The Big Five-Oh


Breaking ground on the Rasmuson Library

Earlier this month was supposed to see a big party at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Rasmuson Library. The building turned 50 years old. But the pandemic squashed that bash. This edition of Northern Soundings we hear from former director Paul McCarthy who discusses his long career at the Rasmuson. First, we begin with a conversation via Skype with current director Karen Jensen.

And bibliophiles won’t want to miss Chris Lott’s exploration of the many ways the love of books can veer off in unexpected directions on Katexic Clippings.


Music by Jukedeck

Pandemic Politics 2


My conversation with Alexander Hirsch, political scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Nate Bauer, Director of the University of Alaska Press continues. Coming off of South Korea’s elections last month many pundits saw the landslide results for the ruling government as an endorsement of its policies towards the pandemic. What, I wondered, would the United State’s response to COVID-19 bode for Republicans in November?

A Model Pandemic


COVID-19 has prompted dramatic changes around the world. Beyond the isolation and economic shock there is a growing awareness of some of the science behind pandemics, including modeling. Almost daily we hear about the need for more data to fine-tune predictions and response. But what do epidemiologists mean by a model. To answer that, I turned to KUAC’s “Math-Guy” John Gimbel, mathematics professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.