Being so intimately connected to the natural world engenders in Arctic people a deep respect for nature.  Here we show interviews with a wide range of Arctic dwellers, who share their thoughts and experiences about life in the Arctic, and how they look at and handle big changes in their environment.



(click on a person to see their bio and a list of their videos)


Dr. Anne Jensen

Arctic Archaeologist
General Manager and Senior Scientist for UIC Science LLC

Richard K. Glenn

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s Executive Vice President of Lands and Natural Resources.

Dr. George Divoky

Seabird Biologist studying in Arctic Alaska since 1970



Dr. Glenn Sheehan

Founding Executive Director of BASC (Barrow Arctic Science Consortium)

Eugene Brower

President of the Barrow Whaling Captains Association

Geoff Carroll

Area Wildlife Biologist, Alaska Fish and Game, North Slope


Eddie Bodfish

Inupiaq Elder from Wainwright, AK, descendant of a Boston whaler

Joe Fieldman

Helicopter Pilot for the Polar Bear Project in the Southern Beaufort Sea

Dario Levia

Owner of the Narl Hotel, Barrow, AK


Fran Tate

Owner of Pepe's North of the Border, Barrow, AK

Donald Nokinba "Nok" Acker

Assistant Logistics Coordinator, BASC, Barrow, AK

John Tidwell

Polar Bear Photographer, Barrow, AK


Dr. Craig George

Senior Wildlife Biologist, North Slope Borough, Dept. of Wildlife Management, Barrow, AK: Bowhead Whales


Jean Craighead George

Jean Craighead George has written over one hundred popular books for young adults, including the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves.

Cristobal Granados

Worked for Fran Tate at Pepes: North of the Border, Barrow, Alaska 2010


Dr.. Paul Shepson

Analytical/Atmospheric Chemistry, Purdue University

Steve Johnson

Lead Cook at Ilisagvik College, Steve has cooked and baked in the Arctic for over three decades, mostly at Arctic drilling camps

Yves Brower

Yves talks about growing up in Mass and always wanting to come back to the land of his ancestors.  Then he makes the move and has never been happier


Bill Simpson

Dr. Bill Simpson at the Univesity of Alaska at Fairbanks studies atmospheric chemistry in the Arctic

Steve Hastings

Steve Hastings, who first came to the Arctic tundra to study elevated carbon dioxide levels, talks about surviving a small plane crash

Paty Matrai

Biological Oceanographer Paty Matrai from Bigelow Lab, Boothbay Harbor, Maine



Wendy Johnston

Kitchen manager and shipping receiving manager for Iḷisaġvik College in Barrow Alaska

Dr. Lily Peacock

Research biologist for the US Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK.  Lily has studied Polar Bears in Canada where they are still harvested by native peoples.




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Dr. Anne Jensen

Arctic Archaeologist

General Manager and Senior Scientist for UIC Science LLC


Anne Jensen’s anthropological fieldwork in Alaska extends back 28 years.  Anne has worked in villages throughout the state and been principal investigator on numerous archaeology projects, including ones at Point Barrow, Point Franklin, and at Ukkuqsi, where she recovered the little frozen girl who died 800 years ago.  She is General Manager and Senior Scientist for UIC Science LLC, where she runs operations and support contracts for the U.S. Department of Energy and conducts a variety of environmental projects.  Anne holds grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. She has written dozens of professional reports and has published on resource use and zooarchaeology. Her current research focuses on human adaptation in Arctic and subarctic environments, paleoeconomy and paleoenvironments and Traditional Knowledge of Iñupiat peoples.  Anne’s blog on Arctic Archaeology can be found at and her Gardening in the Arctic blog at



Meet Anne Jensen Arctic Archaeologist

Anne talks about how she began work on Nuvuk an Iñupiaq settlement at Point Barrow, Alaska.

Anne talks about her research at the cemetery at Nuvuk

With Inupiaq elder approval, ancient and modern dna analysis of North Slope peoples. They'll finish the ancient DNA and then follow up with the modern DNA analysis and correlate the findings.

Archaeology Across the Arctic

Ann talks about the interior of the North Slope not being explored archaeologically. Evidence of people on the North Slope over 10,000 years old. The coast has changed and been lost so we don't have coastal sites before 4000 BC. Not a lot of sites found and dated. People have been attracted to large coastal villages.


