This week on AK we play the field. We’ll meet a researcher from Outside who’s got the inside scoop on scientific field work in Alaska and we’ll visit Barrow, where archaeologists are trying to save ancient burial sites from washing away. We’ll dust some crops, farm some kelp and talk with a New Yorker who’s selling Alaskan land… by the inch.
Field Work in the Gatormobile
The permafrost along the Stampede Road north of Healy regularly attracts ecologists studying climate change. Each year, University of Florida botany professor Ted Schuur, aided by researcher Jason Vogel, brings a group up from Florida to do field work.
Lori Townsend, APRN
In Barrow, archeologists Anne Jenson and Laura Thomas of the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC) have been moving old burials before rapid erosion washes even more of them into the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
- Break: “Fields of Gold” by Sting performed by Robert Tardik from Without Words
Farming in Bethel
Shane Iverson, KYUK
Along the Kuskokwim River, people survive on subsistence foods like meats and berries. But one Bethel innovator — Tim Meyers — is trying to expand that definition to include organic vegetables, grown locally, right on the tundra.
Veggies from the Sea
Scott Buron, AK
With the exception of a handful of master greenhouse gardeners, steep, forested Southeast is devoid of agriculture — on land, anyway. But if you meet Helen Watkins, you’ll realize there’s plenty to be farmed… from the sea.
- Music Button: “The Vegetable Song (Barnyard Dance)” by Tish Hinojosa from Threadgill’s Supper Session – Second Helpings
Planting from the Air
Ellen Lockyer, AK
Doug Glenn is the only aerial seeder in Alaska. One of his latest projects is just north of Fairbanks, where slagheaps of mines line the Steese Highway. Meet the man who uses his plane to put the green back “in them thar hills,” after the gold is taken out.
- Break: “Learning to Fly” from Guitar Tribute to the Foo Fighters
Own a Piece of America
Rebecca Sheir, AK
Since 1981, Scott Moger has run “Own a Piece of America,” a company that allows anyone with $3.95 jingling around in their pocket to become an honest-to-goodness landowner. We spoke with Moger in his native Manhattan, deep within some of the borough’s finest land: Central Park.
- Music Button: “Fifty Nifty United States” by Ray Charles
The Totem Trail
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska
In the forest, field work often means trail work. Under the auspices of the Yakutat Salmon Board, crews in the Southeast community recently completed a new trail leading to their newest totem pole, created by Tsimshian artist David Boxley, Jr. Take a tour with project coordinator Bill Lacey.
- Music Button: “Happy Trails” by Roy Rogers from Hoppy Gene and Me
Mystery & Politics: Mike Doogan
His booming voice has spoken from the pages of the Anchorage Daily News and, most recently, from the halls of the Alaska State Legislature. In recent years, he’s added another position to his resume: mystery author. We caught up with Doogan to learn about his newest installment in the Nik Kane series: Capitol Offense.
- Calendar of Events: “I Could Write a Book” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, performed by Tony Evans and His Orchestra from Broadway Goes Latin (Music for Dancing)
- Closing: “Strawberry Fields Forever” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney performed by Les Fradkin from While My Guitar Only Plays