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There was something different about Betye Arrastia-Nowak. Her parents were sure of it. Just a week and a half prior, the rising high school junior boarded her first plane. She flew from upstate New York to Alaska, nervous about meeting a new group of people and then traveling with them on a wilderness expedition into Alaska’s fjords.

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In the early 1990s, Janet Collins was hiking in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when she saw “Camp 163” labeled on her map. Intrigued, she later looked up Camp 163 in Donald Orth’s Dictionary of Alaska Place Names. Her curiosity led her to Ernest Leffingwell, the subject of a biography she has written and Washington State University Press just published.

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A walk-through replica of the permafrost research tunnel in Fox, Alaska, will be part of a display opening Nov. 3 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon. The exhibit is a collaborative effort between OMSI and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Gathering two dozen people at UAF to collaborate on research is hardly rare. But when half of them come from an isolated North Slope village almost 400 miles away, the situation becomes decidedly more unusual. That was the case in early June, when members of the board of directors of the Kuukpik Corp. — the Alaska Native village corporation for the community of Nuiqsut — met with scientists studying the adaptive ability of northern communities.

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Ocean particles near the equator efficiently transport carbon deep underwater, according to a new study that used high-resolution cameras to document this climate-related phenomenon. An international team that included Andrew McDonnell, assistant professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, employed the revolutionary cameras to track how carbon and nutrients cycle through the ocean and around the globe.

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Goodnews Bay students have engaged in hands-on, professional science work to benefit their community and the state of Alaska during the past two summers. The students used ground-penetrating radar, Russian peat corers and GPS to help calculate the effects of climate change in their western Alaska village. They assisted researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks on a project to assess Goodnews Bay’s ability to adapt to flooding, erosion and other hazards associated with a warming planet.

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The quiet students sitting in the back row remind Col. Wayne Don of himself the most. They’re why he returns every summer to speak with students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rural Alaska Honors Institute. The 1989 RAHI alumnus shares how he got out of his comfort zone by asking questions in his criminal justice classes. While attending RAHI, Don decided that even though he was shy, he would become a public speaker.

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