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Science & Environment

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

Dave Schneider/USGS/AVO

Bogoslof Volcano is back at a low-level “advisory” for the first time since it began erupting more than three months ago.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) downgraded Bogoslof’s alert level Wednesday, bringing it just one notch above “normal.”

AVO Geophysicist Dave Schneider said it has been weeks since the Aleutian volcano showed any sign of life.

COASST Island Sentinels

 

What caused more than 300 puffins to wash up dead in the Pribilof Islands last fall? Starvation.

Zoë Sobel/KUCB

 

The fishing industry in Unalaska is dominated by men. But behind the scenes, at the local branch of a public health and safety company, there’s a woman running the show.

Nicole Beier works for NSF International, a company responsible for quality testing fish at America’s top fishing port. And now she’s tasked with expanding their capacity.

Beier always knew she wanted to work in science, but never imagined she’d end up in Unalaska.

Courtesy NOAA Fisheries, NMFS EPA/MMPA Permit #: 18528 & IUCN # A/NW2013-2

 

In an effort to figure out what’s behind the mysterious decline of Steller sea lions, scientists are trying out crowdsourcing for the first time. The project is called Steller Watch. The idea is to convince the public to comb through pictures looking for sea lions.

Annie Feidt/Alaska Public

 

Rural Alaska runs on diesel. Although many communities are open to alternative energy ideas, they don’t have the funding to even explore them. But help could come in the form of graduate students from Harvard University, who have been tasked with the assignment of solving some of Alaska’s fossil fuel energy woes.

Harvard law student Mike Maruca may sound like he’s describing a spring break trip.

“We also got to drive out to Seward and went skiing at Alyeska,” Maruca said. “We managed to catch the northern lights last night, sort of. They were not very clear.”

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