Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks

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Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

An international team of explorers returned last week from a grueling 700-mile dog-sled journey from the Arctic Ocean to Eagle, Alaska. They were the first to re-trace the route that legendary explorer Roald Amundsen took in 1905 after his historic transit of the Northwest Passage. Download Audio

Scientists say warm winter weather around the circumpolar north has led to another record-setting year of decreasing sea-ice coverage of the Arctic Ocean. The extent of sea ice formed over this past winter fell short of the previous record-low extent set last year. Download Audio

A contingent of senior Arctic Council officials wrapped up a three-day meeting at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Thursday. And Friday morning, the U.S. chairman of the group reported on their deliberations, much of which dealt with the impact of climate change on the Arctic and how to adapt to it. Download Audio

U.S. State Department official Julie Gourley told a crowd at the Carlson Center Monday that the use of unmanned aircraft systems has grown widespread in the circumpolar north in recent years because they serve as the perfect platform for surveying the vast expanse of the Arctic for such purposes as research and environmental monitoring.

The first of dozens of events to be held as part of the 18th annual Arctic Science Summit Week gets under way Wednesday on the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus. UAF Vice Chancellor for Research Larry Hinzman said this year’s summit is the first to be held on U.S. soil. And it’ll be the biggest yet. Download Audio

Mark Urban, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at University of Connecticut, and other researchers say climate change could wipe out one-sixth of Earth’s species that won’t be able to adapt to the warming planet.

State officials lifted bans today on open burning and use of fireworks for most of Alaska. They cited a decrease in fire danger due to recent cool and rainy weather and requests by members of the public to allow cookouts, campfires and pyrotechnics for this weekend’s July 4th celebrations. Download Audio
Anne Jensen examines artifacts in her lab. (CREDIT ANNE JENSEN)

Climate change is destroying the historical record of Arctic peoples.

Now that the United States has assumed chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the University of Alaska Fairbanks will play a central role in carrying out the U.S. agenda in the region, UAF’s top two administrators said Friday.

The United States will take over Friday as chair of the Arctic Council, the international body of representatives from eight nations with territory in the region. U.S. delegates they’ll focus on the impact of climate change on the Arctic and its peoples. And despite divisions between some members, observers say they don't believe council’s work will be disrupted. Download Audio

Raven Landing Senior housing facility in Fairbanks will begin work soon on an expansion project. The Retirement Community of Fairbanks has secured a loan to help finance a $7.4 million 35-unit addition to the facility off Airport Way. The expansion is aimed at meeting a growing need for senior housing in the Interior. Download Audio

Clean air advocates say they’re disappointing that local and state regulators haven’t made more progress in getting the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s air-quality program up and going. Citizens for Clean Air members are worried the slow-moving process could jeopardize the local program, because opponents are already working to get an initiative before voters in the fall. Download Audio

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved a measure that allows the area school district to keep $800,000 that it would’ve been required to give back to the borough. Assembly members say the action was a small step toward helping the district cope with personnel and program cuts that district officials have proposed to deal with an $11 million state funding shortfall. Download Audio

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Governing Board passed a budget Wednesday that would cut about 60 full-time positions and trim many programs. One board member who voted against the measure says the cuts go too far, and she says she'll push for a salary freeze to reduce the impact of the cuts. Download Audio

Army investigators have confirmed they've launched a formal investigation into a Stryker Brigade soldier’s allegations of racist behavior by some members of his unit. The action follows an earlier informal inquiry into allegations- first outlined in a story published Wednesday by the Army Times.

Army investigators are looking into a Stryker Brigade soldier’s allegations of racist behavior by some members of his unit. A U.S. The allegations were outlined in a story posted today to the Army Times’ website. The story cites an NCO with the 25th Infantry Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright. According to the Times’ story, the staff sergeant says soldiers with the platoon created a weekly opportunity to racially slur fellow soldiers during a weekly event the sergeant says was known as "Racial Thursdays."

A member of the Tanana Chiefs Conference Native Justice Task Force says the federal Department of Justice is tracking the case of the Fairbanks Four. That’s the four Alaska Native men who the task force and others say were wrongfully convicted of killing a teenager in Fairbanks in 1997.

The Research Vessel Sikuliaq was officially commissioned Saturday in a ceremony at the boat’s home port in Seward. The commissioning marked the end of decades of efforts to design and build it; and the beginning of its mission to research the Earth’s rapidly changing and increasingly important polar regions.

Fairbanks’s mayor and police chief rolled out a new approach to law enforcement last night. The community policing program is getting started in crime-plagued South Fairbanks. Download Audio

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly passed a sweeping air-quality ordinance Thursday night that supporters hope will finally begin to clean up Fairbanks’s wintertime air pollution. Most members agreed the ordinance isn’t perfect, but that it’s a good start. Download Audio