Sea Lions, Bears, Salmon and Cedars: Paddling in SE Alaska with a Purpose
Jordan Holsinger is the newest member of the ASC team. He joined us as the Outreach Manager at the beginning of July after completing his Masters Degree in Environmental Science. Jordan personally bridges the gap between adventure and science as an endurance mountain biker and scientist whose previous research focused on the role of snow depth on plant-soil interactions in subalpine grasslands.
I've spent time around large things - studying elephants and rhinoceros in South Africa, playing in the peaks of the Rocky Mountain West - but nothing makes you feel small like sitting in a sea kayak being charged by a pack of sea lions (video after the break). Splashing and yelling, the 15-headed monster moved right for our boat and I began to wonder what might happen if they didn’t stop. Then the enormous creatures gracefully disappeared under the water, nowhere to be seen. Only one word is needed to explain and describe it simultaneously: ALASKA (which Gregg always insisted on saying in a deep, raspy whisper).
Collecting Samples and Taking Pictures: Carl Battreall and the Alaska Range
Carl Battreall is a well-known photographer and ASC adventurer based out of Alaska, where he has explored over 200 glaciers in 12 mountain ranges. Carl is the recipient of a Rasmuson Artist Fellowship to photograph glaciers throughout Alaska and published his photographs in Chugach State Park: Alaska's Backyard Wilderness in 2011. He is now working to photograph the entire Alaska Range and is assisting in legendary adventurer, National Geographic Explorer and scientist Roman Dial's research on iceworms and water isotopes along the way.
Carl has been spending much of 2013 trekking around the Alaska Range photographing it for his most recent project. Here is an update from Carl (taken from his blog):
I have returned from my latest journey in the Alaska Range. I flew into “Moraine Lake”, the terminal lake of the Backside Glacier. The Backside Glacier descends behind the legendary peaks of the Ruth Gorge, in-between the Tokositna and Ruth Glaciers.
I flew in with Alaska Range Project sponsor, K2 Aviation, on a glorious and unusually warm day. A heat wave had locked Alaska in a dry, record-setting summer and the day was blazing hot and uncomfortably sunny. This was my first time in the area and I had trouble deciding where I wanted to explore. I had to either go high for the views or head up glacier.
I choose to go high and camped near a small alpine lake. Photographing in Alaska in the summer, near the solstice, is hard. The days are long and the sun stays high for most of the day. Sunset was 11:59 and sunrise was around 4:00. The sky never really gets dark and rarely does that magic, alpine light happen. That was the case on this trip. In nine days I never witnessed any sunset/sunrise colors.
Working in variable, less-than-pleasing light is key to mountain and wilderness photography. Rarely do you have time to wait for the perfect light, the weather changes too quickly or you have to keep moving and work with the light you’ve got. There is always a pleasing angle of a mountain in every type of light, but being on the correct side of the mountain when the light is right is what is so difficult.
Mixing Adventure, Science, Bicycles, Kids and Roadkill: Charles Scott the "Family Adventurer"
Charles Scott is an author, family adventurer and United Nations Climate Hero based in New York City. Charles is travelling across the US on the famed Lewis and Clark Trail by bicycle this summer and recording road kill observations for ASC along the way. He is joined by his family including his son, Sho (age 12) and daughter, Saya (age 6) and is planning to writing a book about their experience. Keep up with the Scott family on their blog.
I worked at Intel Corporation for 14 years, traveling all over the world cutting deals and climbing the hierarchy. I enjoyed the competitive, intellectually challenging environment, but eventually felt a nudge to leave the security of my job for a riskier, more adventurous path.
In 2009, when my son was 8 years old, I decided to take a 2-month leave of absence from Intel to cycle the length of Japan with him – 2,500 miles over 67 days. He rode on a trailer cycle connected to my bike, and we carried about 75 pounds of gear.
We raised money for a global tree-planting campaign and were named “Climate Heroes” by the United Nations. The trip was sometimes harrowing: we were pummeled by powerful storms, exhausted by the effort of cycling over eight mountain passes in the Japan Alps, and even took on sumo wrestlers. Free tip: Don’t challenge a sumo wrestler. It’s a bad idea. I published a book about our experiences, entitled, Rising Son: A Father and Son’s Bike Adventure Across Japan.
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