Alaska Outdoors

Ned Rozell holds a shard of ice crust, one-inch thick, that lurks in the middle of the Fairbanks snowpack. (Courtesy Photo / Kristen Rozell)

Midwinter rain-on-snow a game changer

A few hours of a December day may affect living things for years to come in the middle of Alaska.

Ned Rozell holds a shard of ice crust, one-inch thick, that lurks in the middle of the Fairbanks snowpack. (Courtesy Photo / Kristen Rozell)
A king salmon on a line in Southeast Alaska gets pulled toward the net. The 2020 SeaBank report calls industrial logging and climate change “double jeopardy for salmon.” 
(Courtesy Photo / Bjorn Dihle)

SalmonState: ‘Alaska’s untold secret’ — The dividends paid by Southeast Alaska’s ‘Seabank’

By Mary Catharine Martin Wild salmon. Clean water. Clean air. Carbon storage. Climate change mitigation. Tourism, commercial fisheries — and billions of dollars in economic… Continue reading

A king salmon on a line in Southeast Alaska gets pulled toward the net. The 2020 SeaBank report calls industrial logging and climate change “double jeopardy for salmon.” 
(Courtesy Photo / Bjorn Dihle)
The Valley of 10,000 Smokes buried in ash a century after the Novarupta eruption. (Courtesy Photo / Chris Miller)
The Valley of 10,000 Smokes buried in ash a century after the Novarupta eruption. (Courtesy Photo / Chris Miller)
This photo shows a ptarmigan in snow. (Courtesy Photo / Denise Carroll)

On the Trails: Strolling on the snow

Snow, and more snow!

This photo shows a ptarmigan in snow. (Courtesy Photo / Denise Carroll)
This photo shows a porcupine near Valdez. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: The porcupine’s winter in slow-motion

How do porcupines survive winter? A lengthy study provides insights.

This photo shows a porcupine near Valdez. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
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Sustainable Alaska: Humans vs. Volcanoes

We are warming the world tens of times faster than did the ancient volcanoes.

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A kingfisher’s diving sequence: a headfirst plunge with wings folded, splash, airborne again. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
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On the Trails: Diving into birds underwater

There’s a lot going on under the surface.

A kingfisher’s diving sequence: a headfirst plunge with wings folded, splash, airborne again. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
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This photo shows the Dec. 19 sunrise. (Courtesy Phoyo / Lauren Verrelli)

Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

This photo shows the Dec. 19 sunrise. (Courtesy Phoyo / Lauren Verrelli)
Ellesmere Island National Park in Canada. (Courtesy Photo / Joel Barker)

Alaska Science Forum: Mummified forest tells tale of changing north

Ancient fair-weather trees suggest a very warm period in the far north

Ellesmere Island National Park in Canada. (Courtesy Photo / Joel Barker)
This July 13 photo shows a short-tailed weasel. Short-tailed weasels or ermines wear brown summer coats but white coats in winter. The animals are among the dozens of species that make up the family Mustelidae. The long, slender body form of weasels is well-suited for these predators to pursue voles and mice into narrow tunnels and tight spaces. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: The weasel family

Flexing our mustelids.

This July 13 photo shows a short-tailed weasel. Short-tailed weasels or ermines wear brown summer coats but white coats in winter. The animals are among the dozens of species that make up the family Mustelidae. The long, slender body form of weasels is well-suited for these predators to pursue voles and mice into narrow tunnels and tight spaces. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
Prioritizing time, money, attention and energy can help create more opportunities for good experiences while preventing lingering stress from ruining those good experiences. But it's not as easy as making an resolution as the author has discovered.  (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: Prioritizing in 2022

I only have priorit-eyes for one focus word.

Prioritizing time, money, attention and energy can help create more opportunities for good experiences while preventing lingering stress from ruining those good experiences. But it's not as easy as making an resolution as the author has discovered.  (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
Voles left several trackways at the edge of the wetlands; a tail-drag mark shows behind the foot marks. (Courtesy Photo / David Bergeson)

On the Trails: Observations from four wintry walks

Plenty of creatures stirring.

