Celebrating Legacies

Scott Kiefer & Sherry Simpson

Last month brought hard news. First, one of my favorite authors died unexpectedly from a brain tumor. Sherry Simpson was funny, genuine and penned thoughtful and elegantly wrought works about Alaska. She was 60 years old. Sherry’s friend and colleague Frank Soos talks about her life and work.

Days after learning about her death, I heard about another passing. Although Will Harrison wasn’t a friend, I had the good fortune of talking with him three years ago. There aren’t many nuclear physicists who switch careers to study glaciers. We hear from Will and from a former graduate student who continues glacier research at UAF’s Geophysical Institute, Martin Truffer.

Northern Soundings: The Last Mile

Drew Harrington

Last week I learned the gifted and humble ultra-marathoner Drew Harrington passed away. I talked with Drew two years ago on the eve of the Equinox Marathon. Drew was rescovering from surgery and treatment for a brain tumor. He was optimistic, but last week he succumbed to the illness. He was 40. In memory, we revisit that conversation.

Also on the show, forest fires have always been vital to eco-systems, but they can be deadly to humans living in our near dense woods. A new film examines the challenges to residents who lost homes in 2019’s McKinley Fire. We hear from researcher Jennifer Schmidt and storyteller Amanda Byrd about their project. It was funded by UA EPSCoR and UAF’s Alaska Center for Energy and Power.

Pandemic Politics

Tuesday saw municipal elections in Fairbanks. UAF Political Scientist Alexander Hirsch points to several factors that aided right-leaning candidates, and UA Press Director Nate Bauer looks at the actual pandemic’s role in the presidential contest.

Pandemic Politics

The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week pushed the 2020 presidential race into new directions; and a Federal judge has barred the Trump administration’s plans to end the 2020 census a month early. That ruling is bound to be challenged, but it represents another twist in this year’s fraught count. In with analysis are UAF Political Scientist Alexander Hirsch Alaska and Nate Bauer, who directs the University of Alaska Press.

Pandemic Politics

Understandably, most political commentators are focused on November’s general election, but our own analysts, Nate Bauer who directs the University of Alaska Press and UAF Political Scientist Alexander Hirsch are also tracking Fairbanks’ municipal contests, October 6th.