Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2024

Birdwatchers visit an island in the rain.

How birdwatchers are incentivizing habitat conservation in Alaska

Alaska is world-renowned in specific tourism sectors—namely those related to rail, ship, and cruise lines. However, there is a thrumming ecotourism industry that has been overlooked: birdwatching. Back in 2019, the US was home to 12.82 million birdwatchers. In 2020 this number jumped to Read More...

Two children in Alaska use binoculars to look at mountain

Study: Low-income parents spend direct payments on essentials for children

We’ve written about how direct pandemic payments were overwhelmingly used to pay for essential goods and services and helped lower poverty rates. New research from Washington State University (WSU) expands upon these findings with a study that finds that when low and middle-income parents receive Read More...

This program bridges the gap b

This program bridges the gap between Indigenous knowledge and Western science

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) has launched a new program aimed at bridging the gap between Indigenous knowledge and Western science. Part of the UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the program offers fellowships to Indigenous graduate students with the goal of researching Read More...

EPA moves to permanently prote

EPA moves to permanently protect Bristol Bay from mining operations

Alaska’s Bristol Bay is a rich fishing area home to 46 percent of the average global abundance of wild sockeye salmon. Following two decades of back and forth between the Pebble Limited Partnership, conservation groups, Tribes, and state and federal governments, the Environmental Protection Read More...

Humpback whales in Alaska stil

Humpback whales in Alaska still flourishing in the absence of cruise ships

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the world to slow down and stay put, which has certainly added stress to our lives, but for the natural world, has offered some respite from human activity. This is the case for humpback whales in Alaska, which, as we wrote about before, have been enjoying the Read More...

Alaska’s forests are more re

Alaska’s forests are more resistant to climate change than we once thought

In 2004, wildfires burned an area of Alaska the size of Massachusetts. Researchers feared that the CO2 released by the fires would accelerate climate change and that the destroyed boreal forests would no longer serve as the immense carbon sinks they once did.  Now, nearly two decades later, Read More...

Everyone over age 16 is now el

Everyone over age 16 is now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in Alaska

If you’ve been waiting for Covid-19 vaccine eligibility and you live in Alaska, we’ve got good news for you. This week, the state became the first to open up vaccine access for anyone over the age of 16.  The new vaccination eligibility comes after a successful campaign to inoculate Read More...

How a biologist and a composer

How a biologist and a composer are making music from the northern lights

While you may be familiar with the natural phenomenon known as the northern lights (aurora borealis), did you know there’s an audio element to this brilliant light show? When humans see those sweeping green and violet lights over the Arctic sky, what we’re actually seeing are collisions Read More...

Bowhead whale populations have

Bowhead whale populations have rebounded after near extinction

We shared a story in November about the remarkable return of Antarctic Blue Whales in the waters around South Georgia after a decades-long hiatus. In more good news for whales, marine scientists are reporting that bowhead whale populations have rebounded to near pre-commercial whaling numbers in US Read More...

These two states may join Main

These two states may join Maine in implementing ranked choice voting

Back in September, we published a story from Maine where the state’s Supreme Judicial Court upheld the use of ranked-choice voting for its presidential and congressional races. The Optimist Daily celebrated that decision because it allows voters to opt for an independent third-party candidate Read More...