Dating ancient sites on the North Slope

Anne talks about dating of ancient sites in the Arctic and the relationship of ancient peoples across the Arctic, how people can communicate in their own language across 4 thousand miles of territory.

Eskimo Whaling Today & in Ancient Times

Anne talks about the whaling of the Inupiaq Eskimos today and thousands of years ago and how the transition was made from traditional whaling to Yankee whaling tools in the early 1900s, which is still being used today. She also talks about how bowhead whales may live a few hundred years; ivory and stone points pre 1880 have been found in recently caught whales. She also talks about an elder who once saw an 80-foot whale!

Why Live in the Arctic?

Anne talks about her love of the Arctic, everythin about itg, the long summer days, the sky, the plants, the people, one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The most interesting puzzle for her is why and how did people migrate when they did, what set it off, how then did people change into who they are today across the Arctic, and what can that tell us about climate change which happened during that time and still does. You can't take climate change out of an understanding of cultural change. So why do some people adapt to change and some don't?






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Richard Savik Glenn

RICHARD K. “Savik” GLENN is Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s Executive Vice President of Lands and Natural Resources. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (“ASRC”) is the Alaska Native-owned regional corporation representing more than eight thousand Inupiat Eskimos of Alaska’s North Slope. The shareholders of ASRC own surface and subsurface title to nearly five million acres of Alaskan North Slope lands with oil, gas, coal and mineral resources. Richard is a member of ASRC’s Board of Directors.  From 1995 to 2001, Richard headed Alaska’s North Slope Borough Department of Energy Management, where he supervised the energy programs for all of the North Slope Borough villages.

Richard received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from San Jose State University in 1985 and a Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Alaska (UAF) in 1991. Richard has special expertise in resource development in an Arctic setting, and is well-versed in on and offshore Arctic geologic processes. He is a certified professional geologist in the state of Alaska, and holds positions on many boards and commissions, most of them dedicated to education and scientific research. In addition to other postings, he has twice been appointed by the President to the United States Arctic Research Commission, is the Board President of the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, and has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Ilisagvik College.

Richard also serves as co-captain of the Savik Ahmaogak subsistence whaling crew. He is a member of the Suurimmaaniichuat Eskimo dance group and a budding rock-and-roll keyboardist.



Richard Glenn talks about the intersection between Inupiaq Eskimo and scientific knowledge

Richard's mother an Inupiaq Eskimo married Richard's father who came to the Arctic to work on the DEW Line (a system of radar stations set up in the Arctic to detect incoming Soviet bombers during the Cold War) and Richard grew up in two worlds--that of San Francisco during the year and with his Inupiaq relatives in the summers, until at 20 he moved permanently to the Arctic that he loves so much.

Richard Glenn talks about his teachers, Inupiaq and scientific knowledge about his love of the Arctic. No Fences. Open Horizon. Abundant Wildlife and Culture that capitalizes on real knowledge of the Arctic environment

Glenn talks about the beauty of traditional Eskimo knowlege and how it works. He talks about his role as a whaler in his family crew, and he tells a harrowing story about being out on the ice hunting the bowhead when the ice broke off and he and his crew started to flow away and were rescued by helicopter.


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Dr. George Divoky

Seabird Biologist

Dr George Divoky has been studying seabirds in Arctic Alaska since 1970 and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is the founder of Friends of Cooper Island, a nonprofit scientific/education organization that maintains the long-term study of seabirds on Cooper Island and preserves and distributes Cooper Island data for use by current and future researchers studying climate change and other Arctic phenomena. Divoky also has an active outreach program speaking to conservation organizations and school groups.

Studying the Black Guillemots of Cooper Island has largely been a solitary venture for George. While the discovery and initial years of the study were part of governmental research related to oil development in northern Alaska, for the past two decades the work has been conducted with occasional grants and personal dedication.

Divoky’s research on Cooper Island was featured in a January 6, 2002 cover story in the New York Times Magazine entitled “George Divoky’s Planet," written by Darcy Frey.



Meet Arctic Seabird Biologist George Divoky who has been studying a certain bird species for 35 years.

