The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

 

Articles written by Ned Rozell

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 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 16, 2014 

Riding the bumps of the far northern trail

WEST OF NUIQSUT - A sick snowmachine awaits rescue here on the snow-covered ice of this boot-shaped lake. After an 85-mile journey from our last stop at Umiat, one of the Ski Doo Skandics sputtered...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 9, 2014

Summer comes early in the far north

TOOLIK FIELD STATION -- Despite a wind that makes today's minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit feel like minus 39, a worker at this research camp in blue-white hills north of the Brooks Range has proclaimed...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 2, 2014

A springtime journey on the arctic coastal plain

Cold water the color of iced tea wets the boots of Chris Arp as he yanks a power auger from the hole he just drilled in this quiet lake, a few miles from his office at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A whiff of sulfur - a sign there's not much ox...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 26, 2014

Trees awaken from long winter's nap

POKER CREEK - On this south-facing hillside bathed in spring sunshine, trees are swelling like hot dogs. "They're all a little thicker than they were last week," Jessie Young says of the birch, aspen...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 19, 2014

On the track of the wolverine

As I skied on a frozen river, a hairy creature trotted toward me. When the wolverine spotted me, it popped up in the air like an antelope, landed like a cat, and bounced away into the high country of the Wrangell Mountains. Nicknamed the devil bear,...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 12, 2014

Dinosaur hunters make big discovery of small meat-eater

Seventy million years ago, the baddest predator on top of the world was a pygmy tyrannosaur about half the size of Tyrannosaurus rex. The creature became known to the world in mid-March 2014, when Tex...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 5, 2014

Solving the mystery of the South Fork wolf

The wolf lies on a metal table, its white legs and massive paws hanging over the edge. Kimberlee Beckmen, wildlife veterinarian, wears a white lab coat and purple gloves. Scalpel in hand, she...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 26, 2014

Mystery of the South Fork wolf death

The wolf is no longer stuck to the trail, as it was when the dog musher drove her reluctant team over it. Now covered with snow, the frozen animal is a few steps away, beneath small spruce trees near...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 19, 2014

A walk through the UAF Cold Preserve

It's mid-February, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. The trail through the boreal forest is right outside my door. The North Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 12, 2014

Alaskans have enjoyed good earthquake luck since 1964

At the 50th anniversary of one of the world's largest earthquakes, State Seismologist Mike West says Alaskans might learn a lesson from New Zealand. Here in this land at the meeting point of two restless crustal slabs, no one has died by earthquake s...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 5, 2014

A great Alaska earthquake meets southern California

An expected event in Alaska could affect millions of Americans. Here's how: On Thursday, March 27, 2014, a slab of the seafloor larger than human imagination fractures, rumbling beneath the Alaska Peninsula. In several planet-ringing minutes,...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    January 22, 2014

The last intact ecosystem on Earth

Back from the bottom of the world - where she had just experienced her second winter solstice in six months - Kristin O'Brien parked her shopping cart at the fish counter of a Fairbanks grocery. The biologist who studies "icefish" in the ocean surrou...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    December 31, 2013

In Hawaii, hints of a giant Alaska tsunami

Clues from a crater-like sinkhole on the island of Kauai point back to a giant wave that came from Alaska at about the time European explorers were pushing west, seeing the Mississippi River for the f...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    December 11, 2013

Natural oil not longer returned to seas

In a chilly building across Cook Inlet from the white pyramid of Mount Redoubt rest a few dozen plastic-lined cardboard totes filled to the brim with an amber liquid. Each chest-high cube holds about...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    December 4, 2013

Biologist creates legacy at village goose camp

When Craig Ely thumbed through his collection of photos of Alaska Native kids and biologists gathered in front of an old church, he knew he had to make a yearbook. Not for himself, though he would sav...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    November 20, 2013

By the light of the moon

Laura Prugh knew she shouldn't bother trying to trap kangaroo rats in the California desert on nights when the moon was shining. Professors had told her that small mammals make themselves scarce under the light of the moon, lest they become a meal...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    November 13, 2013

Bird study leads to glacial discovery

In late August, seabird biologist John Piatt paused from his task of "stealing food from baby puffins" to look up at the green mountains of Attu, the last island in the long sweep of the Aleutians. Pasted to the side of 3,000-foot Attu Mountain was...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    November 6, 2013

Visiting bats and the hot maggots of autumn

After she read a column on Alaska bats, Pat Holloway of Fairbanks sent me a photo of a little brown bat that made it into her house this summer. It surprised her, as bats tend to do when they appear...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    October 30, 2013

Alaskans' vitamin D production slows with the season

"Interested people are needed to participate in a one-year study to assess the effects of long dark winters on the vitamin D and calcium levels of Fairbanks residents." So began a recruitment poster...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    October 16, 2013

Volcano study brings risk of fire and ice

Leaning against her Thermarest pad in a helicopter coated with ice, Taryn Lopez imagined herself as the little girl rocking to sleep in her parent’s boat. Just before she drifted off on that early...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    October 9, 2013

Where are the Alaska bats right now?

Eileen Weatherby of Fairbanks once contacted me to inform that her cat carried in a surprise one September morning. Instead of the usual vole, her cat had captured a bat. “I was startled because I t...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    September 25, 2013

90-mile aqueduct still etched in Interior hills

Like a bright yellow contour line painted above the Steese Highway, the Davidson Ditch now reveals itself by the flagging autumn birches and poplars that clog its path. The 90-mile system of canal,...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    September 18, 2013

Winds and ice stop Northwest Passage journey

Beavers and jet skis surprised four adventurers on their recent attempt to row through the Northwest Passage. Vancouver, British Columbia residents Kevin Vallely, Paul Gleeson, Frank Wolf and Denis Barnett are now back home after the team stopped...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    September 11, 2013

Billions of bodies on the move

“As this bird takes off, think about how they have to fly thousands and thousands of miles,” Tricia Blake said to 21 first-graders sitting on wooden benches surrounded by birch and balsam poplar t...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    August 28, 2013

Adventurers and scientists traverse the Far North

A few months ago, I wrote about adventurer/permafrost scientist Kenji Yoshikawa’s attempt to drive a snowmachine 3,500 miles from Prudhoe Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. He planned to stop along the way...

 

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