Alaska Outdoors

Michelle Eshpeter stand up paddleboards around icebergs past the rocky fjord wall of the McBride inlet in Glacier Bay National Park.

Paddleboarding Glacier Bay

When Michelle Eshpeter first told friends she was planning on paddleboarding in Glacier Bay, they were skeptical. Most people she knew who’d done trips there… Continue reading

Michelle Eshpeter stand up paddleboards around icebergs past the rocky fjord wall of the McBride inlet in Glacier Bay National Park.

Alaska man hits 300-pound fur seal on drive to work

ANCHORAGE — Fred Parnell says he wasn’t expecting marine animals to be in the roadway, so he was shocked when he hit something that felt… Continue reading

An adult female Southern Resident killer whale (L94) nursing her calf. Lactation is energetically costly for these whales, and future photogrammetry images of the calf's growth and the mother's condition will reveal if the mother is getting enough food to support both herself and the calf. Note the distinctive saddle patch on the mother. This allows scientists to recognize individual whales in photographs.

Drones track health of endangered orcas

SEATTLE — Federal biologists flying a drone have taken thousands of rich images of endangered Puget Sound orcas showing the whales are in good condition… Continue reading

An adult female Southern Resident killer whale (L94) nursing her calf. Lactation is energetically costly for these whales, and future photogrammetry images of the calf's growth and the mother's condition will reveal if the mother is getting enough food to support both herself and the calf. Note the distinctive saddle patch on the mother. This allows scientists to recognize individual whales in photographs.
A bald eagle soars above the lens of Kenneth J. Gill in Juneau.

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska’s wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos via email to: Outdoors editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.… Continue reading

A bald eagle soars above the lens of Kenneth J. Gill in Juneau.

State OKs hunting of musk oxen stranded on sea ice

ANCHORAGE — Alaska big game officials have legalized an unusual hunt that will take a boat and a bold hand.Starting Thursday, Alaska residents can harvest… Continue reading

Off the Beaten Path: Hitchiking on mystery road

Years ago, on the Castner Glacier — an icy corridor leading into the alpine clutches of the easternmost region of the Alaska Mountain Range —… Continue reading

Jim Baichtal, left, and Ian Putnam, right, pose with the largest part of the palm leaf fossil they unearthed near Kake. They estimate it's between 50 and 50 million years old.

Kupreanof fossils paint picture of a warm and ancient Earth

Once upon a 50- to 57-million-year distant time, just after dinosaurs went extinct, Southeast Alaska was a much warmer place. Palm trees grew in the… Continue reading

Jim Baichtal, left, and Ian Putnam, right, pose with the largest part of the palm leaf fossil they unearthed near Kake. They estimate it's between 50 and 50 million years old.
In this photo, spore capsules of an unidentified moss can be seen.

On the Trails: Minature lives of spores and seeds

All plants need to produce offspring and those offspring need to be sent out into the world to get established and grow up to make… Continue reading

In this photo, spore capsules of an unidentified moss can be seen.

Nick Jans to speak on Romeo

Local author Nick Jans tonight will discuss the subject of his best-selling book, “A Wolf Called Romeo,” at the University of Alaska, Southeast’s Evening at… Continue reading

Alaskans invited to take part in National Farm to School Month

In recognition of National Farm to School Month in October, the state Division of Agriculture is collaborating with the Department of Education and Early Development’s… Continue reading

Auke Lake Wayside parking lot, boat launch closed to June

The Auke Lake Wayside parking lot and the boat launch are closed for the season beginning today, Oct. 19, according to a release from the… Continue reading

Oil burns on a manmade water basin at Poker Flat Research Range in April 2015.

Alaska Science Forum: Why we spilled crude just to watch it burn

On a clear day last spring, fire sizzled on water at Poker Flat Research Range in the Chatanika River valley.There, scientists were spilling crude oil… Continue reading

Oil burns on a manmade water basin at Poker Flat Research Range in April 2015.
Instructor Dave Zungia, with the U.S. Forest Service, teaches Floyd Dryden Middle School sixth-graders Brittany Johnson and Mackenzie Christensen and their classmates how to use compasses on Wednesday as part of their three-day Outdoors Skills class at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Juneau Hunter Education Shooting Complex. Volunteers assisting in teaching Juneau sixth-graders hailed from the ADF&G, U.S. Coast Guard, Taku River Sportman's Association and the U.S. Forest Service.

Photo: Wilderness navigation in a nutshell

Instructor Dave Zungia, with the U.S. Forest Service, teaches Floyd Dryden Middle School sixth-graders Brittany Johnson and Mackenzie Christensen and their classmates how to use… Continue reading

Instructor Dave Zungia, with the U.S. Forest Service, teaches Floyd Dryden Middle School sixth-graders Brittany Johnson and Mackenzie Christensen and their classmates how to use compasses on Wednesday as part of their three-day Outdoors Skills class at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Juneau Hunter Education Shooting Complex. Volunteers assisting in teaching Juneau sixth-graders hailed from the ADF&G, U.S. Coast Guard, Taku River Sportman's Association and the U.S. Forest Service.

Public invited to talk planetarium talk ‘Astronaut Humor’

Marie Drake Planetarium will host a free presentation and night sky viewing from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Cristina Della Rossa, creator of astronomyhumor.com,… Continue reading

A bald eagle launches from a tree at Point Louisa Oct. 7.

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska’s wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos via email to: Outdoors editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.… Continue reading

A bald eagle launches from a tree at Point Louisa Oct. 7.

Polls show concern over transboundary mining, desire for action

Salmon Beyond Borders and SkeenaWild, groups from Alaska and British Columbia that have opposed mining in BC and Alaska’s transboundary river watersheds, recently received the… Continue reading

Nils paddles downstream accompanied by Loki, the Zen Master of the Big Salmon River.

The Zen Master of the Big Salmon River

It’s become a tradition: the fall trip to Yukon, Canada, and a week or so spent on some stretch of birch-lined river listening to wolves… Continue reading

Nils paddles downstream accompanied by Loki, the Zen Master of the Big Salmon River.
This is what may be the only photograph of a northern bog lemming, a glacial relict species currently being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The lemming lives in mainland Southeast Alaska, and elsewhere in North America, but is rarely seen.

Northern bog lemmings at cliff’s edge?

Many may not know the northern bog lemming lives in Southeast Alaska —but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering the rarely seen mammal’s… Continue reading

This is what may be the only photograph of a northern bog lemming, a glacial relict species currently being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The lemming lives in mainland Southeast Alaska, and elsewhere in North America, but is rarely seen.
A decorator crab rests on a large sea pen. This crab has included a tiny sea pen in its decorations.

On the Trails: Animals disguised by ‘trash backpacks’

Animals hide themselves from visual searchers in many ways. Some hide in plain sight with camouflage (snowshoe hares, rattlesnakes). Some remove themselves from view in… Continue reading

A decorator crab rests on a large sea pen. This crab has included a tiny sea pen in its decorations.

Early closure to mountain goat hunting season

Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in Douglas on Thursday announced an early closure to the mountain goat hunting season from Eagle… Continue reading