Erik Hill


Casey Clark and Courtney Sessum of the University of Alaska Fairbanks collect samples for testing from walrus bones unearthed at the Point Franklin archaeological dig on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at the Barrow Arctic Research Center. They used small saws to remove three samples from each piece to run tests on DNA, stable isotopes and hormone levels. A vacuum system collected dust as they cut. Clark is pursuing a doctorate, and Sessum is an undergraduate student. Read more: Old walrus bones dug up in Alaska's Arctic could shed new light on Point Lay hauloutsWatch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Bill Roth
Final day of the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association's Speedy Glass Dog Derby dryland championships on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015.  
Alaska Dispatch News
Police departments in Alaska are implementing body cameras following a national trend to make law enforcement interactions with the public more transparent.
Erik Hill,Kamala Kelkar
The bluffs that include the Ukkuqsi archaeological site continue to erode in Barrow. The site once again yielded human remains following a late-August storm. 
Anne Z. Cooke
A trip aboard the Lindblad Expedition National Geographic Explorer, a unique cruise ship offering visits to parts of the Arctic that few ever see.
Loren Holmes
Dozens of baristas and coffee fans filled the Anchorage Community Works warehouse Saturday evening to see who would be crowned winner of the latte art competition.
Bob Hallinen
Runners compete in the Class 1-2-3A girls and boys and the Class 4-A girls and boys state cross country meet at Bartlett High School on Saturday, Oct.3, 2015.
Marc Lester
Anchorage firefighters respond to suspected Spice-related medical emergencies several times a day, they say.
Erik Hill
At a lab in Barrow, researchers affiliated with the University of Alaska Fairbanks are cutting into old Pacific walrus bones discovered at a site near Point Franklin on Alaska's Arctic coast. 
Erik Hill
West honors senior swimmers during a dual meet with Service on Friday, October 2, 2015, at West. 
Bob Hallinen
A different kind of animal swarmed the Alaska Zoo on Friday -- Anchorage eighth-graders.
Asaf Shalev

Polar Bears Trying to Eat Research Equipment in the Beaufort Sea

With their vessel 150 miles away from the ice in Arctic waters, researchers aboard the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen were startled to see three polar bears suddenly appear. Then the bears started to chew on a $38,000 cable holding sensitive equipment and the surprise turned into worry. In a video captured last month by University of Victoria undergraduate Kathryn Purdon, scientists yell at the polar bears to back away."Not there, please. Please bears, go on. Go, go, go!" says one of the researchers in the video.Fortunately, the bears lost interest and swam away before the cable tethered to a seawater sampling device -- that cost around $90,000 -- could be damaged. The cord, made of Kevlar and plastic, acts as a sheath for a high-voltage wire carrying electricity to the device. "The fear was also that the bears could be harmed by the current," said Jay Cullen, a chemical oceanographer at the University of Victoria who supervises the research mission but was not on the expedition. The fibrous cord can carry immense weight but -- unlike steel alternatives -- it is sensitive to cuts and tears, he added.Cullen and the researchers aboard the Amundsen are part of the international GEOTRACES and ArcticNet programs that are studying how climate change is affecting the Arctic marine environment. Purdon, a student of Cullen's, and other researchers who witnessed the event are still out at sea and could not be reached. The polar bear video is not the only instance of curious bears scrutinizing equipment. Just a few days ago, a video was uploaded showing an Alaska kayaker trying to fend off a bear chewing on her boat. She was unsuccessful.