What's New at UAMN
Dinosaurs in the museum lobby
JUNE 2016 - Meet some of Alaska's newsest (and oldest) neighbors. The lobby at the University of Alaska Museum of the North now features the skeletons of a newly discovered species of duck-billed dinosaur called Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis. They roamed the North Slope in herds 69 million years ago, living in darkness for months at a time.
Films connect Alaska's wild plants to traditional uses
MAY 2016 - A new series of ethnobotany films produced by filmmaker Sarah Betcher explores traditional Alaskan indigenous uses of wild plants for food, medicine and construction materials. T he “ Ties to Alaska’s Wild Plants ” project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Betcher and principal investigator Steffi Ickert-Bond, the museum's Herbarium curator. The videos have been published online in a variety of locations and are accessible for free.
The fish that fell from the sky
APRIL 2016 - Fairbanksans were surprised last summer by a rain of lampreys falling from the sky. It wasn’t just that fish were dropping onto parking lots and lawns in front of houses. The sight of the lampreys caused a stir because many people had never seen anything like them before. The specimens were donated to the UA Museum of the North, where Curator Andres Lopez was already involved with several projects involving lampreys.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.