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Alexander Deedy

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Melting glaciers may influence earthquake activity. Colliding tectonic plates are the driving force behind the hundreds of earthquakes that happen in Alaska every week, but developing science may add a new ingredient to the recipe for earthquake activity: glacial melting. Just like a trampoline would rebound if a giant ice block was removed, the earth’s crust rebounds when glaciers melt away. The new position of the crust changes how the plates collide, and the removal of a great weight may make it easier for one plate to move the other—potentially allowing an earthquake to occur earlier than it would if the glacier were still there. “…she and her colleagues continue to delve deeper into Alaska’s seismic puzzle in a quest to better understand how and when melting ice may catalyze an earthquake.” Natalia Ruppert, a researcher at the Alaska Earthquake Center, helped study this phenomenon in Alaska’s Icy Bay region.…

Social media unites Juneau photographers Hobby photographer Ron Gile and several photographer friends who also lived in Juneau would often take pictures of Romeo, the famous wolf that frequented Mendenhall Glacier. “Every time someone saw the wolf we had to call four or five people,” Gile says. “We thought, ‘Why don’t we just make a thing on Facebook where we can make one announcement.’” Gile started the page titled Juneau Photo Group and invited a few friends. They shared pictures of Romeo and of Juneau landscapes among themselves. Then it grew. Other photographers started to join. They all helped each other, openly shared where photos were taken, and even gathered in person biweekly for photo sessions. It continued to grow, out from Juneau, attracting interest around the state and from tourists who traveled through on cruise ships. The page now has over 12,700 members, and 15 to 20 more requests…

Historic photos show early Alaska The earliest photo in the Alaska state archives is from 1868, a year after the United States purchased Alaska from Russia.  The photo is a landscape of Sitka, and is one of many taken by Eadweard Muybridge, a photographer who was hired by the government to travel with a party inspecting Alaska’s military posts and harbors. The oldest known photograph of Alaska, however, is not in the state archives. It is part of the University of California Berkeley’s Bancroft Library collection, and was taken by Charles Ryder, a photographer who traveled through Alaska two years prior, in 1866, as part of a Western Union expedition evaluating the possibility of a polar telegraph line. Ryder’s earliest photo shows three people standing in front of a wooden building, possibly a store because of a sign on top. In the background, an impressive Alaskan mountain rises from…

Remembering Talkeetna’s honorary mayor Few, if any, have left a paw print on Alaska quite like Stubbs.  The rusty orange cat who served as honorary mayor of Talkeetna lost the last of his nine lives in July, and his passing was mourned by fans across the state and the nation. He was 20 years old. Legend has it that Stubbs was elected as a write-in candidate for mayor in 1998, despite the fact that Talkeetna, a town of 900 south of Denali National Park, is unincorporated and does not hold mayoral elections. Regardless of how he gained power, Stubbs rarely made controversial decisions in office and his gentle leadership earned him national notoriety and media fame. He spent most days lying around his office at Nagley’s General Store and taking pictures with the stream of tourists who would stop by for an appointment. Occasionally, he would pad into the…

Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Tom Seaton restored a piece of Alaska when he led the reintroduction of 130 wood bison to their predecessors’ historic range along the Innoko River in the spring and summer of 2015. Slightly larger and covered with more wooly hair than their cousins, the plains bison, wood bison once roamed much of the state. No one knows exactly when or why they disappeared, but bringing the wood bison back fills an important cultural niche and will benefit countless plants and animals. Seaton talked to Alaska about how the herd has been faring the last two years and what the future holds for wood bison. ~as told to Alexander Deedy After decades of work, what was it like to watch those first bison run free as wild animals? It didn’t hit me right away, because I was carrying so much responsibility in the moment.…