Erling Friis-Baastad

Sewage lagoon attracts bugs, birds, pharmaceuticals and a scientist

The first whiff from a study of contaminants in a Whitehorse sewage lagoon is at least troubling. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are making their way into a lagoon where many migratory birds forage and breed.

Scientist to share saga of wandering White River Ash

Erling Friis-Baastad Special to the News One of Yukon's many fascinating geological features is the thick band of light-grey volcanic ash readily found where topsoil has been worn away in the south and central regions of the territory.

Scientist helps maintain the peace between carnivores and people

It's no secret that the large carnivores have been killed off over much of Europe. Along with the great forests, they have faded into folklore.

The case of the time traveling bones

The great strength of the scientific method is that it welcomes new, even contradictory information. True science not only allows for, but even demands a continual updating of pet theories.

Keeping Yukon’s river otters in the swim

Until recently, Yukon's river otters have managed to glide beneath the research radar. Lontra canadensis, a member of the weasel family, is not common in the territory and its distribution here is patchy.

Gorgeous gymnast not always welcome in all waters

Al von Finster grew up in Whitehorse. He and his boyhood pals regularly piloted their bikes up to Jackson Lake in pursuit of rainbow trout.

Soapberries may provide the key to safer camping

Each summer and autumn, we're reminded that we share this land with grizzlies and black bears. Sometimes the bears and sometimes the people are not gracious about this.

The porcupine well armed, long distance traveller

For such a common mammal, the North American porcupine has been the subject very little scientific research, says biologist Tom Jung. It has been cursed by dog owners more often than studied by experts right across the continent.

Snowshoe hares flee through ‘a landscape of fear’

By following lynx and snowshoe hare tracks scientists have determined that only about 20 per cent of lynxes’ hare pursuits are successful, says zoologist Charley Krebs.

Desktop science helps ‘people of the caribou’ prepare for change

Whatever else comes in its wake, climate change is forcing scientists and laypersons alike to take a closer look at how data is presented, read and interpreted.

Tiny, tasty ‘ecosystem engineers’ hit tough times

Town-dwelling Yukoners might be surprised to learn that a long-time neighbour is in trouble. Doesn't the Arctic ground squirrel pop up everywhere? Its burrows extend into yards, driveways, parking lots and airports.

searching the world for traces of white man’s footprint

From her temporary home in Copenhagen, Canadian PhD student Natalie Eva Iwanycki is searching the world for traces of "white man's footprint."

Stone artifacts teach human lessons and tell human stories

"I've never seen a site like this in the Yukon; there were flakes coming out every five or 10 minutes," says Yukon College instructor and archeologist Dr. Victoria Castillo.

Yukon bird observatories help people help birds

Erling Friis-Baastad Bird monitoring tops the list when it comes to opportunities for "citizen scientists" and other laypersons to contribute to natural history research in the territory, says Ted Murphy-Kelly.

Blitz for beleaguered boreal blackbirds

No one is exactly certain why rusty blackbird numbers have been declining so drastically over the past half-century.

Ice age plants suited mammoth appetites

Artists’ renditions of northern ice-age landscapes could do with a bit more colour, says Yukon paleontologist Grant Zazula. Instead of fields of uniformly bleak grasslands, future paintings of late-Pleistocene Yukon, Alaska and eastern Siberia should include brilliant dabs of blue, yellow and orange...

Kluane squirrel observatory yields ever more surprises

The squirrels of Mile 1044 on the Alaska Highway have kept scientists and graduate students hopping for more than 20 years.

Elk pioneers may have led humans into North America

Five years ago, paleogeneticist Meirav Meiri, then a graduate student at Royal Holloway, University of London, working with the British Natural History Museum...

The good news caribou

North Yukon regional biologist Mike Suitor is privileged to be the bearer of great tidings this fall.

Berton House writer reads in Dawson City

Berton House writer James FitzGerald will present a reading at Dawson City Community Library on Monday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m. FitzGerald is a Toronto-born journalist and author.