Fodor's Expert Review Large Animal Research Station
On the fringes of the University of Alaska campus is a 134-acre home to dozens of musk ox and domestic reindeer. Resident and visiting scientists study these large ungulates to better understand their physiologies and how they adapt to Arctic conditions. The station also serves as a valuable outreach program. Once nearly eradicated from Alaska, the shaggy, prehistoric-looking beasts known as musk ox are marvels of adaptive physiques and behaviors. Their qiviut, the delicate undercoat of soft hair, is combed out (without harming the animals) and made into yarn for scarves, hats, and gloves. The station has this unprocessed wool and yarn for sale to help fund the care of the animals. On tours you visit the pens for a close-up look at the animals and their young, while learning about the biology and ecology of the animals from a naturalist. Call ahead to arrange tours from mid-September through mid-May; otherwise you can just stop by.