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

Articles written by Ned Rozell

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Eyewitness to the peregrine falcon's recovery

YUKON RIVER - "She's starting to wail," Chris Florian says, referring to the worrisome shriek of a peregrine falcon across the river. Florian, her biologist husband Skip Ambrose and I are sitting on...

 

North to Alaska from Greenland - via New Jersey

Leaving cloven hoofprints from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, more than 3,500 muskoxen live in Alaska. All of those shaggy, curly-horned beasts came from one group...

 

Tapir's jaw an "incredibly rare" find

Thanks to her six-year-old grandson, Janet Klein of Homer recently hosted a few interesting house guests. Five experts on ancient creatures slept in Klein's Homer house last month as they searched loc...

 

Franklin, Alaska: Population 0

Floating down the Fortymile River, we saw a cut in the green hills that hinted of a creek. My canoeing partner and neighbor, Ian Carlson, age 13, wanted to see a ghost town. The map told us one should...

 

Northern snowshoe hares eat lots of dirt a study confirms

The evidence is in: Snowshoe hares near Wiseman eat lots of dirt. "I have thousands and thousands of photos of hares eating soil in this one little spot," said Donna DiFolco, a biologist and...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    July 25, 2018

Alaska's biggest river never seems to stop flowing

It's midsummer, a good time to slip a canoe onto the Yukon River. I start at the river town of Eagle, population 85, and will finish in Circle, population 104. Circle is about 170 twisting miles downr...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    July 18, 2018

Parting a sea of Fortymile caribou

Floating down the Fortymile River, we heard the roar of a rapid just ahead. At the same time, we noticed the caribou, about 50 of them, clustered on a cliffside near the water. It was too late to...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    July 11, 2018

Cold months make people think things are the same as they always were

Just outside my window here at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, workers are drilling into the asphalt of a parking lot using a truck-mounted rig. They twist a hollow bit 25 feet into the ground...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    July 4, 2018

It's time for Alaska's mosquitoes to shine, though victims may disagree

Here are some tips to avoid mosquitoes this summer: First, wear light-colored clothing. Second, bathe more often in an attempt to be as odorless as possible. Third, avoid exhaling while in the woods....

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    June 27, 2018

Boreal owls perform by daylight in Far North despite their nocturnal nature

Just beneath the owl box, hung 20 feet up the stem of a balsam poplar, the backyard barbeque continued late into the evening. Despite the thwap of badminton birdies and the chirp of human voices, the...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    June 13, 2018

Running circles around the land of no night and too much light

All of a sudden, we are again the land of no night. Summer happens every year, but it is always a surprise. Maybe because winter is the normal state of middle Alaska, with a white ground surface...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    May 23, 2018

Making a new map of Denali, the highest mountain in America

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...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    May 16, 2018

Chasing the sun from New York to Alaska in a single day's journey burns a lot of fuel

When I left my sister's house in Brooklyn, I was 4,200 miles from my home. That's a long way, but I slept in my Fairbanks bed before the next sunrise. Enabling this incredible time travel are modern j...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 18, 2018

Alaska hot springs are spread out far and wide across the state

KANUTI HOT SPRINGS - After a few hours of skiing through deep snow, Forest Wagner and I smelled a tuna sandwich. We knew we were closing in on warm pools of water. From the frozen Kanuti River, we mov...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 28, 2018

Streaking, manmade lights in the sky

I slept outside a few nights ago. Lying on a platform of packed snow, my face looking upward from the sleeping bag, I squinted at the Big Dipper. Within a few minutes, what appeared to be a moving...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    March 14, 2018

A scientist's view of Alaska speaks out from 150 years ago

One year before Alaska became part of America, 21-year old William Dall ascended the Yukon River on a sled, pulled by dogs. The man who left his name all over the state was in 1866 one of the first...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    March 7, 2018

Did plants cause one of Earth's great extinctions?

Several times in the distant past, our home planet has been cleansed of its residents, with the exception of a few plucky survivors. Perhaps the best known and most spectacular extinction was that of...

 

Was the ice age's Bering Land Bridge a good place to live?

During the coldest days of the last ice age, the Bering Land Bridge was 1,000 miles wide, a belt buckle the size of Australia that connected North America and Asia. That mysterious land of green...

 

Space weather: havoc caused by the sun monitored from Colorado

Space weather affects snowplow drivers carving through Thompson Pass in a whiteout, Iowa farmers dropping seeds of corn, and wedding planners who release white doves during the ceremony. These and other customers subscribe to daily forecasts from the...

 

Earthquake and tsunami warning: mysterious and difficult to define

What's this? Another aftershock? That's hundreds now, each more faint than the last. Sorry, I guess I've moved on. I should pay more attention, given that you - a 7.9 deep in the seafloor not far from...

 

Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, where the climate has changed

Two things happened on top of the world last month. In Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), on January 22 the sun topped the horizon for the first time since mid-November. The day before that, January 21, was...

 

Image of Porcupine herd travels cross country, reminiscent of bison herds

There are no photographs of bison spilling by the thousands across the Great Plains. By the time cameras came along, most of the bison were gone. John Wright of Fairbanks believes he has an Alaska...

 

Answer this: Can you pinpoint the most remote area of Alaska?

Richard Forman, a Harvard professor of landscape ecology, once visited a mangrove swamp in the Florida Everglades that he described as the most remote place in the eastern U.S. The swamp was 17 miles from any road. What's the most remote spot in...

 

Driven by open ocean, Arctic continues to warm

NEW ORLEANS - At this gathering of thousands scientists at a horseshoe bend of the lower Mississippi River, a few talked about a place far away they have been watching for years. "The Arctic shows no sign of returning to the reliably frozen state it...

 

Skiers, snowmachiners help improve snow models for scientists

Snow falling silently on Alaska's mountains will in a few months transform into a medium for migrating salmon, and so much more. "That snowflake that falls on the mountain now is water that flows in...

 

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