Science & Environment

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

For years, Debbie Corbett was regional archeologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She retired in 2013 and began freelancing. She also started working on organizing a forum for scientists doing research in any field - as long as it was centered on the Aleutian Islands.

Corbett says the idea hatched at a National Science Foundation-funded workshop on North Pacific archeology a few years back.

Greta Mart

Daily since late April, researchers have made their way to the end of A dock at Unalaska's Carl E. Moses boat harbor. There they pull up a series of people-sized circular nets - sort of like Japanese paper hanging lanterns - and peer inside.

Jeff Cox is a contractor for the Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation. Vanessa White is with NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Both are based in Seattle and are working together on this leg of the study.

UC Press

It was 1970 when marine ecologist Dr. James Estes first came to Alaska to study marine life. 

Estes flew out to the Aleutian Islands at the behest of the Atomic Energy Commission. He was hired to asses what may happen to local wildlife when the government blew up a nuclear bomb buried roughly one mile deep on a small island almost to Russia.

Courtesy Brenda Tellman

An unattended bonfire caused a tundra fire at Morris Cove last Sunday. When on a walk with her family, Unalaskan Brenda Tellman saw smoke. She went to investigate and found the grass on fire. It was over an acre and spreading.

Tellman says she was scared they would not be able to extinguish the fire before it spread.

“Just people who are making fires out there have to make sure the fire is really out because of sparks with the dry grass," said Tellman. "We don’t have trees, but we do have bushes and a lot of super dry grass.”

Late in the summer, a regional conservation conference will be held in Unalaska, and organizers are calling for presentation ideas by the end of April.

The tagline of the Aleutian Life Forum 2016 is "building resilience in the face of change." Conference organizers describe it as a gathering of national, regional and state scientists, industry stakeholders, community leaders and local knowledge experts concerned about climate change. The conference will focus on coming up with solutions to pivotal conservation issues for coastal communities such as Unalaska.