KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

environment

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

On a sunny Tuesday night, about a dozen people are gathered on a dock. They’re practicing the skills needed to free a stranded whale.

Ed Lyman is up from Hawaii to lead the course. He has a lot of experience freeing entangled whales. He’s in town for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — working to build Unalaska’s response team.

“Here we are in Dutch Harbor, fishermen galore, capital of fishing, in many ways in the U.S.,” Lyman said. “So you have a lot of skill sets there already. But having to cut free a 40 ton whale is unique.”

Paul Wade, NOAA Fisheries

 

Before Bogoslof volcano started erupting, it was a haven for endangered Steller sea lions, fur seals, and sea birds. But scientists did not know when and if animals would return to the eastern Aleutian Island.

Max Kaufman/Alaska Volcano Observatory/University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute

 

Scientists have had a hard time monitoring Bogoslof volcano since it started erupting in December. The island is so small, there is no equipment on the volcano, making it difficult to predict eruptions.

No one lives on Bogoslof – the closest human neighbors are 60 miles away in Unalaska. Scientists monitor from afar and they’ve had a lot to monitor lately. The volcano has erupted more than 40 times since December.

Vladimir Burkanov/NOAA

 

New research could help wildlife managers better protect declining Steller sea lion populations. The study looks at why sea lions zero in on specific hunting hotspots.

For humans, knowing where to find food is easy. But biologist Mike Sigler says for Steller sea lions, it’s a different story.

Max Kaufman/AVO/UAF-GI

Bogoslof Volcano erupted Tuesday night for the first time in two months.

The eastern Aleutian volcano blew around 10:30 p.m., spewing ash 34,000 feet into the air.

The explosion lasted about 73 minutes, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

While seismic activity has since stopped, scientists say Bogoslof could erupt again with little warning. They’ve also issued a marine advisory for potential ash fall in the region between Cape Sarichef and Nikolski.

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