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    July 16, 2014

Tracking salmon to their birth streams

Strontium is a trace element and mineral people use to make glow-in-the-dark paints and toothpaste for sensitive teeth. In research for his college degree, Sean Brennan used strontium's unique qualities to track salmon in an Alaska river. At...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    July 9, 2014

The mystery of 53 dead caribou in the Alaska Range

Forty-two years ago, an Army helicopter pilot flying over a tundra plateau saw a group of caribou. Thinking something looked weird, he circled for a closer look. The animals, dozens of them, were dead...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    July 2, 2014

Sparrows in Alaska sleep little during migration

Each fall, white-crowned sparrows hop off branches in Alaska and begin journeys toward California, Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. On their trip of several weeks, flying mostly at night, the tiny songbirds may cut back on their sleep by two-third...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    June 25, 2014

Number of Alaska glaciers is everchanging

A glaciologist once wrote that the number of glaciers in Alaska "is estimated at (greater than) 100,000." That fuzzy number, perhaps written in passive voice for a reason, might be correct. But it...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    June 11, 2014

Defining the Arctic not always easy

Slicing through the top quarter of the Alaska map, the Arctic Circle marks the boundary of perpetual light. North of the line, the sun won't set on summer solstice. But somehow the breezy, treeless...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    June 4, 2014

Astronaut recruit: Alaska a good analog for space

Jessica Cherry spends her favorite moments looking at Alaska from above. As a new recruit for a class of astronaut candidates, she may someday view the world from miles higher. Cherry, 37, is a pilot...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 28, 2014

Woods of Alaska stir after long slumber

It's late May, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. The season has changed since February, the last time I wrote about walking through the North Campus of the University of...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 21, 2014

Seismologists answer the call to rural Alaska

Natalia Ruppert was at the dentist when she heard the ping of a text message on her phone. When she rose out of the chair, she noticed a magnitude 4.2 earthquake happened near Noatak. "Aftershock,"...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 15, 2014

Fault finding: earthquakes hidden under muskeg

Just over the hill from Fairbanks is a broad, swampy lowland pocked with lakes and sliced by crooked brown streams. You could hide Anchorage in Minto Flats, home to more moose, beavers and northern...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 7, 2014

Three weeks in the saddle way up north

TOOLIK FIELD STATION - After 800-plus miles by snowmachine and three weeks of working in the same clothes, it's time to pack our duffel bags, stuff them into a barrel and set them on fire. Just...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 23, 2014

Teshekpuk Lake Observatory a special place

TESHEKPUK LAKE - Suspended in glass on the oil stove, the coffee leans south, as if the giant lake has a gravitational pull. Though Ben Jones has leveled this cabin before, he sees a useful function...

 
 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...

 

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