SCIENCE

Hope McKenney/KUCB

A small group of Unalaskans learned to identify bird carcasses last week in an effort to help scientists track increasing mortalities on Alaska's beaches.

The training was held by the University of Washington's Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), one of the organizations that monitored the state's fifth straight summer of mass die-offs.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Thousands of dead seabirds washed up on Alaska's shores this summer, marking the state's fifth straight year of mass die-offs.

The carcasses have ranged from short-tailed shearwaters in Unalaska and Bristol Bay to auklets and murres in Nome and Kotzebue.

CAFF

This week, Unalaska is hosting an international gathering of scientists, wildlife managers, and indigenous leaders — all focused on biodiversity in the circumpolar north.

It's a meeting of the Arctic Council's working group for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), currently chaired by the United States.

The group conducts habitat research, tracks native and invasive species, and encourages local engagement in environmental issues across the world's eight Arctic nations.

NASA

 

Scientists found an enriched uranium particle over the Aleutian Islands and don’t know where it came from. In 20 years of aerial surveys, it’s the first time researchers have detected a particle like this. It’s not naturally occurring uranium – it’s the kind that might be found in nuclear bombs or fuel.

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.

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