Why the Arctic is a Great Place to Live (Glenn Sheehan)

Video Shot in: 2009

Dr. Glenn Sheehan speaks about the Arctic, highlighting how the people make it a great place to live. He mentions that there are over 60% native Eskimo in Utqiaġvik, formerly Barrow, Alaska. And in the surrounding villages, it’s around 98%. Dr. Sheehan, with an anthropology and science background, finds it interesting that people today have social relationships on the North Slope similar to the social relationships they’ve had for a few thousand years. He thinks that understanding the cultural and historical underpinnings of the way people interact today makes you more comfortable with everyday life in the Arctic. Dr. Sheehan also discusses the permafrost in the Arctic, noting that it is not melting in most of the Arctic, but the annual thaw at the top of it can get deeper on an annual basis. He explains that most buildings in town are on pilings, and if the active layer gets much deeper, the pilings will start moving, which is not a good thing.