Divoky conducts annual observations of Black Guillemots breeding on Cooper Island in the Arctic Ocean, 20 miles east of Point Barrow, Alaska.  He stays on the wind-swept island every summer for the full breeding season of 100 days. His long-term study has allowed him to make startling observations about climate change.

Date of Egg Laying changes in response to Climate Change

Working on Coopers Island all summer for more than 3 decades, Divoky talks about the tolerance of the Guillemots, about the energy he gets from the Midnight Sun, and how decades of research on these Arctic seabirds has led to surprising findings about global warming.

Polar Bears invade Coopers Island as the summer ice pack retreats looking for food.

George talks about how he prepares for a summer on the island, connecting with local Inupiats and scientists, who have become his friends. He also talks about how hard it is for the Guillemots to feed their young with the pack ice so far away.





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Dr. Glenn Sheehan

Executive Director, BASC

Barrow Arctic Science Consortium

Dr. Sheehan is the founding Executive Director of the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC), which started in 1996. BASC provides scientists with field logistical support, including serving as the ashore contact for U.S. and foreign science icebreaker missions. In a recent year over 626 visiting researchers were assisted.Prior to BASC's creation Dr. Sheehan was principal investigator for the three year NSF-funded Point Franklin Archaeology project on the North Slope.



Glenn Sheehan came to the Arctic as an archaeologist then became the Director of BASC


The Barrow Arctic Science Consortium is centered in the old Navy Arctic Research Lab in Barrow, Alaska

Glenn Sheehan talks about what makes the Arctic such a great place to live.


"What I love about the Arctic is the people. If it wasn't for the people, the Arctic would be a nice place to visit. The people here make it a great place to live."


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Eugene Brower

Inupiaq Elder & Whaling Captain


Inupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower, President, Barrow Whaling Captains Association, Barrow, Alaska, speaks about early days in Barrow, about becoming a harpooner and then whaling captain, about a rogue walrus, an amazing polar bear, a white whale and a whale that showed him and his crew just who is boss.



Early Days

Iñupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower talks about living outside Barrow, Alaska, in the early days. Sod houses, stoves they used, dog sleds, ice skates they made.

Early Days 2

Iñupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower talks about living outside Barrow, Alaska, in the early days. Sod houses, fish storage, bone runners…

Whaling 1:

Brower talks about growing up whaling

As a young boy Iñupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower from Barrow, Alaska, moved up the ranks to Harpooner and finally to whaling captain. On a Sunday in March 2009, he took some time out to talk about whaling



Whaling 2:

Growing up hunting for the bowhead

As a young boy Iñupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower from Barrow, Alaska, moved up the ranks to Harpooner and finally to whaling captain. On a Sunday in March 2009, he took some time out to talk about whaling

Whaling 3:

From Harpooner to Whaling Captain

As a young boy Iñupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower from Barrow, Alaska, moved up the ranks to Harpooner and finally to whaling captain. On a Sunday in March 2009, he took some time out to talk about whaling

Whaling 4: 1970s from subsistence to cash economy

Iñupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower talks about the changes that have come to the Iñupiaq Eskimo community after oil was struck. From dog sleds to snow machines. The expense of continuing the Eskimo tradition



The Whaling Camp & What the Whales know and see

Iñupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower talks about whaling camp and what the whales see and know and how the whalers must learn to keep quiet and undetected if there is to be a successful hunt.

Amazing Bowhead Whale Stories

Iñupiaq elder, whaling captain, and President of the Barrow Whaling Captains Association, Eugene Brower tells some amazing stories about bowhead whales that he has witnessed when out hunting in the Chukchi Sea, off Barrow, Alaska.

President of the Barrow Whaling Captains Association, Alaska

Eugene talks about being mayor of the city of Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost city in the United States. And about being president of the Barrow Whaling Captains Association for more than three decades.



Breaking Trail & Finding Whales

Iñupiaq elder, whaling captain, and President of the Barrow Whaling Captains Association, Eugene Brower speaks about breaking trails to the open water during the spring bowhead whale hunt and finding whales

Amazing Story of a Polar Bear on the Ice

Iñupiaq elder and whaling captain Eugene Brower from Barrow, Alaska, tells an amazing polar bear story, something he saw with his father, Harry Brower, Sr. (1924-1992), out on the ice.

