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Making a New Map of Denali

Making a New Map of Denali

A Fairbanks scientist recently made an intricate new map of Denali while crisscrossing its summit a few times in a single-engine airplane. His top-of-the-continent measurement was within a few feet of a GPS reading done a few years ago, using a system he calls fodar. Matt Nolan is…

NOAA Adopts Technology to Automate Weather Balloon Launches

NOAA Adopts Technology to Automate Weather Balloon Launches

NOAA’s National Weather Service is tapping technology to automate weather balloon launches in Alaska, a move that will allow staff to improve public service across the state while saving federal tax dollars. Weather balloons, used by the National Weather Service for the past 80 years, are filled with…

Bird Feathers and the Smell of Tangerines

Bird Feathers and the Smell of Tangerines

Millions of Alaska birds nest on rocky emerald islands seen by few people other than ship captains. One of the funkiest of these creatures is the crested auklet, which looks like a bassist in a punk band and smells like a tangerine. These hand-size birds have intrigued Hector…

Village Visit with the Northern Lights

Village Visit with the Northern Lights

NUIQSUT — Snow whips through the streets, stinging the skin and piling up in dunes. It is springtime…

Alaska Hot Springs, Far and Wide

Alaska Hot Springs, Far and Wide

KANUTI HOT SPRINGS — After a few hours of skiing through deep snow, Forest Wagner and I smelled…

Alaska Creatures without Us

Alaska Creatures without Us

In Alan Weisman’s book, The World Without Us, the author ponders “a world from which we all suddenly…

Bowhead Whales, the ‘Jazz Musicians’ of the Arctic, Sing Many Different Songs

Bowhead Whales, the ‘Jazz Musicians’ of the Arctic, Sing Many Different Songs

Spring is the time of year when birds are singing throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Far to the north,…

Overflow Ice as Northern Oasis

Overflow Ice as Northern Oasis

Overflow ice, also known as aufeis, is like a field of arctic daisies that comes back year after…

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