Survival is just the tip of the iceberg in Blair Braverman’s memoir on Arctic life

28 July 2016, by

“On a bad day we called it the Goddamn Ice Cube. On a good day Summer Camp on the Moon.”   In her memoir published July 5, writer and musher Blair Braverman recounts her time living in the isolated wilderness of the Arctic, and her struggles to reconcile the many contradictions—both real and perceived—that accompanied […]

Ice Cold Beer: Icebergs Take New Form at Brewery

14 July 2016, by

There are four basic ingredients in beer: grain, hops, yeast and water.  Brewers routinely experiment with barley and wheat to distinguish their products in their competitive, creative field.  In Canada, one brewery uses one especially unexpected product to create a natural, pure taste: icebergs. The St. John’s, Newfoundland-based Quidi Vidi Brewing (QV) is capturing media attention […]

Walk through the Glacial History that Shaped New York City

7 July 2016, by

New York City is often referred to as the concrete jungle.  However, a few hundred years ago this artificial forest was an actual forest, and 20,000 years ago Manhattan was covered in hundreds of feet of glacial ice.  The city’s natural history has shaped our modern landscape. Understanding that urban connection to the natural world was […]

Photo Friday: Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier

1 July 2016, by

It started with a road trip. A “bucket-list trip,” according to Tish  Millard, a photographer from Prince Rupert, Canada. Millard and her husband decided to drive the over 4,660 miles there-and-back, along the the Alaskan and Dalton highways to “dance in the Midnight Sun,” as she puts it. They passed through Fairbanks, Anchorage, Valdez, Wasilla, and crossing into the Arctic Circle, before […]

Roundup: On Glaciers This Week: Raves, Yoga and Kayaks

27 June 2016, by

Icelanders Celebrate Solstice with Glacier Rave From The Daily Beast: “Sure enough, there he was: a man dressed in a head-to-toe panda costume running toward the bus and waving his hands, a sweaty tornado of furry stress, desperate not to miss the bus that would transport him to the Langjökull Glacier—and the 500-meter tunnel that […]

Assembling Stories of the 2010 Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

17 March 2016, by

Like many other people, I was affected by the eruption of Mt. Eyjafjallajökull six years ago.  I have begun a project which focuses on the mountain, a glacier-covered volcano in southern Iceland, and its dramatic eruption.  I am writing to invite you and others to contribute stories about this event to the project, which is titled Volcanologues. […]

Life by Ice: An Alaskan Poet’s Account

18 February 2016, by

I couldn’t have known, ten years ago, how that first little taste of Wrangell Mountains backcountry would lead to an obsession with glaciers. I’d had some first dates with Alaska’s Kennicott Valley in prior years, including memorable forays on the accessible Root Glacier. It set the hook hard, with its crisp trim lines, succession zones, […]

Nuns in Nepal Rebuild Sustainably

11 February 2016, by

For more than eight months I have been working on a project to help restore a remote mountaintop Tibetan nunnery in Nepal, which was devastated by the earthquake last year. These activities draw directly on the religious traditions of the nuns and on indigenous building practices of the region. Four days after the earthquake on […]

Identifying the Peregrine Falcons on Alaska’s Coast

12 January 2016, by

A new study sheds light on the Peregrine Falcons which populated an area in Alaska after retreating glaciers opened it to colonization. Though earlier researchers believed that this new habitat was filled by the subspecies from nearby coastal areas, the researchers found an inland subspecies in this area. Icy Bay, the study site, was entirely […]

A Visit to a Glacier Goddess

20 November 2015, by

During my recent visit to Bhutan, a shopkeeper in a mountain village mentioned to me that there was a temple located high up in a valley on Mount Jomolhari.  It contained an image of the local deity, he added, the goddess of the mountain.  These facts, mentioned quite casually, stirred my curiosity and made me […]

An Abundance of Yaks

12 November 2015, by

A trip with two colleagues to the Jomolhari area of northwestern Bhutan in October gave me hope that yak-herding remains an active part of the regional economy. We hiked for two weeks through villages and high pastures and up near the mountain’s glaciers, both along major trails and in less-traveled sections. I met some herders […]

A Walk Up Jomolhari

5 November 2015, by

A trip to Bhutan last month provided me with an opportunity to visit one of the glaciers in the country along the crest of the Himalayas. I had hoped for such a trip since I first visited Bhutan in 2011, since I was curious to learn what local people thought about glacier retreat, but I […]