Editor’s note: This week, scientists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks are presenting their work alongside thousands of colleagues from around the world at the 2022 American Geophysical Union fall meeting. Some of their discoveries are featured here. You can also find out more about UAF at AGU by searching for #UAFxAGU on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Alaskan blueberry pickers are likely familiar with sphagnum moss — the luscious moisture-holding mat that leaves you with a soggy bottom seconds after sitting at a berry bush. As it turns out, sphagnum plays an important role in the boreal forest. It traps moisture at the surface, protecting the permafrost below from thaw.

Heather McFarland, Rod Boyce and Julie Stricker are public information officers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.