KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

Science & Environment

Science and environmental reporting on news and community topics. Science coverage is occasionally provided by community members.

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.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Dick Daniels

 

The massive murre die-off that left tens of thousands of dead birds on Alaska’s coast in 2015 and 2016 may be over, but the population is still struggling. In the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, surviving murres are failing to reproduce.

“When we got to most of the breeding colonies last summer we found that very few birds were attending the cliffs and almost complete reproductive failure at most of the colonies we looked at,” said Heather Renner, a biologist for the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge.

Graphic courtesy NOAA/Alaska Fisheries Science Center

 

There’s a new tool to help scientists and others interested in monitoring how Bering Sea fisheries respond to a changing climate.

Biologist Steve Barbeaux of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center has created hundreds of graphics mapping where 22 species of fish spend their time during different life stages.

The data comes from annual trawl surveys dating back to 1984, but Barbeaux says that information was hard to analyze as a whole.

U.S. Geological Survey / Alaska Earthquake Center

A series of earthquakes shook the Aleutian Islands Monday morning, including a strong 6.4-magnitude quake near Adak.

According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, the big event struck at 9 a.m. about 80 miles west of the community, where about 350 people live.

“I would suspect that it was close enough to Adak that they should have felt it, but it’s probably not big enough to cause damage,” said seismologist Natalia Ruppert.

Pages