KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

Science & Environment

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

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

For the last century, reindeer have roamed St. Paul Island without much oversight.

But now, the tribal government is stepping up its management style to boost subsistence options and the local economy.

Fleshy red reindeer quarters are spread across the tables of St. Paul’s tavern. Surrounding them are eager preteens, wielding knives and wearing plastic gloves.

“I don’t think we can cut through this bone," says one student. "It’s like that thick.”

“No! You don’t want to cut through the bone," a teacher responds. 

Berett Wilber/KUCB

When bald eagles die in Unalaska, it’s the beginning of a long journey. Literally. Many of them travel thousands of miles and find second lives in the Lower 48. 

When Damian Lopez-Plancarte walks into the Wildlife Trooper office and opens the freezer, it looks like Thanksgiving. 

The shelves are jammed full of turkey-shaped items wrapped in plastic. But none of them are turkeys.

“Here we have one, two, three four, five dead eagles,” says Lopez Plancarte, counting each one.. 

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Six days after forming an emergency response team, officials have suspended their efforts aboard a disabled fishing vessel in Unalaska.

Coast Guard Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said responders have removed almost 16,000 gallons of oil and sludge from the F/V Akutan, which is moored in Captains Bay.

“The main thing we were trying to do was insure there was no major pollution incident," said Rios. "At this time, we feel confident that we’ve mitigated any kind of imminent threat of pollution.”

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The F/V Akutan is no longer in immediate danger of sinking. That’s according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which organized a slew of agencies to stabilize the listing vessel and remove pollutants over the weekend.

Petty Officer Meredith Manning said the unified command came together to stop the boat from spilling fuel, oil, and other chemicals into Unalaska’s Captain’s Bay.  

NOAA

Scientists have finished another research season without solving the 40-year-old mystery of the Steller sea lion decline in the Aleutian Islands.

But this summer, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may have found a new clue.

NOAA biologist Katie Sweeney is trying to solve the mystery of two sea lion stocks.

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