Story of a White Whale

Iff the coast of Barrow, Alaska, in the Chukchi Sea, whaling captain Eugene Brower has seen one white whale, and he's seen it multiple times. He knows it by its markings..



Inupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower talks about ice fishing with his father

Eugene's father was Harry Brower, Sr. (1924-1992), out on the ice.

The Story of a Rogue Walrus

Iñupiaq Eskimo elder Eugene Brower talks about confronting a massive rogue walrus out on the ice while hunting whales, Barrow, Alaska.


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Geoff Carroll

Area Wildlife Biologist, Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Geoff Carroll, Area Wildlife Biologist for Alaska's Department of Fish and Game, talks about his job looking after the animals in a 56,000 sq mile region on the North Slope.  He also talks about his love of the Arctic, and especially the sea ice, and about his passion for sled dogs.  In 1986, he accompanied Will Steger on a National Geographic sponsored 56-day dog sled expedition to the North Pole.  One of these clips shows Geoff out on the ice his Greenland dogs.



Moving to the Arctic & a Bowhead Whale Census


Wildlife biologist Geoff Carroll in Barrow, Alaska, talks about the extirpation and reintroduction of muskox on the North Slope.

Area Wildlife Biologist


Geoff Carroll, Area Wildlife Biologist for Alaska's Department of Fish and Game, talks about his job looking after all the animals, especially caribou, in a 56,000 sq mile region.

Muskox on the North Slope


Wildlife biologist Geoff Carroll in Barrow, Alaska, talks about the extirpation and reintroduction of muskox on the North Slope.



Sled Dogs

Geoff Carroll, area wildlife biologist for Alaska's Dept of Fish and Game, hitches up his sled dogs. After taking his sled out onto the ocean ice, Geoff talks a little about Greenland Huskies like the ones he took to the North Pole with Will Steger in 1986.

To the North Pole

In 1986 Geoff helped Will Steger and others reach the North Pole by sled. In the first month they had only gone 100 miles and soon had to shed a great amount of gear in order to reach the pole. From years of working with the Inupiaq Eskimos Geoff knew the ice conditions and helped read the changing ice so that the expedition could make it a successful trip.

Love of the Arctic, the Sea Ice & the Freedom of Open Spaces but Big Changes Afoot

Geoff talks about the freedom of the open spaces but also about the changes that have come and are coming to the Arctic



Geoff's Polar Bear Story

Geoff Carroll tells the story of an early morning polar bear in a whale census tent out on the ice.


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Dr. John C. "Craig" George

Senior Wildlife Biologist (Bowhead Whales)

Department of Wildlife Management

North Slope Borough, Barrow, Alaska


Craig George has worked as a Wildlife Biologist with the North Slope Department of Wildlife Management in Barrow, Alaska for 25 years.  Craig earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the Utah State University in 1976 and recently completed his Ph.D. in bowhead whale energetics, age estimation and morphology (comprehensive exams 2001).  Beginning in 1982, Craig worked on and later coordinated the bowhead whale ice-based population assessment project on the sea ice near Point Barrow for nearly two decades.   He also has conducted many postmortem exams on bowheads harvested by Alaskan Eskimos (since 1980) and published a number of papers on this work ranging from evidence of killer whale predation to structural anatomy to population biology. Craig has attended IWC meetings since 1987 focusing mainly on aboriginal whaling management procedures and assessments and population estimation. He has also participated in Eskimo traditional knowledge studies on the North Slope. Craig has lived in Barrow since 1977 and is married to Cyd Hanns, a wildlife technician. Together they enjoy community and outdoor activities with their two sons Luke and Sam.



Meet John Craighead (Craig) George, an Arctic Whale Scientist who studies bowhead whales

Craig , is now Senior Wildlife Biologist for the North Slope Borough.  Here he talks about how he came to Barrow in 1977 and then to his bowhead whale research and the bowhead census that helped him and other researchers quantify the bowhead population in the Arctic

More about the whale census that has helped researchers verify what the Inupiat have said all along: that the bowhead population is increasing.

Craig talks about adopting the Eskimo techniques for safety on the ice during the whale census. Here he talks about polar bears in camp out on the ice and other difficulties....

