For over ten years, Beth Brummond has been filling balloons for the annual UAF commencement ceremony balloon drop.

An air compressor has been running every day this week at Beth and Glenn Brummond’s Fairbanks home, and their huge garage is half-filled with blue and gold balloons. It can only mean one thing — the University of Alaska Fairbanks commencement ceremony is coming soon. The event will begin at 1:20 p.m. Sunday, May 8, at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.

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Anyone walking in the University of Alaska Fairbanks woods this spring might notice white plastic buckets hanging from trees. The buckets, which collect birch sap, are emptied daily, and in some cases, more frequently. “If it’s a real gusher, it’s twice a day,” said Jan Dawe, director of the university’s OneTree Alaska program.

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For decades, an old Webster-Chicago Electronic Memory recorder led a surprisingly anonymous existence in a corner of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library archives. But it also came with a challenge — nobody knew whether it worked or how to use it.

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