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Archive for August, 2008

Alpine Tundra Yielding to Shrubs

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA-- Another day of fieldwork and floating later, we are camped on a big bend in the Colville, across from cliffs and peregrine falcons. Yesterday saw more science, including clear evidence of shrubs colonizing alpine tundra... {Read More »}

Minding the Data for Ice Sheets

ILULISSAT, GREENLAND-- In this video, we talk with Jeaime Powell, a graduate student from Elizabeth City State University working on the Polar Grid project. After every twin-otter airplane flight made from Ilulissat to map the Greenland Ice Sheet, Jeaime and his colleagues check over the data... {Read More »}

Ears of the Deep: Hydrophone Arrays

ABOARD THE USCGC HEALY, ON THE BEAUFORT SEA-- While much of the Coast Guard personnel continued to host the distinguished visitors, the science work increased in tempo. The primary science activity to be accomplished on the cruise is to recover and deploy moorings... {Read More »}

Science Underway in the Tundra

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA-- The four-person crew for this second float of the summer is led by Greta Myerchin and myself, both veterans of the first trip (Nimiuktuk/Noatak) and familiar with the science and wilderness protocols... {Read More »}

Ice Sheets & Climate Change

ILULISSAT, GREENLAND-- We spent a lot of time at the Ilulissat airport, hopping on helicopters at every opportunity but also hanging out with the crew on an ice-mapping project out of the University of Kansas and NASA. In this video, we talk with Earl Frederick of NASA about the ice-mapping flights over the Greenland Ice Sheet... {Read More »}

Trucks on the Tundra

TOOLIK FIELD STATION, ALASKA-- The field station maintains a small fleet of trucks to access field sites adjacent to the nearby Dalton Highway. These trucks… {Read More »}

On Speeding Glaciers and Huge Icebergs, Part 2

KANGERLUSSUAQ, GREENLAND– Last week, we showed you a video interview with glaciologist Mark Fahnestock who described how he and his team are measuring the motion of the Jakobshavn Isbræ, one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the world. Here, Dr. Fahnestock describes the roar of a 1000-foot iceberg dropping off the Jakobshavn... {Read More »}

Into the Wilderness, Part Deux

COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA-- Welcome back and thanks for tuning in for the second science adventure of the summer. Scientifically, the premise and protocol on this trip is similar to the first trip, but this one is considerably longer – 18 days instead of 12 – and further north... {Read More »}


TOOLIK FIELD STATION, ALASKA-- We often encounter ptarmigan hidden among the lichen-covered rock and tundra plants at Toolik Lake. Ptarmigan live year round in the Arctic. They are well camouflaged in both the winter and summer seasons... {Read More »}

Listening for Bowhead Whales

ABOARD THE USCGC HEALY, ON THE BEAUFORT SEA-- Now that we are aboard the HEALY and settled in, while we slept a survey was done running roughly offshore of Barrow. The principal work along this leg was mapping of the seafloor bathymetry with the ship’s multibeam acoustic system... {Read More »}