Craig talks about the beauty of the sea ice and the amazing bowhead whale, also about the Eskimo culture that revolves around the whale and the whale harvest

The bowhead is one of the most unusual mammals, with so many unique and extraordinary characteristics, its massive size (up to 60 feet with some reports up to 80 feet), has the thickest blubber of any whale, the longest baleen, some plates reaching 15 feet. They have the largest head in the animal kingdom in proportion to their body, a third of their body size. They may also live 150 years or more


What was it like to raise a family in Barrow, Alaska?

Craig talks about the uniqueness of raising a family in the high Arctic with its vibrant whaling culture, dog mushing, good friends. His two sons, Luke and Sam, got to take part in Eskimo festivals; they ran rivers and hunted and fished in pristine places; polar bears wandered through town. Perhaps it was an America that has been lost to many.

Big changes in the Arctic between 1977 and today--a warming trend.  Bowheads seem to be doing okay with the ice retreat and the Inupiat are an adaptable people

Craig talks about the incredible changes he's seen in the decades since he got to Barrow: the retreat of the ice pack in the summer, the warmer winters. September never used to be an open-water month. Craig is aware of warming periods over the last 10,000 years, but if the predictions are correct, it might not swing back this time because there is a definite human factor in this recent warming trend.




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Dr. Paul Shepson

analytical/atmospheric chemistry

Dr. Paul Shepson, Head of the Chemistry Deptartment, Purdue University holds a split appointment between the Departments of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Chemistry. He is currently Head of the Department of Chemistry, and was the founding Director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC). Professor Shepson’s research group is interested in numerous problems in the field of atmospheric and analytical chemistry, applied to atmospheric measurement problems. His group focuses on issues related to exchange of gases between the surface and the atmosphere in two very different environments – the Arctic, and mid-latitude forests. His research approaches involve building platforms from which to study the atmosphere, including tethered balloons and aircraft, including the Airborne Laboratory for Atmospheric Research.


Dr. Paul Shepson

Atmospheric chemist Paul Shepson talks about the Ozone Buoy, or O'Buoy.


Experimental Plane in the Arctic

Dr. Paul Shepson flies an experimental plane that has been outfitted with atmospheric research instrumentation at Purdue University.  The plane was flown from West Lafayette, Indiana by Dr. Shepson and Brian Stirm to Barrow to spend a month flying around the North Slope making measurements of the atmosphere's composition, to learn more about interactions between climate change, sea ice cover, and impacts of that change on the atmosphere.  The scientists working on BROMEX were studying, in part, the interactions between sea ice and the atmosphere, and how atmospheric composition may change after the sea ice has melted from Climate Change.


Experimental Plane

Dr. Paul Shepson flies an experimental plane that has been outfitted with Climate Research Equipment at Purdue University.




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Fran Tate

Owner of Pepe's


Fran Tate, owner, Pepe's North of the Border Mexican Restaurant, Barrow, Alaska


Fran #1

Fran Tate of Pepe's North of the Border Mexican Restaurant talks about opening up in Barrow, Alaska

Fran #2

Fran Tate of Pepe's talks about being an electrical engineer and coming to Barrow in the 1970s and the community spirit of the Arctic

Fran #3

Fran's compares growing up in the lower 48 to living here in the Arctic



Fran #4

Fran Tate of Pepe's North of the Border Mexican Restaurant gives her take on goose poop..

Fran #5

Fren speaks about recent changes in Barrow, Alaska

Fran #6

Fran Tate, owner of Pepe's North of the Border, talks about growing up poor and coming to Barrow decades ago where she ran a sewage and water business while opening her Mexican restaurant.


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Dario Levia

Proprieter NARL Hotel, Barrow, Alaska


Dario Levia

Proprietor, Narl Hotel, Barrow, Alaska, talks about his journey from Chile to Prudhoe Bay to the Narl Hotel in Barrow



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Joe Fieldman

Helicopter Pilot, Polar Bear Project



Joe talks about flying in the Arctic

Helicopter pilot Joe Fieldman talks about how he helps the scientists track polar bears and what he does when they find one on the Southern Beaufort Sea

The Challenges and beauty of flying in the Arctic & especially the beauty of the bears

Joe captures the dynamic beaufy of the ice and the weather conditions in the Arctic, from a helicopter pilot's perspective


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Eddie Bodfish

Inupiaq Elder from Wainwright, Alaska, now living in Barrow




Eddie Bodfish's grandfather was a Massachusetts whaler.

