Photo by Ronan Dugan/USFWS 
                                Kittiwakes build their sturdy nests on cliff sides, and they prefer to live in crowded neighborhoods for additional safety from predators.

Refuge Notebook: Keeping an eye on birds

Around this time of year I start to include a pair of binoculars in my checklist of essentials for heading out the door on a… Continue reading

Photo by Ronan Dugan/USFWS 
                                Kittiwakes build their sturdy nests on cliff sides, and they prefer to live in crowded neighborhoods for additional safety from predators.

Refuge Notebook: Migration is not canceled

A friend told me recently that March is her favorite month. What? Not May when our birds of summer come home to nest? Nor June… Continue reading

Out of the Office: Nature in a time of pandemic can heal

As I write this I am in my third day of working at home — or, as I like to think of it, an embedded… Continue reading

AP file Photo/Mark Thiessen 
                                In this March 20, 2019, file photo, Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit, of France, poses with two of his dogs in Anchorage. Nearly a third of the 57 mushers in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have quit the race before finishing, including Petit, who activated an alert button seeking rescue last Thursday morning, March 19, because of weather conditions.

3 Iditarod mushers rescued because of poor trail conditions

Three mushers participating in Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race were rescued Friday after they activated their SOS beacons because of deep overflows of water… Continue reading

AP file Photo/Mark Thiessen 
                                In this March 20, 2019, file photo, Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit, of France, poses with two of his dogs in Anchorage. Nearly a third of the 57 mushers in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have quit the race before finishing, including Petit, who activated an alert button seeking rescue last Thursday morning, March 19, because of weather conditions.

Refuge Notebook: Introducing Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

We’ve probably already met, but you didn’t realize it. We’re the other national wildlife refuge headquartered on the Kenai Peninsula. If you’ve taken a Kenai… Continue reading

Norwegian musher wins Alaska’s Iditarod sled dog race

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Norwegian musher Thomas Waerner easily won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across Alaska, one of the few U.S. sporting events not… Continue reading

Out of the Office: Back to basics

What makes a successful season of Nordic skiing? Is it the miles you put in? How fast you go? Measurable improvement in technique? I’ve had… Continue reading

Out of the Office: Dropping a line

In my ongoing quest to shake off my Florida roots and achieve the illustrious title of “Real Alaskan,” I recently managed to cross an important… Continue reading

A sign marks one of the groomed ski trails on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Matt Bowser/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: I Think I Can Ski

Let us start with a riddle. There are 11 frogs sitting on a log. Five of the frogs decide to jump off the log. How… Continue reading

A sign marks one of the groomed ski trails on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Matt Bowser/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
The Tour of Tsalteshi is best done with friends. (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: A good ski with friends

This past weekend I spent my Saturday night waxing skis. Sunday, I woke up before the crack of dawn, at 7:30 a.m., to make the… Continue reading

The Tour of Tsalteshi is best done with friends. (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)
White Sands National Monument in New Mexico could almost be mistaken for a snowy hillside. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: El Paso or bust

It was minus 22 when we left for the Anchorage airport earlier this month. It was a sunny, beautiful drive north. The kind of bitter-cold… Continue reading

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico could almost be mistaken for a snowy hillside. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Skiers take off at the start of this year’s Ski for Women on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 at the Lookout Trails on Ohlson Mountain Road near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Wind couldn’t stop annual Ski for Women

Skiers young and old braved some hefty winds on Sunday for the annual Ski for Women at the Lookout Trails up on Ohlson Mountain Road.… Continue reading

Skiers take off at the start of this year’s Ski for Women on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 at the Lookout Trails on Ohlson Mountain Road near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Photo by Mark Laker/USFWS 
                                Mosaic of burned and unburned rocky tundra in the Mystery Hills off of the Skyline Trail on Sept. 12, 2019.

Refuge Notebook: Wildfire in Kenai Mountains tundra

Late last summer, as I waited in a line of traffic on the Sterling Highway to get through the Swan Lake Fire, smoke rose from… Continue reading

Photo by Mark Laker/USFWS 
                                Mosaic of burned and unburned rocky tundra in the Mystery Hills off of the Skyline Trail on Sept. 12, 2019.
Photo by Kat Sorensen/For the Clarion 
                                Bear Lake. Seward, Alaska.

Tangled Up in Blue: A Bear Lake Loop

All summer long, you can find rowers, kayakers and more on Bear Lake just outside of Seward. Somewhere hidden on the west side, there’s a… Continue reading

Photo by Kat Sorensen/For the Clarion 
                                Bear Lake. Seward, Alaska.
Inspiring Girls Expeditions is holding two tuition-free expeditions for 16- and 17-year-old girls in Alaska this summer. (Courtesy Photo | Joan Travers)

Program introduces girls to science expeditions in wilderness

Expeditions in Alaska will explore a glacier and the intertidal zone.

Inspiring Girls Expeditions is holding two tuition-free expeditions for 16- and 17-year-old girls in Alaska this summer. (Courtesy Photo | Joan Travers)
Photo by Jamie Lyons 
                                A migrating dark-eyed junco in fall.

Refuge notebook: Wintering sparrows find their way to Kenai

A recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change highlighted some work by Dr. Kyle Horton and his colleagues, who figured out how to… Continue reading

Photo by Jamie Lyons 
                                A migrating dark-eyed junco in fall.

Tangled Up in Blue: Heart’s Invisible Furies

I came up with a handful of good, meaningful New Year’s resolutions but by Jan. 2, I had failed most of them. My resolutions usually… Continue reading

Anglers return in their boats to the Homer Harbor from Kachemak Bay at the end of the Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament held Saturday, March 23, 2019 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Eagle River woman is first to win Winter King Salmon Tournament

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to note that in 1999 a woman won the Homer Elks Winter King Tournament. Eagle River resident Shayna… Continue reading

Anglers return in their boats to the Homer Harbor from Kachemak Bay at the end of the Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament held Saturday, March 23, 2019 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge 
                                Permanent and seasonal staff from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge who helped estimate the Kenai brown bear population in 2010.

Refuge Notebook: Tales of a wildlife biologist

In 1975, as a freshman in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, I was required to take a weekly no-credit orientation seminar during my… Continue reading

Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge 
                                Permanent and seasonal staff from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge who helped estimate the Kenai brown bear population in 2010.

Out of the Office: From Florida to Alaska — A wild 40 years

Like true superheroes, every Alaskan has an origin story. The really cool origin story might involve being born a sixth-generation Alaskan from a sourdough ancestor… Continue reading

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