Zoë Sobel, Alaska's Energy Desk - Unalaska
The fur seals on St. Paul Island are one of the most studied marine mammals on the planet. But there’s still a lot scientists don’t know. For the first time this year, scientists are using a device called a Saildrone to track down more information about the seals. Listen now
A new report shows more fish are moving to Arctic waters. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management teamed up to create the inventory, which describes more than 100 species of fish found in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas — including 20 species new to the region.
In Kotzebue a year ago, President Obama called for a publicly available high-resolution elevation map of Alaska. And today it’s here. The maps will help Alaskans monitor the effects of climate change.
Russian officials say warming permafrost could be linked to a deadly anthrax outbreak in Siberia this month. Permafrost can be found almost everywhere in Alaska — from the Arctic coast to Anchorage. But at least one expert isn’t alarmed about the potential for thawing ground to bring old diseases back to life. Listen now
While trawling the floor of the Bering Sea and the Aleutian region, scientists have discovered several new species of fish – snailfish. Some were only named last year. Researchers were not looking for them, the trawl was a part of a yearly stock assessment by the federal government that help set quotas for fisheries. Listen now
After combing through data from the Aleutian Islands, a scientist has discovered an unexpected relationship between plankton and pink salmon. Although plankton might seem like an ecological afterthought, biological oceanographer Sonia Batten disagrees. She calls them the most important organisms in the ocean. Listen now
What killed the woolly mammoths on St. Paul Island? Thirst. For the first time, scientists have pinpointed the date — 5,600 years ago — and a likely cause of extinction. They believe the environmental changes that killed the animals mirror today’s climate changes. Listen now
Shell is back in Unalaska. Dutch Harbor was a staging area for Shell’s unsuccessful search for oil in the Arctic Ocean last year. This week, three ships — the Aiviq, the Dino Chouest, and the Ross Chouest — associated with Shell’s Arctic efforts arrived in Unalaska on a mission to remove the last signs of that effort. Listen now
What happens when five teenagers pile onto a research vessel and go island hopping through the Aleutians in the name of conservation? Science. Education. And maybe a peek into their futures. Listen now
Climate change may get all the attention, but it has a less-talked-about but no less troubling twin: ocean acidification. And a growing chorus of Alaskans, from shellfish growers to fishermen, are fretting about the potential impacts to the state’s waters. Now a new collaboration is aiming to bring ocean acidification into the spotlight - with the hope that better understanding it will better prepare the state to adapt. Listen now
An island in the Pribilof’s is taking steps to protect the marine environment in their backyard. St. George's city council passed a resolution earlier this month that could establish a National Marine Sanctuary. Listen now
Every summer, biologists visit Alaska to count Steller sea lions. The western stock of the population has been in decline for nearly 40 years -- hitting a low in 2002. The count helps determine whether sea lions stay on the endangered species list, which puts costly restrictions on the commercial fishing fleet. Listen now
For Karen Abel, what started as learning more about her grandfather has grown into sharing the story of World War Two’s Aleutian Island campaign. And it’s brought her over 6,000 miles from her home in Florida to see firsthand where he served 74 years ago.
PenAir’s new planes arrived in Unalaska last month with the promise of faster service. But as of Tuesday, about 100 people were on the standby list waiting for flights. Download Audio