Eddie grew up in Wainwright, Alaska, a small Inupiaq village south of Barrow. Here he talks about what it was like to grow up out at fish camp for three months of the year and then start whaling for his father's crew until he went to high school in Sitka, Alaska.

He talks about how whaling crews had to walk 9-15 miles out on the ice to get the whales because Wainwright, unlike Barrow, is tucked into a bay, and to get the whales, the whalers have to walk out to the open sea where the whales pass during migrations.

Eddie tells stories from his whaling days

Eddie talks about his role as project manager for the DEW line (Distant Early Warning) and for building airports in the Arctic, which he did for 24 years. He also talks about missing the whaling because he misses the stories of the old whalers that are told in whale camp.



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Lily Peacock

Research Wildlife Biologist

Lily Peacock is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the United States Geological Survey at the Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK. She specializes in population ecology, harvest management, ecological genetics, polar bear conservation.

USGS Anchorage, AK



Meet Lily Peacock

Lily Peacock, research biologist studying polar bears for the US Geological Survey in Anchorage, AK. Lily has worked on Polar Bear Management in remote areas on Baffin Island in the Territory of Nunavut

Population Ecology of Polar Bears

talks about mark and capture population ecology techniques in polar bear science conducted in Canada

Polar Bears in Different Parts of the Arctic

Lily talks about what's happening with the 20-25,000 polar bears in different parts of the Arctic in different seasons



Climate Change & the Native Harvest of Bears in Canada

Lily italks about climate change & the native harvest of Polar Bears in Canada

How Dr. Lily Peacock came to study Polar Bears in the Arctic

Lily came to the Arctic in a roundabout way.  Amazing story of how she ended up capturing polar bears.

Bio in University of Alaska, Anchorage, Green & Gold News



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Donald "Nok" Nokinba Acker

Assistant Logistics Coordinator, BASC, Barrow, Alaska

Donald "Nok" Acker from Allakaket, AK, now lives in Barrow, AK.  "Nok" is short for Nokinba, which in Athabascan means "Snowy Owl," a name his parents gave him at birth. Nok never thought he'd come north to Barrow but when did, he fell in love, with his wife to be and with the high Arctic. Here he talks about his love for the cold and especially for the ice.   Coordinating logistics for the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, BASC, he helps scientists stay safe on the ice.   Here he talks about polar bears and the knowledge you have to have in order to go out on the ice safely. Nok also has put some nice video clips up on Youtube that show what it's like to break trail and to be out there, a place he loves so much.



Meet Donald Nokinba "Nok" Acker

Nok talks about his love of the Arctic and how he helps keep researchers safe out on the ice.



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John Tidwell

Polar Bear Photographer



Meet John Tidwell

The bears begin to trust him after days and days and months and months of routine. Here he talks about how the bears can survive on land. He agrees that ice is getting thin and bears are having a hard time finding seals on the dwindling ice, but he also has what he considers evidence that there's plenty of food on land for the bears.

Tidwell & Tricks of the Polar Bear Photographer's Trade

Here he talks about how he "gets a bear," ways to attract bears to his lens. Back in the early 80s when Tidwell got to Barrow you'd listen to the radio to find out when the bears were in town. What attracts bears to town? Arctic Pizza on the south side of town.

Tidwell carries a camera, not a gun

Tidwell, "I don't carry a gun. What right do I have to shoot a bear when I'm invading his territory." Here Tidwell tells tales about bears, close calls, Snagglepus, a particularly large foul-mood male with a broken jaw and broken nose and teeth sticking out, coming up to Tidwell in the fog snorting as he comes.


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Jean Craighead George

Newbery-winning author of Julie of the Wolves


Craig Jean Craighead George was born in a family of naturalists. Her father, mother, brothers, aunts and uncles were students of nature. On weekends they camped in the woods near their Washington, D.C. home, climbed trees to study owls, gathered edible plants and made fish hooks from twigs. Her first pet was a turkey vulture. In third grade she began writing and hasn't stopped yet. She has written over 100 books.

