Science

Harbor seals have a face full of whiskers, which the seals use to follow hydrodynamic wakes left by prey fish; even a blind seal can track a fish this way, discriminating victims by size and shape and direction of movement.  (Courtesy Photo / Jos Bakker)

On the Trails: The sense of touch

Touch is a mechanical sense, detecting physical stimuli such as pressure, texture, stretch, vibrations and flow. Touch receptors come in a variety of forms —… Continue reading

 

Alan Alda, center, was host of PBS’s “Scientific American Frontiers” when he visited Alaska in 2004. To his right is By Valentine, who worked in the glaciers lab at the Geophysical Institute with glaciologist Keith Echelmeyer (on Alda’s left). Echelmeyer died of brain cancer six years after Alda’s visit. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell, enhanced 18 years later by JR Ancheta)

Alaska Science Forum: Alan Alda and the Alaska messengers

Climate change in the Arctic and Alaska is substantial; we can see signals it has arrived…”

 

George Argus collects samples of willow shrubs on a slope near the town of McCarthy, Alaska in 1955. (Courtesy Photo / Neil Davis)

Alaska Science Forum: A man of the mountain, and its willows

When you are a young boy growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930s, sniffing warm pastries your father has placed in the window of his… Continue reading

 

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Mike Bucy keeps the temp while he conducts local composer and musician Ben Holtz’s piece, Atmosphere with Radio Occultation, during Con Brio Chamber Series’ Tuesday evening rehearsal.

Climate change concern crescendoes with collaborative concert

It’s a collaboration between local scientists, composers and musicians

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Mike Bucy keeps the temp while he conducts local composer and musician Ben Holtz’s piece, Atmosphere with Radio Occultation, during Con Brio Chamber Series’ Tuesday evening rehearsal.
This photo available under a Creative Commons license shows a lawn wolf spider in its funnel web in Laos. (Courtesy Photo / Basile Morin)

On the Trails: A wide world of webs

There are wonderfully diverse ways of using silk to detect and capture prey.

This photo available under a Creative Commons license shows a lawn wolf spider in its funnel web in Laos. (Courtesy Photo / Basile Morin)
Bird researcher Jesse Conklin uses a radio antenna to relocate young bar-tailed godwits outside Nome on July 15, 2022. One of the birds Conklin and Dan Ruthrauff fitted with a satellite transmitter that day later flew from Alaska to Tasmania in a nonstop 11-day trip. (Courtesy Photo / Dan Ruthrauff)
Bird researcher Jesse Conklin uses a radio antenna to relocate young bar-tailed godwits outside Nome on July 15, 2022. One of the birds Conklin and Dan Ruthrauff fitted with a satellite transmitter that day later flew from Alaska to Tasmania in a nonstop 11-day trip. (Courtesy Photo / Dan Ruthrauff)
This May photo shows Mount Edgecumbe on a relatively clear day. New research has shed new light on magma activity underneath the “historically active” volcano. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
This May photo shows Mount Edgecumbe on a relatively clear day. New research has shed new light on magma activity underneath the “historically active” volcano. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
U.S. Forest Service fish biologist Eric Castro prepares to drop a minnow trap into East Ohmer Creek. The crew moved hundreds of young fish prior to doing work in back channels. (Mary Catharine Martin / SalmonState)

The Salmon State: Growing ‘giant pumpkins’ and fish habitat in Petersburg

A tree grows in Petersburg.

U.S. Forest Service fish biologist Eric Castro prepares to drop a minnow trap into East Ohmer Creek. The crew moved hundreds of young fish prior to doing work in back channels. (Mary Catharine Martin / SalmonState)
A platypus in the Sydney Aquarium chases fish and crayfish in this photo available under a Creative Commons license. (Alan Wolf / Flickr)

On the Trails: The eclectic marvels of electric ecology

What do a platypus, salamander and dolphin have in common?

A platypus in the Sydney Aquarium chases fish and crayfish in this photo available under a Creative Commons license. (Alan Wolf / Flickr)
UAA associate professor of public health Philippe Amstislavski collects samples of some of the fungi found in the forests around UAA which are similar to those his team has used to develop a lightweight packaging alternative to Styrofoam. (Courtesy Photo / James R. Evans, University of Alaska Anchorage)

Alaska Science Forum: Home insulation from wood and fungus

Alaska researchers are working to create insulation that removes carbon from the atmosphere.

