River. The other, the Innoko, slugs its way 500 miles through low hills and muskeg bogs in west-central Alaska to reach the Yukon. About 80 people live on the Innoko, all of them in the village of Shageluk.


April 9, 2019

Iditarod: one of the last Gold Rush towns

Iditarod City was now quiet, except for the whoosh of ravens scanning for frozen morsels in piles of straw. And (Could it be? Yes!) the melancholy howls of a half-dozen wolves, wafting from the derelict buildings 100 yards across the slough.


April 4, 2019

New deep-ocean videos and an artist-at-sea report

An abstract radiolarian sculpture visits the sea, and two video updates from scientists on the R/V Falkor.


April 3, 2019

Budding scientists communicate river science to elected officials in New Mexico

Last week, two 6th grade scientists and one 12th grade scientist took a trip to downtown Albuquerque to share the story of ongoing Rio Grande field science with city councilors and county commissioners….and, wow, did these students do a tremendous job!


March 29, 2019

4k ROV highlights — research cruise video update

“It is one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen in the natural world.”


Reports from three artists-at-sea

The R/V Falkor has three artists along on a research cruise to provide new and different perspectives on ocean research. Here’s what they are doing…


March 28, 2019

Oldest rock in Alaska is near Iditarod

A few miles northwest of the ghost town that gives the world’s most famous sleddog race its name, Bob Gillis and I were in the neighborhood of the oldest rocks in Alaska. Could this be one of them?


March 26, 2019

Research cruise log: Artists-at-sea

Three artists join the crew to explore new perspectives on ocean science.


March 25, 2019

Sandy memories of ancient storms

Maio wants to dig deeper into the sediment archived in the lake, to see if there might be clues as to what types of storms occurred in the past. Ancient Inupiat people there dug into the sand, using driftwood and whale bones to build complex homes.