Her book, Julie of the Wolves won the prestigious Newbery Medal, the American Julie of the Wolves Library Association's award for the most distinguished contribution to literature for children, 1973. My Side of the Mountain, the story of a boy and a falcon surviving on a mountain together, was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book. She has also received 20 other awards.

She attended Penn State University graduating with a degree in Science and Literature. In the 1940s she was a reporter for The Washington Post and a member of the White House Press Corps. After her children were born she returned to her love of nature and brought owls, robins, mink, sea gulls, tarantulas - 173 wild animals into their home and backyard. These became characters in her books and, although always free to go, they would stay with the family until the sun changed their behavior and they migrated or went off to seek partners of their own kind.

When her children, Twig, Craig and Luke, were old enough to carry their own backpacks, they all went to the animals. They climbed mountains, canoed rivers, hiked deserts. Her children learned about nature and Jean came home and to write books. Craig and Luke are now environmental scientists andTwig writes children's books, too.


One summer Jean learned that the wolves were friendly, lived in a well-run society and communicated with each other in wolf talk -- sound, sight, posture, scent and coloration. Excited to learn more, she took Luke and went to the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow, Alaska, where scientists were studying this remarkable animal. She even talked to the wolves in their own language. With that, Julie of the Wolves was born. A little girl walking on the vast lonesome tundra outside Barrow, and a magnificent alpha male wolf, leader of a pack in Denali National Park were the inspiration for the characters in the book. Years later, after many requests from her readers, she wrote the sequels,Julie and Julie's Wolf Pack


In Memoriam (July 2, 1919 – May 15, 2012)

Jean's website



Meet Jean Craighead George

Jean went to the Arctic to study wolves and came back with the story of Julie of the Wolves


Jean talks about the ice and the whales and her son, Craig George, Barrow resident and whale biologist

Craug took his mom out on the ice and helped her with the science of whales so she could work on her most recent book, Ice Whale

House Tour #1

Jean raised her children, Luke, Craig and Twig in this wonderful old house in Chappaqua, NY.



House Tour #2

Jean works at her desk while watching her waterfall which she loves because, like fire, "waterfalls are so alive."







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Cristobal Granados

from Acuitzio del Canje, Mexico

Cristobal, from Acuitzio del Canje, Michoacán, Mexico, worked in the Arctic for many years, including workingat Pepes North of the Border, and describes here a little about the life he led in the North before moving back to warmer climates.

Pepe's Owner Fran Tate can be seen talking on about starting and running her Mexican restaurant in Barrow, Alaska.


Cristobal Granados

From Acuitzio del Canje, Mexico, Cistobal worked in the Arctic for many years.  Here he speaks about that life.




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Steven Johnson

ACF Lead Cook at Ilisagvik College, Barrow, Alaska



Steve Johnson has 40 years of cooking experience, and has cooked above the Arctic Circle for over 30 years.  From seismic cat trains & oil field marine to hard camps (hotels) and other permanent sites, he has done it all above the circle--worked in the villages of Kotzebue, Nuiqsut, Anuktuvuk Pass, and Kaktovik, the oil fields of Badami, Prudhoe Bay, West Sak, Umiat, Alpine, NPRA, Arctic Petroleum Reserve, ANWR, and Kuparuk.  His favorite place is Camp Lonely, also known as Pit Point, the DEW site, where off and on he has worked for many seasons. Cooking, baking, bull cooking, managing, and housekeeping are a few of the hats which Steve has worn over the years.  He has worked both union (Local AFLCIO #879) and non-union jobs with some Davis-Bacon jobs in between.  The size of the camps has varied from 10 people to 550 people, from political figures (Bruce Babbit & Tony Knowles) to common everyday folks.  This is what Steve calls “living the dream!”

His favorite dish to cook is “Arctic Surprise”--his standard reply when asked “What’s for dinner, cookie?”


Steve Johnson #1

Steve Johnson has cooked and baked in the Arctic for over three decades


Steve Johnson #2

Steve talks about the friendliness of the people in the Arctic, the animals, and being away from home.


Steve Johnson #3

Steve talks about the diet of people working in the Arctic


Steve Johnson #4

Steve Johnson hasworked in more than 100 camps on the North Slope. He talks about the winters working for Alaska Drilling


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Yves Brower, Barrow, Alaska


Meet Yves Brower

Yves talks about growing up in Mass and always wanting to come back to the land of his ancestors.  Then he makes the move and has never been happier

Hunting on the North Slope

Yves talks about preparing for, then leaving on a long hunt.  How he makes camp in the snow and why he loves hunting so much.

