Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

In the media

  • Read this Ned Rozell account of the harrowing encounter between a graduate student on his first arctic field trip and a polar bear.
The broken window of the Kinnvika research station at Svalbard. A polar bear, body partially visible in the background, broke the window. Photo: Bob McNabb

The broken window of the Kinnvika research station at Svalbard. A polar bear, body partially visible in the background, broke the window. Photo: Bob McNabb

  • When a poplar decision is a popular decision: U Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers gave NSF-funded biologist Matt Olson permission to proceed with planting and fencing-in 2500 poplar saplings in a six-acre plot at the top of a research field on the Fairbanks university campus, a field ringed by a popular cross-country skiing trail. The site selection was protested by a few skiers and the president of the university’s trails club, who objected to the visual disruption created by the fence needed to keep moose from eating the tender plants. Olson’s long-term study will focus on the genetic adaptations these trees, cloned from samples collected over a swath of Alaska and Canada, make in response to changing climate.
  • Congratulations to the village of Point Lay, Alaska, which this spring landed its first whale in more than 70 years.
Point Lay community members celebrate the successful bowhead hunt.

Point Lay community members celebrate the successful bowhead hunt. Photo: Chad Bernick

  • Old bugs on Mars? Tiny microbes found living in Greenland ice estimated to be 120,000 years old may offer new insight into how cells survive in extreme environments—on this planet and possibly others. The NSF-funded Penn State research team led by Jean Brenchley made the discovery.