Science & Environment

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

Melissa Good / Alaska Sea Grant

Unalaskans are used to spotting marine mammals around the island.

But lately, they're not just seeing whales or otters. They're seeing ringed seals — an Arctic species that typically lives far north of the ice-free Aleutian Islands.

Now, scientists are monitoring the unusual visitors to find out why they're here.  

KUCB

For the first time in 18 years, Unalaska won't collect detailed data on the salmon run at McLees Lake this summer.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) spent months trying to secure funding for the Wislow fish weir.

But last week, biologist Lisa Fox announced that it was too late to keep searching.

Courtesy of Alaska Geographic Field Institute

Unalaska's Brian Conwell is serving as a youth ambassador to the Arctic Council for the next two years. 

The high school senior recently attended the 5th Annual Arctic Encounter Symposium in Seattle, where he met with leaders like U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott.

KUCB's Laura Kraegel spoke with Conwell afterward to ask what policymakers have planned for Alaska.

TRANSCRIPT 

KUCB

With grant money drying up, the state wants Unalaska to help fund the salmon weir at McLees Lake.

Scientists have used the weir to monitor sockeye for the past 17 years. But now, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has no way to pay for it.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska has taken its first official step toward banning plastic bags.

On Tuesday, the City Council tasked the city manager with developing an ordinance to prohibit the flimsy, disposable bags used at grocery stores.

Councilors issued the directive unanimously after hearing from Unalaska resident Laresa Syverson.

"It’s not that a plastic bag ban is going to solve all our problems," said Syverson. "But it will help with the way we depend on plastic."

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