Why Yves loves the Arctic and Barrow in particular

Yves goes into detail about why living in Barrow is so great.  It's all about family and the




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Dr. Bill Simpson

Environmental Chemist


Dr. Bill Simpson is an environmental chemist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he works as a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and performs research with the Geophysical Institute. He currently is the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Chair, where he helps teach students about Environmental, Physical, and General Chemistry.  His research focuses on how the Arctic processes pollutants differently from other parts of the Earth.  A major focus of the work is how snow and ice and chemicals on their surfaces speed chemical processing.  Changing Arctic sea ice conditions are altering these snow and ice surfaces, and he hopes to understand how those climatic change may affect atmospheric chemical processing. 

Bill Simpson’s website at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks


Meet Bill Simpson

Bill talks about how he and other atmospheric chemists take measurements in the Arctic

Chemistry of the Arctic Atmosphere

Bill studies the processes and impacts of changes in Arctic atmosphere chemistry on the planet. Here he talks about the O'Buoy Project.

Love of the Arctic People

Bill's work in Barrow, Alaska, brings him close to the Inupiaq people who help him with his own science

Working with seals and polar bears

Bill talks about working in a world of seals and polar bears

Traveling the Arctic Winter

Bill loves the winter in the Arctic; the way one can really travel big distances and the beauty of winter formations

Big Changes in multi-year ice

Bill Simpson talks about Change in Multi-Year Ice in the Arctic



Living In Fairbanks

What it's like to live and work in Fairbanks, Alaska. Raising a family, enjoying the outdoors and the winters

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Paty Matrai

Biological Oceanographer

Dr. Paty Matrai is a Senior Research Scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in beautiful mid-coast Maine. Trained as a biological oceanographer, she became interested in biological-chemical interactions at the air-sea interface and, in polar regions, at the seawater-ice-snow-air interface. Her group focuses on biological production of gases and aerosols that are exchanged with the overlying atmosphere, both in the lab and in the field. The hardship of frequent sampling in and over the Arctic Ocean has led to build and/or deploy automated and autonomous systems that can sample the atmosphere and the ocean for chemical and/or biological processes; this is essential in a changing Arctic.



Meet Paty Matrai

Meet Paty Matrai a biological oceanographer from Bigelow Lab, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, who works in the Arctic

Climate Change & the Biology of the Arctic

Paty Matrai discusses how climate change is affecting biology in the Arctic

The Magic of Light & Ice

It's the Light in the Arctic, even more than the Polar Bears. The light and the ice together



The Life of Arctic Oceanography--How it Affects Family

What it's like to be an Arctic oceanographer and raise a family at the same time

Biology is Changing in the Arctic

Changes in Biology in the Arctic

The Planet & The Arctic

Paty talks about the interconnectedness of the Arctic and biology of the planet .



More on Biology & Climate Change

How climate change might affect biological changes in the Arctic

The Atmosphere & Biology in theArctic

Paty talks about the essential role of the atmosphere on Arctic biology .

Collaboration in Arctic Science

Scientists from all disciplines are collaborating in the study of the Arctic











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Steve Hastings


Meet Steve Hastins

Steve Hastings first came to the Arctic tundra to study elevated carbon dioxide levels. He has also been a logistical coordinator for Arctic research scientists in Barrow



Arctic Plane Accident

Five people died; a few lived, Steve among the survivors.

Dramatic Changes in Arctic Seasons

Steve loves the dramatic changes in the Arctic seasons in the tundra and the amazing Inupiaq people in Barrow


More links about Steve and his work in the Arctic Tundra at IceStories


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Wendy Johnston

Kitchen manager and shipping receiver supervisor for Iḷisaġvik College in Barrow Alaska


Meet Wendy Johnston

Meet Wendy Johnston, kitchen manager and shipping receiver supervisor for Iḷisaġvik College in Barrow Alaska

Wendy talks about polar bears outside her restaurant

Wendy talks about polar bears near the college in Barrow & how she runs the northernmost restaurant in the United States







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