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Walking On The Tundra

February 18th, 2011 | By | Filed in Uncategorized

Image by ascappatura on Flickr, licenced under creative commons.

Arctic Photography Book by Ragnar Axelsson

February 17th, 2011 | By | Filed in Current Events, IN THE NEWS

Polarworld, the publishers of Face To Face, Polar Portraits, have a gorgeous new photography book available. Last Days of the Arctic by Ragnar Axelsson is full of stunning imagery and has earned rave reviews. I highly recommend viewing the flipbook 'preview' on Polarworld's website here. The New York Times has this to say -
'He has trekked through glacial storms, fallen through rifts and awakened on ice that has drifted out to sea. But Ragnar Axelsson just keeps coming back … His stark photographs capture a place of extremes, bathed in surreal white Arctic light. Cathedral-like icebergs miniaturize man, a hungry sled dog howls and a hunter in a frosted hood meets you with his tired gaze.'
Pre-order the book on amazon.com, or purchase directly from the publishers on their website. Ragnar Axelsson also maintains a personal site showcasing more of his work. YouTube Preview Image

Baby Polar Bear Greets The World

February 14th, 2011 | By | Filed in IN THE NEWS

Photo credits: Sussi Køber / Aalborg Zoo, Via Zooborns

Once again the Zooborns website brings us some great baby photos of our favorite bears. From their site -
For the first time last week, mama Polar Bear "Malik" coaxed her three month old cub out of their cozy den for a little outdoor adventure at Denmark's Aalborg Zoo.

A Tipping Point For The Arctic Climate?

February 10th, 2011 | By | Filed in Current Events, IN THE NEWS

YouTube Preview Image This video of Dr. Steven C. Amstrup from Polar Bears International follows up on the Nature.com article we've reported on in the past, presenting hope for the future of Polar Bear survival. His research does not find a 'tipping point' in the summer sea ice, suggesting the changes in climate are entirely related to greenhouse emissions.
“There’s a widely held perception that nothing can be done to help polar bears and the arctic ecosystem,” says Amstrup. “Our findings show this isn’t true.”

Exploratory Trip With National Geographic Television

February 9th, 2011 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Filmmakers, Photographers

Recently shared on our facebook albums, a whole series of great photos from a recent exploratory trip with National Geographic Television to James Bay in northern Ontario.

Aurora over basecamp. Photo credit - Andrew Casagrande, National Geographic Filmmaker.

A turbo beaver waiting on the windswept sea ice of James Bay as we head off by snowmobile and snowshoe to follow polar bear tracks spotted from the air.

Ernest, our Cree guide, naturalist interpreter and animal tracker.

Welcome Back, Sun!

February 8th, 2011 | By | Filed in AK NEWS

After nearly 2 months of absence, the sun crests the horizon just over the mountains. Photo shot on February 3, 2011 by Thomas Lennartz at 12:00 noon in Arctic Bay.

"Inupiaq Word of the Day" On Facebook

February 4th, 2011 | By | Filed in INUIT, Inuit Culture/Art

Here's something to 'like' for sure. Anniagruk Mary Sage saw a need to connect far-flung Iñupiaq speakers and to bring the language to people who are interested in learning more about it in a positive, friendly environment. She records videos and posts them to this Facebook page, while inviting all to participate by creating content, and discussing regional differences in dialect. From the page, her goal -
To infuse the process of learning to speak the Iñupiaq language with humor and compassion. To excite and inspire non-speakers of the language to speak and to learn. We are all learning, and it's all ok. 🙂
More information on speaking Inupiaq can be found online at alaskool.org, including a dictionary and phrasebook. Language geek.com also has pronunciation guides and a break down of some of the dialect divisions.

Shell Denied Permits to Drill Near Alaska

February 3rd, 2011 | By | Filed in Current Events, IN THE NEWS

The Fuel Fix blog reports on Shell's ongoing, but so far unsuccessful, efforts to secure permits which will allow the company to drill exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea near Alaska.
The company’s plans for drilling in the Beaufort Sea last summer were put on hold after the lethal blowout at BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell had hoped to launch after ice cleared this year, but those plans were put in jeopardy by a successful legal challenge by environmentalists and native Alaskan groups. In late December, two essential air quality permits were revoked by the federal Environmental Appeals Board, which said federal regulators hadn’t sufficiently reviewed potential emissions from a drill ship and support vessels. Shell also was waiting on a green light from the Interior Department. Pete Slaiby, the vice president of Shell Alaska, said the air permitting problem was more bureaucratic than environmental. “This is not an environmental issue. This not an issue with the air emissions on the drilling rigs,” Slaiby insisted. “It is the issue of processing a permit application in a timely way.”
Many groups are opposed to drilling for oil in the arctic area; raising issues of conservation and animal welfare in the case of a spill, and citing logistical difficulties cleaning up a potential disaster in an area frequently covered in ice. Shell is quick to point out important differences between their operations and those of other companies - including the adoption of new technology to prevent a well blowout, and much shallower well depth. They've launched a nationwide advertising campaign, also covered on Fuel Fix, claiming "unprecedented spill response plans for the Arctic seas and stepped-up prevention systems."
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