Voles left several trackways at the edge of the wetlands; a tail-drag mark shows behind the foot marks. (Courtesy Photo / David Bergeson)
A graphic shows warming of the Arctic compared to the rest of the world. The image was released as part of NOAA’s Arctic Report Card for 2021 at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans, Dec. 14, 2021.  (Courtesy Image / NOAA climate.gov)

Alaska Science Forum: News of the Arctic from New Orleans

We need to talk about this report card.

A graphic shows warming of the Arctic compared to the rest of the world. The image was released as part of NOAA’s Arctic Report Card for 2021 at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans, Dec. 14, 2021.  (Courtesy Image / NOAA climate.gov)
This photo available under the Creative Commons license shows a New Mexico whiptail. The lizards are obligately parthenogenetic(capable of reproduction without fertilization) and unisexual (female). (Courtesy Photo / Greg Schechter)

On the Trails: Parthenogenesis in vertebrates

There’s another way to be a single parent.

This photo available under the Creative Commons license shows a New Mexico whiptail. The lizards are obligately parthenogenetic(capable of reproduction without fertilization) and unisexual (female). (Courtesy Photo / Greg Schechter)
A forest growing on Malaspina Glacier in southern Alaska. (Courtesy Photo / Martin Truffer)

Alaska Science Forum: Elephant Point and trees growing on ice

Pointing out the origins of a name.

A forest growing on Malaspina Glacier in southern Alaska. (Courtesy Photo / Martin Truffer)
This photo available under the Creative Commons license shows a gynandromorph of a common blue butterfly. Gynandromorphy, meaning female-male-morphology, is well-known, apparently, among birds, including chickens and several songbirds of the eastern U.S.; these individuals have one half with male plumage and the other half with female plumage. They also occur in reptiles, amphibians and fishes (as well as a variety of insects and other invertebrates.) (Courtesy Photo / Burkhard Hinnersmann)

On the Trails: Determination of biological sex —it’s a complex topic

The determination of biological sex is a complicated matter, even just focusing on vertabrates.

This photo available under the Creative Commons license shows a gynandromorph of a common blue butterfly. Gynandromorphy, meaning female-male-morphology, is well-known, apparently, among birds, including chickens and several songbirds of the eastern U.S.; these individuals have one half with male plumage and the other half with female plumage. They also occur in reptiles, amphibians and fishes (as well as a variety of insects and other invertebrates.) (Courtesy Photo / Burkhard Hinnersmann)
Cheryl Fellman checks her watch before attempting an Ice Mile. An Ice Mile is a type of endurance swim that tasks swimmers with covering a mile in water that is 41 degrees or colder. Fellman swam a mile in just under 35 minutes on Saturday at Auke Recreation Area. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Ice day for a swim

Juneau woman completes a mile in near-freezing water

Cheryl Fellman checks her watch before attempting an Ice Mile. An Ice Mile is a type of endurance swim that tasks swimmers with covering a mile in water that is 41 degrees or colder. Fellman swam a mile in just under 35 minutes on Saturday at Auke Recreation Area. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
The Pebble deposit lies at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the greatest salmon fishery in the world. (Courtesy Photo / Colin Arisman)

Pride of Bristol Bay: Permanent protections in view for Bristol Bay

By Bjorn Dihle For more than two decades, those who care about Bristol Bay — the largest sockeye salmon run on the planet — have… Continue reading

The Pebble deposit lies at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the greatest salmon fishery in the world. (Courtesy Photo / Colin Arisman)
This photo shows a raven in the snow. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: Transition to winter — maybe

A mat of old leaves lined the roadway, each leaf fringed with crystals, making a pretty mosaic…

This photo shows a raven in the snow. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
Eaglecrest Ski Area is preparing to open for its 2021-2022 season with infrastructure upgrades and eased COVID mitigation strategies. (Courtesy photo / Nate Morris)

Freshly up-gunned Eaglecrest readying for opening day

New snow guns and hardened nordic trails will great winter sport enthusiasts on opening day.

Eaglecrest Ski Area is preparing to open for its 2021-2022 season with infrastructure upgrades and eased COVID mitigation strategies. (Courtesy photo / Nate Morris)