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

Articles written by Ned Rozell

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 By NED ROZELL    Nature    February 13, 2019 

Life returns fast to lonely island

Bogoslof Island is the gray tip of a mountain that pokes from the choppy surface of the Bering Sea. The volcano stands alone just north of the Aleutians, far south of the larger islands of St. George...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    February 6, 2019

Fuzzy memories of great Alaska cold snap

Last week marked 30 years since I turned my pickup left onto a North Pole road and noticed the clutch pedal did not return to my foot. In a panic, I reached down with my mittened hand and pulled. The...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    January 30, 2019

Invasion of redpolls sends seeds flying

Why, a friend asked, are there so many birch seeds on top of the snowpack in Fairbanks? A day later, the answer hit me in the head. As I walked through the forest, I looked up just in time to get pepp...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    January 23, 2019

Alaska's year without a summer

Two-hundred and thirty-six years ago, when General George Washington marched back into New York City as British troops were walking out, a volcano erupted in Iceland. For eight months of 1783, Laki...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    January 16, 2019

American robins not heading north quite yet

While walking the streets of Washington, D.C., last month, a pleasant sound stopped me. A male robin was singing, high in a sidewalk sycamore. It was December, months away from when that bird would...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    January 9, 2019

What's the purpose of a moose's long nose?

A scientist from Ohio once pondered why moose have such long noses. Why, one might ask, does a scientist from Ohio care? It can tell them about evolution, says Lawrence Witmer, a biologist and...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    December 19, 2018

Grades keep slipping on Arctic report card

WASHINGTON, D.C. - At this annual gathering of thousands of scientists that has grown in step with the increasing number of people on Earth, researchers at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    December 12, 2018

Chunks of northern coast fall to the sea

The frozen cliffs of Drew Point, Alaska, (population zero) are tumbling to the ocean faster than perhaps any other location in the Arctic. The sea has eaten house-size chunks of tundra at a rate of...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    December 11, 2018

Chunks of northern coast fall to the sea

The frozen cliffs of Drew Point, Alaska, (population zero) are tumbling to the ocean faster than perhaps any other location in the Arctic. The sea has eaten house-size chunks of tundra at a rate of...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    December 5, 2018

Guess what city has America's worst air?

Back in 1901, Barnette did not know this river valley has one of the strongest temperature inversions on the planet and some of the calmest winds in Alaska. Nor did he know that a spike in oil prices...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    November 28, 2018

A rogue ice shelf covering the Arctic Ocean?

Fifteen miles inland from the frozen coast of the Arctic Ocean, Teshekpuk Lake is one of the largest freshwater bodies in Alaska. On its northern shoreline are sandy bluffs that hold fossils of...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    November 21, 2018

Century-old blast in Siberia still a mystery

In 1908, a colossal blast incinerated a swath of wilderness deep in Siberia, at about the same latitude as Anchorage. The explosion that July day registered on seismic recorders all over the world....

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    November 14, 2018

Alaska chickadees are brainy birds

Alaska chickadees have proven themselves brainier than Colorado chickadees. A researcher at the University of California Davis once compared black-capped chickadees from Anchorage to chickadees from...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    November 7, 2018

The humidification of the Arctic

Uma Bhatt remembers summers in Fairbanks when she could open a package of crackers, leave it unsealed, and find them in a near-identical state a few weeks later. Those crackers now seem to lose their...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    October 31, 2018

When moths turn away moose

While most of Alaska has not felt too wintery till recently, 175,000 moose have noticed a change. As biologist Tom Seaton pointed out in last week's column, moose are now seeking out what amounts to a...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    October 24, 2018

Three million pounds of frozen moose yearly

The magnificent creature was fooled by vocal plumbing - similar to its own but much smaller - imitating the groan of a receptive female. The bull moose grunted twice, then strode through spruce trees...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    October 17, 2018

Serpentine Hot Springs stone points raise questions

Stone spear points from Serpentine Hot Springs on the Seward Peninsula hint that ancient people may have migrated northward between ice sheets from warmer parts of America, bringing their technology...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Nature    October 10, 2018

The dashed (and moving) line of the Arctic Circle

A friend and I just camped out at the Arctic Circle, about 200 miles north of where we live in Fairbanks. A dashed line on the map went right through our campsite. That line, the Arctic Circle,...

 

Opportunities make a fine Alaska career

On a November morning long ago, Jeff and Annette Freymueller were feeling the effects of the 1 a.m. flight that had carried them home, to end-of-the-line Fairbanks. There was no rush to get up on...

 

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...

 

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