Ravenna Koenig, Alaska's Energy Desk - Fairbanks
In Alaska’s northernmost town, eighth grade students study climate change in a way that encompasses the global picture, but pays particular attention to what’s going on in their own backyard.
“I think it was a little more stable, and there was a little bit more assurance that the ice you were on was not going to disintegrate on you that easy,” said whaling captain Gordon Brower.
Marie Adams Carroll became a ‘folk hero’ fighting for Iñupiat whaling rights. Now she’s in the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.
On Tuesday, 10 women were inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. One of them was Marie Adams Carroll from Utqiaġvik, who stepped into a leadership role as a young woman on the North Slope during a time of crisis — when subsistence activities were threatened — and has been involved in public life ever since.
Meet Alice Qannik Glenn, the podcaster who’s trying to get more young Alaska Native voices on the mic
If you look at the stories being told in the world, and you don’t see your perspective reflected in those stories, what do you do? For one young Iñupiaq woman, the answer to that question was: make a podcast.
In the latest chapter of an ongoing debate over the status of Arctic ringed seals, the state of Alaska has petitioned the federal government to take them off the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
“I saw it as: I’m in a cyclic industry,” said Sydney Deering, who will be graduating this year with a B.S. in petroleum engineering. “I’m coming in in the trough. Hopefully it’s only up from here.”
As Trump administration contemplates drilling in Arctic waters, North Slope organizations stress need to protect subsistence resources
In public comments made available on a federal site, most North Slope institutions didn’t express outright opposition to the plan. But they did voice concern for subsistence resources and hunters’ continued access to them.
A proposal by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy would strip the North Slope Borough of its power to collect nearly $400 million in property taxes from oil companies each year. The idea gets at a longstanding question: How much money from oil should stay in the North Slope, where it’s pumped from the ground?
The first legally-binding, multilateral agreement to prevent commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean was signed last year. A key part of that agreement is collaboration on scientific research, which could underpin a management plan later.
In Utqiaġvik, there’s still one dog team left, and their musher has been getting around the tundra by dogsled for more than 30 years.
ASRC president and CEO Rex Rock Sr. said: “Trying to balance a state budget on the backs of the Iñupiat people across the Arctic Slope is a wrongsided attack on our region.”
“Near-deaths and freezing, running out of gas are some of the issues surrounding being able to go between communities,” said Gordon Brower, director of the North Slope Borough’s Planning and Community Services Department.
Survival course trainees are exposed to subzero temperatures and winds that gust up to 30-plus miles an hour. “They don’t go back inside after they come out here and begin the training,” said instructor Sgt. Garrett Wright.
“Everything just falls into place,” says Nancy Leavitt of the hard work involved in sinew thread making. “The problems, the stress, the thoughts you have. Most of them just disappear.”
Some people at the meeting expressed concern about the process. Lisa Baraff with the Northern Alaska Environmental Center said that the timeline BLM has been using for their environmental review is too short.
“Life is going to spring back to us,” said Robin Mongoyak. “Spring is coming, summer is around the corner. Birds when they come in big flocks, it’s like thousands of people coming to greet us.”
After struggling for years to clean up its air, Fairbanks still faces contentious wood smoke problem
For years, Fairbanks and neighboring city North Pole have had some of the worst air quality in the United States. The area has been failing to meet a federal air quality standard since 2009 — now it's reached the deadline.
Along with the reclamation plan approval, the state also increased the amount of money Donlin Gold will be required to put down ahead of time for the mine’s cleanup.
Polar bear researcher Eric Regehr says that in individual cases like this, it’s very difficult to attribute cause to why a bear wandered so far from its typical area.
Over the last 80-some years, there’s been a noticeable change in Fairbanks: The more recent cold snaps haven’t been as cold, and they’re occurring less frequently than they used to.