Fairbanks on a cold day in January, 2012. Photo by Ned Rozell.
Ned Rozell

Fairbanks’s air quality issues began in 1901, when shallow water grounded a Gold Rush entrepreneur.

That August day, when a hired steamship could take them no farther up the Chena River, E.T. Barnette and his wife found themselves deposited on a sandy shoreline in the middle of Alaska.

Gold miners soon found Barnette had sacks of flour, sugar and coffee. Barnette then decided this was a pretty good place for his trading post, one he had hoped to build a few hundred miles away in Tanacross. Alaska’s northern urban center of Fairbanks was born.

In the GI’s Geochronology Lab with Jeff Benowitz, lab manager and associate research professor of geochronology. Jeff stands in front of maps of Denali, the focus of his recent research, which decorate the walls of his windowless lab. Photo by Kelly Eagan.
Kelly Eagan

“I really care about people. That sounds like a dorky thing to say, but it's not always clear when you're a scientist and you're stressed. It probably surprises people about me because I spend a lot of time by myself in the Alaska Range. I go skiing and climbing alone a lot, and even startle myself sometimes because I forget that I'm part of the human condition. Hiking the Appalachian Trail in the dead of winter by myself when I was a teenager taught me a lot about the difference between being lonely and being alone. I do think spending a lot of time by myself increases my empathy for others. Last week I was working on a paper with a guy named Matt from Kansas and another guy named Jeff from Pennsylvania, and we're just shooting ideas and figures around, and at the same time talking about family. It's just really productive and really positive.

Alaska Teacher Placement is holding its first advertisement contest this fall in video, audio and print ad categories, with $10,500 in cash prizes, including $2,000 for first-place winners.

The contest highlights unique aspects of living and working in Alaska to encourage potential K-12 teachers to come to Alaska. Contestants are to enter an ad that conveys the Alaska message in any of the video (TV), audio (radio) and print (magazine) categories. Students on all University of Alaska campuses are encouraged to enter.

The first-place winners’ products will be showcased at various ATP events where prospective and current K-12 teachers, administrators and school personnel from all over the country gather. Products will also be viewable via the ATP website.

The submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2019. Application guidelines, submission and prize details can be found at the K-12 outreach website.

Established in 1978 as a partnership between the University of Alaska and school districts, Alaska Teacher Placement has served as a statewide education job clearinghouse for Alaska, matching current and prospective teachers and administrators seeking positions with the districts that need them.

Contact Toni McFadden, Alaska Teacher Placement manager, at 907-450-8438 or uaf-atp@alaska.edu for more information.

As you are probably aware some important climate reports have been in the news lately.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of scientists convened by the United Nations, issued their report in October 2018. To read this report online: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/.

The Fourth National Climate Assessment consists of two volumes:
NCA4 Vol 1: Climate Science Special Report, released October 2017 - https://science2017.globalchange.gov/
NCA4 Vol 2: Impact, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States, released November 2018 - https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/

Volume 1 can also be found in the library catalog as an e-resource by clicking on the online access link for either full report or report downloads found here: https://jlc-web.uaa.alaska.edu/client/en_US/uaf/search/detailnonmodal/ent.

A new citizen science app is available from the GLOBE Observer program, called Land Cover — Adopt a Pixel. Participants use their smartphones to take geolocated photos of the landscape and optionally can add in more information.

Launch of the app has received a good response from the public, but more data are needed, especially in these states: North and South Carolina, North and South Dakota, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma and Wyoming

NASA's GLOBE team would love to get observations from more people!

Why Adopt a Pixel is Important for Scientists
The app data are geographically aligned with the pixels in satellite images and provide more details of Earth’s surface than we get from satellites. Scientists are particularly interested in observations that include the more in-depth analysis option in the app (vs. simply taking photos). They plan to use all of this data in combination with satellite data to study Earth’s processes and systems (like the carbon cycle, nutrient cycling, climate change, etc.) and topics such as forest ecology, fire, urban growth, farming practices, invasive species, grassland restoration — pretty much anything that relies on accurate data about what is covering the surface of our Earth.

What’s In It for Visitors and Interpreters?
I’m sure you are aware that citizen science provides a powerful opportunity for visitors to connect with and learn about the environment. And there is evidence that participation in citizen science helps people become more involved in environmental stewardship.

What’s cool about GLOBE Observer is that we can encourage people to make observations wherever they are — on a trail, on vacation, in their towns, etc. and then help them to consider how all of these places are connected. For example, historical sites can challenge people to make observations and then think about how the historical landscape affected the way people lived, changes to the land and how that impacts life today. Then visitors can be prompted to think about how decisions are made about land use today and consider making observations in their own community.

The app is free and easy to use and you don’t need to be connected to the internet while collecting data. You can get the app from Google Play or the App Store — search for “GLOBE Observer.” Once you download the app, register. Then open the Land Cover module — an interactive tutorial that will teach you how to make observations. (If you already have the GLOBE Observer app you can access the new Land Cover module directly.)

We know that when people contribute observations to citizen science projects they get a positive sense of making a difference. It’s a great example of the multiplier effect of individual efforts when thousands of individual observations add up to a clearer understanding of how our planet works.
Thanks for considering contributing to this citizen science effort, and for all you do to advance stewardship of Earth!

Would you like to know when all the cool science events are happening at UAF? When you’re putting on a cool science event would you like help getting that information out?

The UAF Science Calendar posts information on science lectures, seminars, workshops, thesis/dissertation defenses, special events and other UAF science-related activities. Submit calendar items by email to UAF-SciCal@alaska.edu. Please include the name of the event, the sponsoring unit, name and affiliation of the presenter, location, date, start and end times, and a contact person's name, email address and/or phone number. Information can be submitted well in advance of the event as long as any changes to the information are also submitted as they become known.

How to subscribe to the Science Calendar

  • Visit http://www.cgc.uaf.edu/calendar.html to view the UAF Science Calendar
  • At the bottom-right corner of the calendar there is a Google Calendar widget (with a white-on-blue 'plus' sign). Click on the link.
  • Your calendar will pop up in your browser, with a prompt to "Add calendar." Click "Add." The UAF Science Calendar should now appear in the list on the left of your calendar labeled "Other calendars."

If you are logged into two Google accounts at once, for example your UA account and your personal account, the UAF Science Calendar may appear in the wrong one. If so, log out of all Google accounts except for the one that you wish to modify, OR log into it in a different browser, and repeat steps 2 and 3.

If you have questions about the science calendar, email UAF-SciCal@alaska.edu.

Please make sure you use the correct GI and UAF logos on all your research posters. You can download the logos at these websites:

Official GI Logo

Official UAF Logos

For assistance with GI and UAF logos, contact Design Services at x7146.

Brand new Merrill Jungle Moc Ice+ shoes
FOR SALE: Brand new Merrill Jungle Moc Ice+ shoes, women's size 9.5; color: Gunsmoke. Price: $30 (cash). Please contact Debbie Ice at 474-7646 or by email at djdavisice@alaska.edu .
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If you have something you would like to sell or are looking for, you can advertise in the weekly newsletter for free! We can run your advertisement as long as you would like us to. Just scroll to the bottom of the newsletter and click on "submit an item for the newsletter" or email Sue Mitchell with the details.

If you have something you would like to sell or are looking for, you can advertise in the weekly newsletter for free! We can run your advertisement as long as you would like us to. Just scroll to the bottom of the newsletter and click on "submit an item for the newsletter" or email Sue Mitchell...

Science Event of the Week

Dec 10, 1993

In 1993, the crew of the space shuttle "Endeavour" deployed the repaired Hubble Space Telescope into Earth orbit.