White-winged Crossbills and Yellow Snow

White-winged Crossbills and Yellow Snow

While out on a springtime snow trail, I recently saw a dozen white-winged crossbills pecking at snow on the side of the trail. When I reached the spot, I saw a yellow stain from where a team of dogs had paused: Why might songbirds have a thing for yellow snow?

Bowhead Whales: A Recent Success Story

Bowhead Whales: A Recent Success Story

Bowheads are also a rare wildlife rebound story, with the population north and west of Alaska now numbering more than 16,000. That’s up from the 1,000 or so animals Yankee whalers left behind in bloody waters at the turn of the last century.

Time Stands Still on Winter Solstice

Time Stands Still on Winter Solstice

Unlike all the other days of winter, on December 21, we will neither lose nor gain a second of sunlight here in middle Alaska. The sun arcing over the Alaska Range to the south will follow a path that is almost precisely the same as its track on December 20.

Some Good News From the Thin Ice

Some Good News From the Thin Ice

A group of researchers have found a sliver of good news in the disappearing sea ice off Alaska’s west coast—the ocean floor around Bering Strait still seems to be capturing billions of bits of carbon that might otherwise lead to an even warmer planet.

Steller Sea Lions and Mercury

Steller Sea Lions and Mercury

Graduate student Michelle Trifari is researching why Stellar sea lions located in the Western Aleutian Islands apparently carry more mercury than those closer to the mainland.

Message From a Lonely Alaska Island

Message From a Lonely Alaska Island

In 2012, an 85-year-old scientist and his son-in-law pulled a cylinder of muck from a faraway island. They carried it home like a newborn baby, froze it, and mailed it to a researcher across the country.