Author Archives: briannabgibbs

Salmon Project Will ‘Drop’ Books This Fall

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Folks who enjoy salmon-themed literature will be pleased to know they’ll have an opportunity to score a free book this fall. Erin Harrington is the executive director of the Salmon Project, which is the organization hosting a statewide book drop. The “drop” she says, will involve distributing almost 1,200 books to roughly half a dozen communities around the state.
The book being distributed is King of Fish – the 1,000 year run of salmon.
“Which is by David Montgomery, who is a geomorphologist down at the University of Washington, and wrote this book a little over a decade ago about salmon and the interactions between salmon and people across ranges in Europe, North America, on both the east and west coasts of the United States and Canada and then up around the corner, just barely touching on B.C. and Alaska. So it’s a really fascinating book that looks at more than 1,000 years of the way people have interacted with this fish and relied on it. And then it looks at some of the lessons that can come out of those other geographies which have largely lost their salmon.”
Harrington said the book drop idea was modeled after the popular Big Reads, which promote community literacy and conversation by distributing different texts for free. Continue reading

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Weather Station Brings New Learning to Old Harbor

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Yesterday KMXT told you all about a new project for Kodiak High School and Middle School students, one that partners them with NASA scientists to try and forecast earthquakes.
The work is being done through  Trillium Learning’s American Bridge Project, and brought the world’s first two Global Earthquake Forecasting System sensing platforms to Kodiak last month. One was placed on top of the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium, and another was sent to Old Harbor.
The platforms collect electrical and magnetic signals, among other data, but also include a full NOAA-class weather station on each platform.
“So we can tell how much wind, wind gusts, rain, humidity, temperature – all these things are actually being recorded.”
That’s Ron Fortunado, the president of Trillium Learning. He said the students working with the platform in Old Harbor went nuts when they learned about the weather stations included in the project, something he didn’t expect.
“Because they don’t have a weather station down there.”
Instead, Fortunado learned that Old Harbor relies on weather forecasts from Kodiak airport.
“If they knew what the weather was like down here they would know whether or not to send a plane or not, or a maritime or fishing fleet – we would know better about what the conditions were and stuff like that. So with a weather station down there, localizing in a place based manner, now they’re going to use it to do all sorts of climate studies in their environmental science classes and things like that.”
Fortunado said he had no idea how important and useful a weather station would be for the community of Old Harbor, and is glad the earthquake forecasting project can be beneficial in multiple ways.

Lecture Will Highlight Early Language Learning

Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Folks will have an opportunity to learn about early Alutiiq language learning this Thursday during a lecture at the Alutiiq Museum.
Well before current language revitalization efforts, Russian colonists were some of the island’s first non-Native Alutiiq learners. According to a press release from the Alutiiq Museum, the language was solely oral for thousands of years, but with the arrival of those Russian explorers, Russian Cyrillic characters were used for publishing written word.
Daria Safronova is a local Russian archivist and will talk about those early appearances of Alutiiq on paper and some of the research she’s been doing. She’ll share historical documents and some of the earliest examples of Alutiiq text.
The lecture, Russian Alutiiq Cyrillic Archival Treasures, is free to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the Alutiiq museum as part of the Fall lecture series.

Talk of the Rock: Kodiak District Parent-Teacher-Student Association

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On today’s edition of Talk of the Rock, we’ll hear from the founders of the Kodiak District Parent-Teacher-Student Association, or PTSA. We’ll hear from Eric Linscheid, the president of the Kodiak Community Education Alliance, and vice president of the organization, Ron Gibbs.

Students Get Hands on Learning With Earthquake Forecasting

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Some of Kodiak’s local students are getting hands on experience in real world research these days. The Kodiak Island Borough School District has recently partnered with NASA and other organizations to help monitor earthquake forecasting sensors with the hopes of someday being able to predict when and where earthquakes might occur.
Early Friday morning, a group of four eager Kodiak High School students sit in front of lap tops in the Kodiak Island Borough School District’s conference room.  Strewn around them are engineering sketches, designs, and scribbled numbers and notes. They aren’t skipping class – in fact, due to a district-wide teacher in-service, school wasn’t even scheduled that day, or the two days prior. And while many of their classmates were probably still sleeping in, these four were hard at work, on their own time, communicating with NASA scientists and workin g to make earthquake forecasting a feasible reality for Kodiak, and the world.
“We’re doing this for school, but we’re also doing this for the scientific community. And it’s like real contributions – it’s not just like a science project that somebody’s already done. We’re actually innovating, we’re actually putting forth results and things that people can use that can help the world.”
That’s Junior Richie McKinney, one of the four lead students partaking in Trillium Learning’s American Bridge Project – an initiative that promotes real time, real world projects with big name partners and school districts around the country. In this case, KIBSD is working with NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, Intelesense Technologies and the European Space Agency to help collect data from the world’s first two Global Earthquake Forecasting System Sensing Platforms, which were placed on the island last month. One platform was put in Old Harbor Village, and the second one is visible on the roof of the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium in Kodiak. Continue reading

Fossil Beach Now Open to Public

Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
A press release from Alaska Aerospace Corporation said Pasagshak Road is now fully open, including access to the popular Fossil Beach. According to the release a temporary safety exclusion zone has been created east of the road, limiting public access in that area. That area is expected to remain closed until it is cleared of any potential hazards.