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Articles written by Ned Rozell

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 By Ned Rozell    Main News    September 17, 2014 

Maverick red aspens in a world of gold leaf intrigue scientists

Will Lentz, a reader from Fairbanks, asks a question that flares every fall: why do some aspens turn red? A few scientists from Fort Collins, Colorado, pondered that subject in the late 1970s....

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    September 10, 2014

Land of Extremes: Arctic Circle a place like no other

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    September 3, 2014

Ernest Leffingwell, scientist with a fan club

One hundred years ago, a group of men sailed to the northern coast of Alaska to find a land mass rumored to protrude from the Arctic Ocean. They did not find the land. After wintering in the north...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    August 27, 2014

Why don't hibernating bears get osteoporosis?

Bears have the right idea. Don't fight the cold; just shut 'er down for six months and emerge when it's warmer. Why didn't we think of that? For one thing, our bones would wither. We'd all get...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    August 20, 2014

High-tech bird decoy fools flycatchers

Julie Hagelin needed a fake bird. She found one in an unexpected place. The biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is studying the mysterious olive-sided flycatcher, known for its pierci...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    August 13, 2014

An archaeologist's field guide to coffee cans

The year is 1905. You are a prospector in Alaska relaxing in your cabin after a chilly day of working the tailings pile. Craving a cup, you pull a tin of coffee off the shelf. Though you can't...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    August 6, 2014

Late summer arrives in the boreal forest

It's early August, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. The last time I wrote about hiking through the North Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, summer was a puppy...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    July 30, 2014

Tracks across Greenland ice - 60 years apart

On top of an ice body more than two miles thick, Chris Polashenski last summer hoped to find a candy wrapper that might have fallen from Carl Benson's pocket 60 years ago. As he repeated the Alaska...

 
 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...

 

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