What's New at UAMN
New museum ethnographic film debuts
MARCH 2016 - Curator Leonard Kamerling said he was drawn to this story about an indigenous Maasai family because it strongly resonated with his experiences making films with Alaska Native communities. Kamerling said the film is not about place, but rather the emotional landscape of people’s lives and how an indigenous family comes together to navigate a rapidly changing world.
Trail of DNA uncovers Alaska wildlife
FEBRUARY 2016 - The farther north wood frogs get, the more limited the season to do everything they need to be a frog — breeding, developing and then preparing for winter. Wood frogs, like all amphibians, are considered an indicator species, the first to change habits and habitat due to climate change or environmental hazards. To monitor their numbers, first you need to know where they are. One clue is in the DNA they leave behind.
Museum displays enigmatic object
JANUARY 2016 - Every object has a story. Ever since the Seal Stone was brought to the attention of professionals at the UA Museum of the North, it has been examined by many different disciplines. Now it is on display in the Gallery of Alaska where visitors can learn about the object from a variety of perspectives.
Alaska butterfly field guide released
DECEMBER 2015 - An Alaska butterfly guide, the result of almost 50 years of research by a longtime University of Alaska Museum of the North collaborator and collector of Arctic butterflies, has finally been published. Kenelm Philip was a world-renowned lepidopterist and collector of Alaska butterflies and moths. He passed away in March 2014.
Grape escape leads to publication and appointment
NOVEMBER 2015 - UA Museum of the North Herbarium Curator Steffi Ickert-Bond was appointed a Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institutions. She was nomited by Jun Wen, a collaborator on several proejcts including studies on the grape family which is featured in the current issue of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.
Understanding Denali's prehistory
OCTOBER 2015 - Archaeologists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the UA Museum of the North say recent excavations at the Teklanika West site inside Denali National Park & Preserve have yielded new data on the location’s chronology and history of human occupation.
New hadrosaur species discovered on Alaska's North Slope
SEPTEMBER 2015 - Researchers working with specimens at the University of Alaska Museum of the North have described a new species of hadrosaur, a type of duck-billed dinosaur that once roamed the North Slope of Alaska in herds, living in darkness for months at a time and probably experiencing snow. Ugrunaaluk (oo-GREW-na-luck) kuukpikensis (KOOK-pik-en-sis) grew up to 30 feet long and was a superb chewer with hundreds of individual teeth well-suited for eating coarse vegetation.
Museum excavates first elasmosaur specimen in Alaska
AUGUST 2015 - A recent expedition to the Talkeetna Mountains by the University of Alaska Museum of the North has uncovered a new marine reptile fossil from the Age of Dinosaurs known as an elasmosaur.
DNA provides clue to Arctic lamprey diet
JULY 2015 - After a shower of lampreys rained down on Fairbanks earlier this summer, many of the specimens discovered by area residents have been added to the museum’s collection, a timely donation as an ongoing project in the fisheries lab seeks to identify what lampreys eat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.