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Emily Schwing, KUCB - Unalaska

21 Mushers Add Their Names To 2015 Yukon Quest Roster

The headquarters of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in both Alaska and Canada were buzzing Saturday with talk of snow and mushing.

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August 4, 2014
(Map from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Higher Wildfire Potential Could Impact Northeastern Alaska Caribou Herds

Rural Communities in northeastern Alaska could be left without caribou in the future, according to a recent study. Scientists believe climate change could increase wildfire potential in lichen-rich boreal forest were the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds forage in the winter. A decline in habitat could mean less opportunity for area subsistence hunters.

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July 31, 2014

2015 Yukon Quest Purse Over $127,000

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race organization announced the 2015 race purse Wednesday. The first 15 mushers to cross the finish line next February stand to win a percentage of more than $127,000.

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July 30, 2014
The residents of Novoye Chaplino greeted vistors when they arrived on the beach with traditional song and dance.
(Emily Schwing KUAC)

Inaugural Beringia Arctic Games Brings Indigenous People Together in Russia

This time of year, indigenous people across the Far North gather to play games and celebrate traditions. Earlier this month, in Fairbanks they took part in the World Eskimo Indian Olympics. There was also a gathering of people from across the Circumpolar north in Inuvik, Canada. This year, native people from Arctic nations joined Russia’s Chukchi and Inuit peoples for the first ever Beringia Arctic Games. It was the largest gathering of its kind in a once forgotten corner of the world called Chukotka.

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July 28, 2014

Scientists Find Climate Cooling Effect in Ancient Thermokarst Lakes

Scientists have long believed melting permafrost emits large amounts of carbon-rich greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere resulting in a warming climate. But a new study published online by the journal Nature today indicates ancient lakes that formed after permafrost in the Arctic first melted roughly ten thousand years ago may in fact have a net climate cooling effect over long time scales. The study also increases the total amount of carbon estimated in the frozen soils of the Far North by more than 50 percent.

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July 16, 2014
‘Among Wolves’ Details Researcher’s Lifelong Passion

‘Among Wolves’ Details Researcher’s Lifelong Passion

The University of Alaska Press recently published a book detailing one biologist’s lifelong effort to chronicle the lives of wolves that live inside the boundary of Denali Park and Preserve.

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July 11, 2014
Big Rule Change Comes To Yukon Quest

Big Rule Change Comes To Yukon Quest

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race will have a new set of rules in 2015. Overall rest time has been decreased by two hours, but mushers will be required to make more mandatory stops along the 1000 mile trail.

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July 9, 2014

Study Says Wolf Deaths Have Implications For Pack

A new study indicates that the death of a wolf has implications for the rest of the pack, depending on the size of the pack and the dead wolf’s sex. The study is in response to the legal trapping of a breeding female that was part of a well-known wolf pack that was frequently spotted in Denali National Park.

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July 8, 2014
Army Changes Training Procedures In Wake Of Stuart Creek 2 Fire

Army Changes Training Procedures In Wake Of Stuart Creek 2 Fire

It’s been one year since the Stuart Creek 2 Wildfire was reported burning in the Yukon Training area northeast of Fairbanks. The blaze, ignited during an Army artillery training exercise, burned more than 87,000 acres. It was one of the largest wildfires in the United States in 2013.

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June 19, 2014
Willows have grown up in bands around Twelvemile lake as the water level has receded over the last 30 years, cooling the soil and encouraging new permafrost 'aggradation.'
(Credit Martin Briggs / US Geological Survey)

Newly Forming Permafrost May Not Survive Century’s End

Scientists are announcing a surprising find from the arctic: new permafrost is still forming. But it is unlikely to survive beyond the end of the century. That’s according to a new study out this week in the publication Geophysical Research Letters. Researchers made the discovery at a lake in Alaska’s Eastern Interior.

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June 12, 2014
Alaska Fire Service Holding Meeting On 100 Mile Creek Fire

Alaska Fire Service Holding Meeting On 100 Mile Creek Fire

The Alaska Fire Service will host a meeting tonight in Delta Junction to answer questions about the 100 Mile Creek Fire burning 20 miles southwest of that town.

June 11, 2014

UAF Gets $4 Million For Veterinary Medicine Facility

The University of Alaska Board of Regents agreed last week to fund a $4 million design project to re-purpose an already existing building on the UAF campus by September, 2015 when the first students begin studies in a new veterinary medicine program. But, the new program is on a list of recommended budget cuts.

June 11, 2014
Photo courtesy UAF Engineering Building Project Facebook Page)

UA Board Approves $5 Million To Extend Work On Engineering Building

The cost of a new engineering building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus continues to rise as officials struggle to find ways to pay for its construction. The Board of Regents agreed last week to add $5 million to the project.

June 11, 2014
Local Researchers Find New Home As Japanese Agencies Leave

Local Researchers Find New Home As Japanese Agencies Leave

The University of Alaska Board of Regents gave their formal approval for a $4.4 million project to re-purpose the Syun-Ichi Akasofu Building on the campus of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks during a regular meeting last week. The project comes after two Japanese agencies vacated the buildings. Their absence means a loss of funding that would otherwise pay to maintain the building.

June 9, 2014
(Credit Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

Wolf Population Declining In Denali National Park

A survey of wolves in Denali National Park and Preserve this spring turned out the fourth lowest count since biologists started keeping track of the animals nearly 30 years ago. Park Service officials say the numbers show a decline in the population, but they haven’t settled on an explanation.

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June 4, 2014

2-Year State Predator Control Program Claims 153 Interior Bears

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game shot 64 black and brown bears from helicopters in the Western Interior in May. That brings the total number of bears shot during a two-year effort to 153. The Board of Game approved the program following requests from Kuskokwim River-area hunters, who were concerned about a declining moose population.

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May 29, 2014
Sikuliaq floats in the Menominee River just after launch. Photo by Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks.

Special Exhibit Offers Hands-On Glimpse Of University’s New Research Vessel

A new exhibit opens at the University of Alaska Museum of the North over the weekend. The year-long installation is called “Arctic Odyssey: Voyages of the R/V Sikuliaq.” It offers a first-hand look the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ state-of-the-art new research vessel, slated to sail in Arctic waters next year.

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May 16, 2014
A fire weather map from the National Weather Service shows Red Flag Warnings for much of the southern half of the state.
(Image by National Weather Service)

After Growing to 50,000 Acres, Officials May Recharacterize Prescribed Burn As Wildfire

A prescribed burn on the Oklahoma Range in the Donnelly Training near Delta Junction has grown to more than 50,000 acres. The burn was ignited in dry grass last Saturday. Alaska Fire Service Spokesman Mel Slater says officials are considering whether to change its characterization from a prescribed burn to a wildfire.

May 14, 2014
Chinook salmon. (Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

Fish and Game Expects Low Yukon Chinook Run

The run size for Yukon River Chinook, or king salmon, is likely to be lower than last year’s. Fishermen saw the lowest run of kings on record in 2013.

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May 13, 2014
Smokejumpers complete five training jumps before the fire season flares up. (Photo by Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks)

AK: Smokejumpers

The first Red Flag warnings have already been issued for parts of Southcentral and the Interior and wildland firefighters are gearing up for the season. Some of them will approach wildfires from the ground, but there’s one elite group that’s been training for more than two months to fight fire from the air.

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May 2, 2014