Economy & Environment

Sand-filled Super Sacks, seen on Aug. 4, are piled along the eroding coastal bluff in the core area of Utqiagvik, the nation's northernmost community. Near the horizon is a barge delivering some of the supplies that the community will need over the coming year. Climate change, through increased wave action from the ocean and permafrost thaw on the coast, is causing serious erosion and flooding threats. At the same time, reductions in sea ice have enabled an increase in Arctic ship traffic that is expected to continue. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Arctic Commitment Act introduced in Senate seeks to raise U.S. profile at top of world

BY: - August 10, 2022

A wide-ranging bill introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Angus King seeks to boost U.S. investment in Arctic commerce, science and defense. The Arctic Commitment Act, introduced last week, focuses on ways that the United States can become a bigger player in Arctic marine shipping and commerce, which is increasing as sea ice diminishes. […]

Regardless of party or office, Alaska candidates are targeting trawling

BY: - August 10, 2022

Republicans, Democrats and independents seeking a variety of elected offices across Alaska appear united by a desire to restrict deep-sea trawling. In candidate questionnaires submitted to the Alaska Beacon, candidates for statewide and legislative races — regardless of party — say the restrictions are the best way to improve salmon returns on the Yukon and […]

Buildings that once housed workshops and office operations line groomed ski trails at the Independence Mine State Historical Park. The site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is seen here on Nov. 12, 2017. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Independence Mine, a ‘gem’ in state park system, gets big donation for restoration work

BY: - August 9, 2022

A private charity has donated $1.3 million to restore historic buildings at a popular Alaska state park. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has provided the money to restore buildings at the Independence Mine Historical Park. The site, in the Talkeetna Mountains near Palmer, once housed a thriving gold-mining operation but has […]

Visitors take in the view on Aug.4 from the roof of the newly upgraded Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory. The roof, with its unobstructed views of usually snow-covered tundra, is the site where technicians can track albedo, the measurement of solar heat reflection. As snow and ice diminish, so does albedo, and more heat is absorbed in the Arctic, feeding into a self-reinforcing warming cycle. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

On Utqiagvik’s edge, an observatory measures the gases that are warming the Arctic and the planet

BY: - August 9, 2022

For nearly 50 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration laboratory on the outskirts of the nation’s northernmost community has tracked a steady rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the byproduct of fossil-fuel burning that is enveloping the Earth and trapping its heat. Now the NOAA Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory has a new, expanded, […]

A sign at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, seen on July 21, expresses appreciation for healthcare workers. UAA has several training programs, including one focused on rural Alaska, and the university is one of the partners in a $9.7 million federal grant secured by the Alaska Primary Care Association. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska health organization secures $9.7 million grant to train new workers

BY: - August 8, 2022

Alaska health care organizations have an injection of federal money to help recruit and train more workers to fill a variety of in-demand positions. The Alaska Primary Care Association has won a $9.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Good Jobs Challenge program for a wide-ranging project to expand health care opportunities by […]

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. posts negative returns for first time since 2012

BY: - August 5, 2022

For the first time in a decade, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., source of more than half of Alaska’s general-purpose state revenue, posted negative investment returns for an entire fiscal year. As of June 30, the last day of the just-ended FY22, the fund reported having earned minus-1.32% over the preceding 12 months. The decline […]

Scientists attending a conference marking the 75th anniversary of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory walk on the beach at Utqiagvik's iconic whalebone arch during an Aug. 2 tour of the city. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Indigenous knowledge entwined with Arctic research for 75 years in Utqiagvik

BY: - August 4, 2022

In the nation’s northernmost community, about 100 scientists, engineers and other Arctic experts are gathered this week to celebrate a cutting-edge research program that started in the 1940s. The event in Utqiagvik, also known by its former name of Barrow, is a conference marking the 75th anniversary of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, or NARL. […]

Toolik Field Station lies in the northern foothills of Alaska’s Brooks Range in 2019. The station hosts up to 150 residents at a time and supports about 500 scientists annually with 11 laboratories, six dorms and a dining hall. Photo by Jason Stuckey/Toolik Field Station

Toolik Field Station gets $19.7 million for next five years of operations

BY: - August 3, 2022

The Arctic’s largest scientific research station, a facility on Alaska’s North Slope, has received an increase in funding for the coming five years of operations, the University of Alaska Fairbanks announced on Tuesday. Toolik Field Station, located 370 miles north of Fairbanks, has received $19.7 million in NSF funding for the next five years, UAF […]

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Record rent increases, low wages are driving an eviction crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

BY: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses in a Tuesday hearing detailed to a U.S. Senate committee how investors and stagnant wages are driving an eviction and housing crisis across the U.S.  The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said that families are being priced out of buying homes, and rising […]

Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon dries on a rack near Bethel in 2001. (Photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Marginalizing concerns on Alaska salmon bycatch and the Yukon-Kuskokwim subsistence fisheries

BY: - July 30, 2022

The past two seasons and now this 2022 season, Chinook and chum fisheries have crashed to historical low-abundance runs on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers. Yup’ik and Athabascan peoples, villages and communities have relied upon each fishery from time immemorial for putting healthy foods on the table. Many Canadian First Nations and communities also rely […]

An Aleutian tern flies over the beach in Yakutat. The coastal community holds the largest colony of Aleutian terns, a long-distance migrator with a population in steep decline. (Photo by Christine Cieslak,/Student Conservation Association and U.S. Forest Service)

Scientists team up to solve mysteries about dwindling Aleutian tern population

BY: - July 28, 2022

Yakutat, a coastal community on the northern edge of Southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest, is something of an Alaska refuge for a bird that may be on the brink: the Aleutian tern. Its wide, sandy beaches – and particularly, a peaceful site called Blacksand Spit — holds Alaska’s biggest concentration of Aleutian terns, a long-distance migrator […]

As last big cable carrier drops One America News, Alaska’s GCI has it for now

BY: - July 28, 2022

Alaska cable company GCI has no immediate plans to drop the right-wing TV channel One America News, a spokesperson said Wednesday. Verizon, the last remaining major carrier to carry the channel, plans to stop airing the channel on Saturday. That action follows a similar one in April by DirectTV. Their decisions leave the channel, once […]