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Recent Articles

Catch the latest news from ACRC's scientists, staff, students, and partners.

Watch: New AK CASC video on glacial lake outburst floods in Juneau

Check out the first video in a short series on glacial outburst flooding at Suicide Basin, in Juneau.

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ACRC welcomes new research faculty member, interdisciplinary scientist Jim Powell

As a center dedicated to interdisciplinary science in support of resilient communities and ecosystems, we are excited to announce the addition of UAS assistant professor of public administration Jim Powell to the ACRC team. Powell brings his decades of experience in natural resources and adaptive governance to our group, with a focus on how local governments are adapting to climate change.

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eagle beach scientists

How do landslides impact the carbon balance of Southeast Alaska?

The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is the greatest carbon reserve in North America, capturing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in plants and soil. But natural and human disturbances, like erosion and logging, affect carbon stocks by moving organic material out of the forest, into streams and eventually coastal waters.

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ACRC researcher John Harley awarded University of Alaska coronavirus response grant

As the novel COVID-19 virus disrupts life across the nation and world, many companies, organizations, and individuals are pivoting from their work to aid in response efforts. Dr. John Harley, a postdoctoral researcher at ACRC, hopes to fill a critical information need for COVID-19 vulnerability in Alaska. Though his work using environmental data to predict harmful algal blooms is unrelated to the current public health crisis, Harley saw an opportunity to use his background managing and visualizing large datasets to provide a valuable resource for COVID-19 response planning.

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ACRC welcomes new postdoctoral researcher, oceanographer Mariela Brooks

ACRC is excited to announce the addition of oceanographic researcher Mariela Brooks to our team. She joins us following her doctoral studies in Marine Chemistry at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD. 

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AK Coastal Ocean

Local climate data for Southeast Alaska

For the better part of a year, supercomputers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have been running nonstop to produce a novel dataset of climate information for Southeast Alaska. Rick Lader, a postdoctoral fellow with the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center, is working with a team of stakeholders to create highly detailed climate projections for the region that will help managers at the USFS Tongass National Forest, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, National Weather Service, and the Alaska Department of Transportation prepare for the rapid changes in climate Southeast Alaska faces.

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Sunrise Mountains

For salmon, glacier retreat will have mixed effects

When it comes to retreating glaciers, researchers predict there will be benefits and costs for western North American salmon populations over the coming decades. Alaska Coastal Rainforest Director Allison Bidlack and University of Alaska Southeast researcher Eran Hood are authors on a recent multidisciplinary study led by Kara Pitman at Simon Fraser University.

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Coho Underwater

Backcountry enthusiasts take to the slopes to improve snow models

For scientists collecting data deep in Alaska’s backcountry, there are few access roads and even fewer weather stations to be found. There are, however, dedicated winter recreationists traversing the landscape by ski, snowshoe, and snowmachine. These backcountry enthusiasts are being recruited by scientists to contribute to a growing dataset of snow depth observations that are improving our understanding of snow distribution in remote locations. 

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Snow-covered Mountains

Juneau students work with ACRC scientist to measure water quality

A steady curtain of rain falls over the banks of the Mendenhall River, but you’d never know it from the high spirits of Thunder Mountain students who have been working in the drenching conditions for over an hour. The students collect water samples in chest-high waders, armed with small vials and temperature probes. A group onshore inspects sediment and invertebrates collected from the stream bed. They are part of an ongoing program led by science educators Adriana Northcutt and Kristen Wells to engage eleventh- and twelfth-grade biology students in studying the Mendenhall watershed and impacts of water quality on salmon habitat. 

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Dead trees could bring new life to southeast Alaska lumber mills

As climate change rapidly alters conditions in southeast Alaska, lower snowpack levels have caused a massive decline of yellow-cedar trees. Without an insulating blanket of snow, the shallow roots of yellow-cedar trees freeze during late spring cold snaps. Left behind is a growing expanse of “ghost forests” of dead yellow-cedars, affecting roughly 678,000 acres (nearly the area of Yosemite National Park). The decay-resistant properties of yellow-cedar allow the trees to remain standing for decades after death. ACRC director Allison Bidlack, and collaborators Brian Buma, Sarah Bisbing, and Brian Vander Naald, set out to determine whether these ghost stands might provide an economic opportunity for small lumber mills in Tongass National Forest.

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