What's New at UAMN

Return of artifacts fulfills century-old promise

JUNE 2015 - More than 3,000 artifacts collected 100 years ago near the North Slope village of Kaktovik are back in Alaska as a result of a collaborative effort among the community, archaeological researchers, ExxonMobil Corp., and the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

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Exhibit puts Alaska dinosaurs in the spotlight

MAY 2015 -  Ever since he arrived at the UA Museum of the North, curator Pat Druckenmiller has dreamed of updating the museum’s exhibits to include the story of Alaska’s dinosaurs. Now,  Expedition Alaska: Dinosaurs contains dozens of never-before-displayed specimens from museum expeditions over the last decade.

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Museum researchers and staff receive funding

APRIL 2015 - Funding for a variety of projects and research was awarded to several museum students, curators and staff. From a new 3D printer that will allow students to examine fragile specimens to a Double robot designed to bring virtual vistors into the museum, these awards will help expand the museum's reach.

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Alpine small mammals threatened by climate change

MARCH 2015 - Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have documented a gradual decline in several alpine small mammals since the last glacial period. In a study published in the journal PLoS ONE this month, they predict that climate change will exacerbate this trend.

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Installation examines unique Alaska highway

FEBRUARY 2015 - A collection of  photographs featured in the book The Last Road North by Alaska artist Ben Huff are now on  display. The work celebrates Alaska’s remote Dalton Highway  a microcosm of the contradictions that make up the Alaskan identity.

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New animated film explores bowhead whales

JANUARY 2015 - A new animated film produced by the University of Alaska Museum of the North explores the annual migration of the bowhead whale across the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Arctic Currents: A Year in the Life of the Bowhead Whale takes its narrative and title from the 2013 calendar edited by UAF oceanographer Steve Okkonen.

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Museums bring objects closer to home

DECEMBER 2014 - A box that arrived recently at the museum signifies the reversal of a trend in the mid-20th Century to move cultural artifacts around the country among museums in an effort to tell the story of the first peoples. Now archaeologists recognize the value of keeping these collections closer to their communities of origin.

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New information published for Alaska's first ichthyosaur

NOVEMBER 2014 -- Researchers at the UA Museum of the North have published new findings from the first ichthyosaur specimen found in Alaska. The 12-foot-long specimen was discovered in 1950 in the western Brooks Range by a U.S. Geological Survey crew. More than a decade later, it was airlifted to the museum with the help of the Army aviation team known as the "Sugar Bears."

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Downtown exhibit explores food traditions

OCTOBER 2014 -- The museum brought Key Ingredients: America by Food to the UAF Community & Technical College in downtown Fairbanks this fall. The exhibit by the Smithsonian Institution, enhanced with stories of the local food legacy, explores how meals in America are  rooted in centuries of continuous borrowing and sharing between people across generations, across cultures, and across the land. 

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Gift launches museum gallery renovation

SEPTEMBER 2014 -- A $1 million personal gift from longtime University of Alaska Fairbanks supporters Joe Usibelli and Peggy Shumaker will allow work to begin on renovations to the university museum’s oldest gallery.

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Rare beetle specimen added to collection

AUGUST 2014 - Curator of Insects Derek Sikes says this summer has brought an exciting addition to the collection, a rare beetle found only in Interior AlaskaChionotyphlus alaskensis is a tiny, blind beetle first documented in 1976. It hasn’t officially been found anywhere else except Fairbanks, Nenana, and Chatanika.

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Bon Anniversaire, Blue Babe

JULY 2014 - For 30 years, the museum has shared the story of Blue Babe, a mummified Alaska steppe bison preserved in the Interior permafrost since the Ice Age. This summer, the UAMN Earth Sciences and Archaeology Departments are collaborating with the Center for Applied Isotope Studies to get a more precise estimate for the age of the specimen. 

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Museum film featured by Library of Congress

JUNE 2014 -  A documentary film produced by the UA Museum of the North is getting a special screening by the Library of Congress. Drums of Winter, directed by Film Curator Leonard Kamerling and Sarah Elder in 1988, was named to the National Film Registry in 2006 and is currently being restored. 

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In defense of scientific collections

MAY 2014 - The curator of birds at the University of Alaska Museum of the North has joined more than 120 colleagues from around the world to rebut a criticism of scientific collecting published in the journal Science in April.

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The legacy of Kenelm Philip

APRIL 2014 - When Ken Philip passed away on March 13, it was unexpected. His passing will be mourned by many, but equally important is the need to take care of his legacy – the collection of 83,000 arctic butterflies and moths he's amassed over the past 50 years.

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Making art from cultural traditions

MARCH 2014 - The University of Alaska Museum of the North has acquired two pieces from the Sealaska Heritage Foundation's Tináa Art Auction. Find out why one belongs in the ethnology collection and the other is catalogued as fine art.

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Jenny flies again at Fairbanks Airport

NOVEMBER 2013 - An historic plane that flew Fairbanks passengers, mail, and cargo in the 1920s is once again on exhibit at the airport, thanks to the efforts of volunteers and aviation enthusiasts.

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Pacific walrus population trends study

OCTOBER 2013 - Thousands of specimens housed at the University of Alaska Museum of the North will be used as part of a $1.7 million grant to study long-term and ongoing population trends in the Pacific walrus.

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Dinosaur discovery along the Yukon River

SEPTEMBER 2013 - UAMN researchers have found a major new site for dinosaur fossils in Alaska. Earth Sciences Curator Pat Druckenmiller says This is the kind of discovery you would have expected in the Lower 48 a hundred years ago.

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