November 16, 2007 - January 18, 2008
People living in Alaska, America's Arctic, experience climate change differently from the rest of us. Here POLAR-PALOOZA presents three contrasting "Stories from a Changing Planet." Richard Glenn, a professional geologist as well as whaling captain, an enthusiast for traditional music as well as rock drummer, lives in Barrow, the northernmost community in the United States. There he works as VP of Lands for the $1.6 billion per year Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. In "Richard Glenn - At Home in Two Worlds" he takes us on a tour of Barrow, and points out what's changing and why it matters.
It's a very different landscape in Huslia, a small township of 300 Native Alaskans in the interior, across the Brooks Range from Barrow, on the Koyukuk River. But here too, climate change is impacting the community. Tribal counselor and wildlife biologist Orville Huntington takes us out on the river, to fish and hunt. He's seeing diseases he thinks are caused by abnormally warm waters. The trees and plants are also changing - some blooming in Fall instead of Spring.
Both Orville and Richard have been part of the Fall 2007 POLAR- PALOOZA national tour, and we hope will be with us in many more communities in 2008.
Perry Pungowiyi sees change happening to the ice of the Bering Sea, one of the most productive of all oceans surrounding the United States. A participant in one of Jackie Grebmeier's ecosystem cruises, he's seeing changes in the ice that affect the fish and marine mammals, and which in turn impacts the humans who harvest them.
Richard Glenn makes a point of saying he doesn't like his people being described as "canaries in the coal mine", as if they had no say in their future - but there's no doubt that what wise observers like he, Orville and Perry are seeing are glimpses of the future environments we'll all inhabit
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POLAR-PALOOZA and the materials on this website are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0632262. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE/Geoff Haines-Stiles Productions, Inc., and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.