Frontier Scientists

Photo by Astronaut Jeff Williams, NASA Earth Observatory

The Frontier Scientists blog is for travelers, teachers, students, aspiring scientists, and anyone interested in scientific discovery in the Alaskan arctic.

Come here for videos, photos and summaries that put you in the front row for breaking scientific news in the Far North. Research by our team of Alaska-based scientists includes 10,000-year-old archeological finds, photos of active Cook Inlet volcanoes taken from the space station, climate change, Denali Park’s grizzlies, the nexus of Russian and native artistic traditions, and more.

Come along as scientists themselves are startled by the unexpected in field locations so remote researchers are often the first modern visitors to set foot in them.

Contact Liz O’Connell at

What I learned this Earth Day, 2014 - 4/22/2014 7:16 pm

Predicting the effect of anomalous sea ice loss and increasing sea surface temperatures on global storm systems - 4/15/2014 8:48 pm

The ground changing under our feet – Thermokarsts - 4/8/2014 2:24 pm

Snowy Owl Irruption - 4/2/2014 7:40 am

Tram Powered International Tundra Experiment - 3/25/2014 5:40 pm

Modeling shifting oceanscapes; a collective pursuit - 3/18/2014 6:29 pm

Iditarod sled dogs’ fat burning capabilities - 3/12/2014 11:04 pm

68 million ton landslide in Alaska: Mount La Perouse - 3/5/2014 7:34 pm

Modeling Arctic Waters from the Bering Sea through the Bering Strait to the Arctic Ocean.

Fairbanks, Alaska, September 4, 2012--- Three videos introduce the oceanographic modeling work from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). The video Modeling Ice in the Arctic, shows a regional ice model coupled with a global climate model. “The ice is not as stiff as it used to be,” said Kate Hedstrom, Oceanographic specialist from the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center at UAF. “We’ve had discussions about how the nature of the pack ice is changing from being really solid and thick all multiyear ice to being patches of multiyear ice with the first year ice in between,” said Hedstrom.

The video Quinhagak Drifters was a cool collaboration with scientists and students from the town of Quinhagak, Alaska to study overlooked near- shore waters of the Bering Sea. “We were interested in knowing where river water that comes onto the Bering Sea Shelf goes and how it get there,” said Tom Weingartner, UAF Professor in Physical Oceanography.

Simulating Bering Strait Region Oceanography video is an eye-opening look at the importance of the Bering Strait and the steps needed to properly model its influence on the regional oceanography. “The flow through Bering Strait contains a lot of fresh water, maybe 2500 cubic kilometers a year. “ said Seth Danielson, UAF staff oceanographer. “But unto itself, Bering Strait is a first order contribution to the fresh water budget of the North Atlantic. So there is a strong connection between the world’s ocean currents and what comes through Bering Strait,” said Danielson.

Since the April 2011 web launch, Frontier Scientists continues to share first person accounts and real time insights from leading archaeologists, grizzly bear biologists, volcano researchers, climate change specialists and other scientists.

Fascinating video of current scientific discoveries in some of the Arctic’s most remote and dramatic landscapes are chronicled in short videos, Twitter feeds, blogs and web reports. The research covers these categories:

*Paleo-Eskimo History
*Cook Inlet Volcanoes
*Alutiiq Weavers
*Climate Change Watch
*Arctic Winter Cruise
*Arctic Archaeology
*Computational Science
*Alaska's Unmanned Aircraft Research
*Modeling Arctic Waters
*the Arctic's Amazing Birds
*Where Is Lake El'Gygytgyn?
*Modeling Arctic Waters

“We want to let travelers, teachers, students, aspiring scientists, and anyone else interested in science feel as if they are with scientists as they track grizzlies or take the temperature of permafrost in a borehole,” explained Liz O’Connell, video director for Frontier Scientists. Visitors to Frontier Scientists can ask questions to our scientists directly; follow some of them on Twitter and Facebook, and converse with scientists on their blogs.

Frontier Scientists is funded by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from the National Park Service and 360 Degrees North. Follow us!

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