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January 31, 2022
By Ned Rozell A few hours of a December day may affect living things for years to come in the middle of Alaska. On Dec. 26, more than an inch of rain fell over a wide swath of the state. Much of the backcountry of Interior Alaska now has an ice sheet beneath a foot of fluffy snow. With half of the seven-month winter yet to come, things look grim …
By Ned Rozell While running through Bicentennial Park in Anchorage, biologist Jessy Coltrane spotted a porcupine in a birch tree. On her runs on days following, she saw it again and again, in good weather and bad. Over time, she knew which Alaska creature she wanted to study. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, how does he do it? How does this animal make it through winter?’” Coltrane said years ago …
July 1, 2021
By Ned Rozell Leaving cloven hoof prints from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, more than 3,500 muskoxen live in Alaska. All of those shaggy, curly-horned beasts came from one group of muskoxen that survived a most remarkable journey in the 1930s. In 1900, no muskoxen existed in Alaska. Though the stocky, weatherproof creatures have survived in the Arctic since the last ice age, the last reports …
March 15, 2021
Sturm is a snow scientist at University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute who has studied Alaska’s most common ground cover for decades. Many of his explorations are on long snowmachine traverses, undertaken about this time of year in the treeless Arctic.
June 29, 2020
“Chances are good that the drop of rain that splashes on your forehead is made of molecules that were here long before the first humans looked up in wonder at a cloudy sky, long before the first leafy plants stretched their roots into the soil, long before the first single-celled organisms took the critical step of dividing in half to reproduce.”
March 20, 2020
A newly-released LiDAR data set reveals impressive ridge-top cracks associated with large rock slides in the Virginia Valley and Ridge. While the cracks are easily visible with LiDAR hillshade imagery, they appear to be covered by normal forest vegetation and would probably look like elongated depressions in the forest.
October 30, 2019
Dr. Frankenstein aside, science doesn’t intend to be spooky. Sometimes it just comes out that way. Scientific endeavors have revealed some eerie places and a symphony of scary sounds from all over the planet — everything from bellowing sand dunes and whistling lightning, to groaning ice shelves of Antarctica. We got them here in our 2019 Halloween playlist.
October 12, 2017
Can scientists determine how likely we are to have a tsunami along different parts of the PNW Coast and how big it would be? What types of things affect whether an earthquake is likely to cause a large tsunami? (Or none at all?)
September 27, 2017
Update 11:00 AM EDT Indonesia’s Mt. Agung may be on the cusp of its first eruption since 1963, an eruption that killed more than 1000 people. Since late August, seismic signals have increased in frequency, and last Friday, officials raised the alert status to the highest level. Local officials have evacuated around 75,000 people from the area and warned residents to keep an 8-12 kilometer distance from the volcano. However, it’s still unclear whether—or when—the volcano may erupt, …
September 12, 2017
Sometimes you have to build the field in the laboratory (or in this post’s case, in the art museum). At the Virginia Tech Active Tectonics and Geomorphology Lab they do just that. This is the latest in a series of posts shared from their blog. More of their posts can be found here. Written by The Geo Models Part 3 (final part) of a 3 part series on the valleys and …