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Articles written by Ned Rozell

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 By Ned Rozell    Main News    July 22, 2015 

Alaska's wildfires and the changing boreal forest

In late July, more than 300 wildfires are burning in Alaska. With burned acreage totals one month ahead of the historic 2004 fire season, summer 2015 is again the year of the wildfire. Many scientists are not surprised. In papers written a few years...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    July 15, 2015

Northern woods filled with potential drug possibilities

Saplings of the Alaska paper birch tree produce a sticky resin on new branches that discourages snowshoe hares from eating them. Some scientists think that such chemical defenses might be useful drugs and a natural resource for Alaskans to tap. Tom...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    July 8, 2015

Willow rose hosts insect drama within its beauty

From the more-you-look-the-more-you-see file, I present the willow rose. The willow rose is lovely, green, and unexpected, its whirled petals gracing the top of Alaska willows like the most delicate blossom in the cooler of a flower shop. But this...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    July 1, 2015

Water fountains in the tundra spawn theories

While tight-roping on tussock heads in a bog off the Chandalar River, two companions and I heard a waterfall. Strange. Looking through binoculars, we saw a knee-high fountain of clear water in the tundra. The flow was as thick as your leg. We...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    June 17, 2015

The northern boreal bird nursery full of life

MIDDLE FORK, CHANDALAR RIVER - Two-hundred miles straight north of my home in Fairbanks, I'm at the northern edge of a forest that carpets the continent all the way to Labrador. Here for a meteorite s...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    June 3, 2015

Rocks from space in Alaska backcountry

On February 26 at 1:06 p.m., someone in northern Alaska may have seen a torch of light in the cold daytime sky. On that afternoon, satellites detected a meteoric fireball headed toward Earth. An asteroid six feet in diameter penetrated the...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 27, 2015

Denali plants more diverse up high

When Carl Roland was hiking the high country in an Alaska national park not long ago, he thought the landscape looked different than any park in the Lower 48. The alpine zone seemed to be carpeted...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 20, 2015

Anatomy of the worst fire year for Alaska

In a gorgeous warm May this year, we have not yet sniffed the bitter scent of flaming spruce. When we do, many of us will think back to a year that still haunts us. In summer 2004, a Vermont-sized patch of Alaska burned in wildfires. That hazy...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 13, 2015

Seventeen trillion wingbeats over Alaska

And they are here. Sluggish mosquitoes, sprung from the leaves where they overwintered. Moths and butterflies flitting the fields and south-facing slopes. Beetles skittering along in pinstripe-grooved exoskeletons. How many insects are stirring on...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 6, 2015

Artwork found at ancient house site, a possible first

At the edge of a spruce forest in Interior Alaska, archaeologists have unearthed bone pendants that might be the first examples of artwork in northern North America. During the last two summers,...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 29, 2015

Spectacled eiders on the planet are now gathered amid sea ice

Like flecks of pepper on chowder, all of the spectacled eiders on the planet are now gathered amid sea ice and steaming open leads in the Bering Sea. "It's a mass of life in this desolate area," said...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 22, 2015

Serpentine Hot Springs and early Alaskans

Skiing across the raw, open landscape of the Seward Peninsula a few weeks ago, my friends and I dreamed of getting out of a big wind and into the tub at Serpentine Hot Springs. Though none of us had been there, we all recognized the Serpentine...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 15, 2015

Catching a lake as it became land

If a lake drains on top of the world, will anyone hear it? Ben Jones and Chris Arp did. The Anchorage and Fairbanks-based scientists placed sensors in a bathtub-shaped lake on Alaska's northern coast...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 8, 2015

Earthworms make a go of it in Alaska

Under its own power, an earthworm gains about 30 feet of new territory each year. But that does not help explain how worms got to Alaska. "It's almost geologically slow," Matt Bowser, said of the earthworm's locomotion. Bowser, Alaska's closest...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 1, 2015

Space physicist links social media with the skies

A scientist named Victor Hessler once made an aurora detector by driving two metal rods in the ground a few hundred feet apart and stringing a wire between them. When voltage changed along the wire,...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 25, 2015

What makes a person more tolerant of the cold?

This message came from the grandfather of 5-year old Ben, who lives near Inverness, Scotland: Even in winter he will rapidly strip off and often plays in a sleeveless vest while others still have a...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 18, 2015

Northern trails sponging up winter rainfall

As he contemplates another long snowmachine journey, Matthew Sturm might consider packing a raincoat. Rain fell in Interior Alaska a few weeks before his trip, glazing supercooled highways and...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 11, 2015

Life on ice at the top of the world

On a February day long ago, a family living in a sod hut near the Arctic Ocean saw blocks of sea ice bulldozing their way onto shore. Winds shoved more ice until the mass towered above them and...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 4, 2015

Denali air still pristine, with a few specks

Fairbanks's air turns bitter every winter as we fill it with wood smoke and other things, but just down the road Denali National Park has the clearest air measured among America's monitored national...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 25, 2015

The continued mystery of the Denali Gap

North America's highest mountain should be a volcano. Denali sits about 60 miles above where the Pacific Plate grinds beneath the North American plate, as do Iliamna, Redoubt and Augustine. If you...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 18, 2015

A yearly flood into the Gulf of Alaska

Satellite data has confirmed that the amount of freshwater released into the Gulf of Alaska from streams and rivers in Alaska and northern Canada is about 1.5 times what the Mississippi River dumps...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 11, 2015

Spectacled eider biology still a mystery

Like flecks of pepper on chowder, all of the spectacled eiders on the planet are now gathered amid sea ice and steaming open leads in the Bering Sea. "It's a mass of life in this desolate area," said...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 4, 2015

The demise of Scotch Cap lighthouse

In spring of 1946, five men stationed at the Scotch Cap lighthouse had reasons to be happy. World War II was over. They had survived. Their lonely Coast Guard assignment on Unimak Island would be...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    January 28, 2015

Digging up Augustine's top-heavy legacy

Augustine Volcano sits alone, a 4,000-foot pyramid on its own island in Cook Inlet. Like many volcanoes, it has a tendency to become top heavy. When gravity acts on Augustine's over-steepened dome,...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    January 21, 2015

Tidal stresses and giant earthquakes

A scientist once noticed a connection between the stress that tides inflict on the planet and the number of small earthquakes that happen in some areas when that pressure is greatest. She saw a...

 

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