UAA associate professor of public health Philippe Amstislavski collects samples of some of the fungi found in the forests around UAA which are similar to those his team has used to develop a lightweight packaging alternative to Styrofoam. (Courtesy Photo / James R. Evans, University of Alaska Anchorage)
A bull moose looks at a photographer near Whitehorse, Yukon, in summer 2022. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: The man who knew moose like no other

Vic Van Ballenberghe had stood amid their knobby legs for many springs and falls in Interior Alaska.

A bull moose looks at a photographer near Whitehorse, Yukon, in summer 2022. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Kelsey Aho holds a jar of clay she collected while fishing for hooligan on Turnagain Arm near Anchorage in 2021. (Courtesy Photo / Kelsey Aho)

Alaska Science Forum: Grains of Alaska made into art

“I can hand a piece of the Yukon River or Mendenhall Glacier to someone thousands of miles away…”

Kelsey Aho holds a jar of clay she collected while fishing for hooligan on Turnagain Arm near Anchorage in 2021. (Courtesy Photo / Kelsey Aho)
“Hurricane Hal” Needham smiles on a benign day on a Galveston, Texas, beach. The extreme weather and disaster scientist for CNC Catastrophe & National Claims recently drove to a parking garage in southwest Florida to document Hurricane Ian. (Courtesy Photo / Hal Needham)

Alaska Science Forum: Alaska megastorms vs. East Coast hurricanes

Unlike the giant storm that hit Alaska in mid-September, hurricanes and typhoons both have eyes.

“Hurricane Hal” Needham smiles on a benign day on a Galveston, Texas, beach. The extreme weather and disaster scientist for CNC Catastrophe & National Claims recently drove to a parking garage in southwest Florida to document Hurricane Ian. (Courtesy Photo / Hal Needham)
A bracket fungus exudes guttation drops and a small fly appears to sip one of them.( Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Water drops on plants

Guttation drops contain not only water but also sugars, proteins, and probably minerals.

A bracket fungus exudes guttation drops and a small fly appears to sip one of them.( Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
The hoverfly can perceive electrical fields around the edges of the petals, the big white stigma, and the stamens. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Electric flowers and platform plants

You cannot see it, it’s electric.

The hoverfly can perceive electrical fields around the edges of the petals, the big white stigma, and the stamens. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
Seadrone photo showing stone fish trap found in Shakan Bay on the west side of Prince of Wales could potentially be oldest ever found in the world. The structure was first discovered in 2010 and officially confirmed as a stone weir earlier this year. (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage)
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Ancient weir sheds new light on Alaska Native history

Stone fish trap dates to at least 11,100 years ago, according to scientists.

Seadrone photo showing stone fish trap found in Shakan Bay on the west side of Prince of Wales could potentially be oldest ever found in the world. The structure was first discovered in 2010 and officially confirmed as a stone weir earlier this year. (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage)
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On Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in 2018, biologist Jesika Reimer releases a little brown bat with a radio transmitter on its back. (Courtesy Photo / James Evans, University of Alaska Anchorage)

Alaska Science Forum: Where do Alaska bats spend the winter?

I think bats do hibernate in interior Alaska…”

On Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in 2018, biologist Jesika Reimer releases a little brown bat with a radio transmitter on its back. (Courtesy Photo / James Evans, University of Alaska Anchorage)
A beaver pauses on top of its dam.(Courtesy Photo / Chuck Caldwell)

On the Trails: All about beavers

Leave it to ‘em.

A beaver pauses on top of its dam.(Courtesy Photo / Chuck Caldwell)
This photo shows a view of Manhattan from the window seat of a New York to Seattle flight. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
This photo shows a view of Manhattan from the window seat of a New York to Seattle flight. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Courtesy Photo /Chris Arp 
Harry Potter Lake, at the top of this photo, as it looked four years ago, perched 10 feet above and 30 feet away from the creek that in 2022 received most of its water.
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Alaska Science Forum: If a lake drains in northern Alaska…

Rarely do people get to see it.

Courtesy Photo /Chris Arp 
Harry Potter Lake, at the top of this photo, as it looked four years ago, perched 10 feet above and 30 feet away from the creek that in 2022 received most of its water.
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