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October 28, 2022
What lives in frozen soil for 25,000 years?
In October 2022, Josephine Galipon visited Alaska to see if she could tease out genetic information from gray cylinders of permafrost — silty soil that has been frozen for at least two years, but in this case thousands.
January 31, 2022
Thirty years on semi-solid ground
At the end of this month, Vladimir Romanovsky will retire after 30 years as a professor and permafrost scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute. This comes at a time when people — finally — no longer squint at him with a puzzled look when he mentions what he studies.
June 12, 2020
When permafrost kills? A moose story
While standing over the festering moose, Douglas points out meat on the animal’s ribs, along with internal organs undamaged, seeming proof that a hungry bear or wolf did not pull it down. There are no large animal tracks nearby in the mud. Did this northern sinkhole kill the moose? Thawing permafrost — ground that has remained frozen through the heat of at least two summers — is usually a slow-motion disaster, resulting in slowly sinking buildings and roller-coaster roads.
September 15, 2018
A northern sense of place
When I was 12 years old, I didn’t know permafrost was like frozen lasagna. I didn’t know what permafrost was. I grew up in a small town on the Hudson River in New York. But here is my 12-year-old daughter and her classmates, gathered amid fragrant tundra plants.