Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks
The U.S. Northern Command and Coast Guard have launched a major field-training exercise off Alaska’s northwest coast. Arctic Chinook is intended to demonstrate how local, state and federal agencies would respond to a simulated cruise ship accident. Coincidentally, a big luxury cruise ship will sail through the area while the exercise is under way. And to further complicate things, bad weather has just set in. Listen now
Some 5,000 soldiers from around the country and Canada are headed back home after a grueling three-week field-training exercise on ranges around Fort Greely. Arctic Anvil was the biggest exercise U.S. Army-Alaska has held since 2001. Listen now
Big Delta resident Tom Gorman said a small dam he built earlier this year to protect his home from the meandering Tanana River held steady over the past couple of weeks as the river rose to near-flood level, due to recent rains. Gorman now hopes the river falls quickly enough to allow him to finish work on the dam before snow flies. Listen now
Volunteers with State Parks and the Delta Historical Society have removed artifacts from a 110-year-old building at Big Delta State Historical Park. The agencies had planned to wait, to see if the Tanana River washed away more of the riverbank on which the building sits. But Sunday’s move was prompted by concerns over erosion accelerated by recent rains. Listen now
An ambitious plan to develop agricultural land west of Nenana is on hold until the town can find another $5 million to complete work build a bridge across the Nenana River. Download Audio
A new study co-authored by two UAF researchers suggests that contrary to previous studies Alaska’s wildfires and thawing permafrost may not generate more carbon that its ecosystems can capture – at least, through the end of the century. Download Audio
Alaska State Parks officials have closed a section of trail in Big Delta State Historical Park near Delta Junction, because the Tanana River been cutting sharply into its southern bank where the trail is located. The extreme erosion now threatens a couple of historical cabins within the park. State and local officials are working on a plan to shore up the bank – and to come up with a way to pay for it. Download Audio
Anchorage-based Quintillion Networks has resumed work on a major fiber-optic cable project that will improve broadband internet service in five communities in northern Alaska. Quintillion hopes to link the Alaska cable to a larger system that eventually will run from Japan to Europe.
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
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