Link: Wasilla Alaska By 300 blog Arctic research pioneer Kenneth Toovak of Barrow died last week at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 86. His friend Bill Hess, a Wasilla blogger and photographer, has posted a long tribute with many photos. Hess writes: "Kenneth was there from the very beginning of the modern Arctic science movement in Alaska. He employed his knowledge of the Arctic to enable the scientists to survive in an environment that will quickly kill the unsavvy. They relied on his powers of observation to enhance their own skills, for he could look at the ice and the sea and see things that neither they nor their instruments could detect. When they built the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, just north of Barrow, they relied on Kenneth's knowledge of the permafrost, carpentry skills and Arctic constructions to help them design a building that would stand up to the harsh conditions that would batter it."