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Filmmakers Document the “Weirdness” of Marine Garbage on the Gyre Expedition

On June 6 through 13, a team of scientists, artists, and filmmakers explored remote beaches of Alaska, to assess the impact of debris washing out of the great gyres, or currents, in the Pacific Ocean. Called the Gyre Expedition, the project was launched by the Alaska SeaLife Center and the Anchorage Museum. The multidisciplinary team…

Young People Look to Old Ways of Hunting and Gathering

Introduction to a new Young Explorer’s project: a documentary about young hunters and gatherers in Alaska.

Gyre Expedition Probes Impact of Plastic Pollution on Remote Beaches

Earlier this summer, a team of scientists and artists set out along coastal Alaska, to document the impact that plastic pollution is having on remote beaches. The project, called the Gyre Expedition, was launched by the Alaska SeaLife Center and the Anchorage Museum. The goal is multimedia reportage and art that will be showcased in Anchorage,…

Sea Lions, Bears, Salmon and Cedars: Paddling in Wild Alaska with a Purpose

Nothing makes you feel small like sitting in a sea kayak being charged by a pack of sea lions. Splashing and barking at us, the 15-headed monster moved right for our flimsy kayak and I began to wonder what might happen if they didn’t stop. Only one word is needed to explain and describe it simultaneously: ALASKA

Live Bear and Salmon Cams Bring Nature Up Close

Nature programs often show the annual congregation of bears at streams during salmon runs, but few people get to actually see them up close. Now, National Geographic partner Explore.org offers Internet users an intimate look at this feeding frenzy (above, or view cam here). The cam shows live footage from Alaska’s Brooks River in Katmai…

July 14, 2013: Leaving Your Spouse In the Death Zone, Brokering a Human-Tiger Peace, and More

This week, we summit all of 14 of the world’s 8,000 metre peaks with the first woman to do so, then we try to reduce human-animal conflict across India, and finally, we meet some of the world’s ugliest critters.

June 30, 2013: Avoiding Hippos and Crocs, Racing Up (and Down) Mt. Rainier, and More

This week, we share stories of a few harrowing crossings: traversing the Okavango Delta on foot, skiing up and down Mount Rainier, and we leave tire tracks on Mars where we melt rocks for science.

June 23, 2013: Brokering Peace for Elephants, Surfing Down the Baja Coast, and More

This weekend, we learn about how National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Mike Fay made peace between rebel leaders and forest elephants in Central African Republic, we carry water on our back for a 1,000-mile trek down Mexico’s Baja California Coast, and we ride Europe’s rails in comfort.

GYRE Expedition – Day 5- Bearing Witness; Witnessing Bears. Act 2 (Wednesday, June 12)

A mile down the beach and a mile out on the flat more-or-less, another mother trails three cubs from clam-hole to clam-hole. When she spots a big dark male headed her way from half a mile away, she moves off, in a hurry and a worry, frequently glancing over her shoulder and occasionally breaking into…

GYRE Expedition – Day 5- Bearing Witness; Witnessing Bears. Act 1 (Wednesday, June 12)

 In the “morning” of the never-ending daylight, as the sun has swung round to the east and climbs the sky once more, we awaken in our windowless cabins. We’ve spent the short night at anchor in Hallo Bay. We head shoreward, trying to beat a dropping tide. We partially succeed. Enough of the half-mile mudflat…

GYRE Expedition, Day 4 – Landing in Hallo Bay (Tuesday, June 11)

We spent several morning hours steaming west across Shelikof Strait to Hallo Bay in Katmai National Park, and landed the skiff on a rocky ledge at one end of a long bite of black beach backed spectacularly by the snow-peaked Alaska Range and Hallo Glacier. The highest peaks, piled in snows, leap from sea level…

GYRE Expedition, Day 3- Late Afternoon (Monday, June 10)

ODILE’s Magic Desktop Lab – Odile Madden has brought two amazing pieces of equipment from the Smithsonian. One looks like a microscope stand without the microscope. The other looks like a little hand-held vacuum cleaner. Both fit on a desktop, and they’re incredible. The first shoots laser beams and the second generates x-rays. What you…

GYRE Expedition, Day 3 (Monday, June 10)

In late morning we head toward Wonder Bay on Shuyak Island. On the way we run across a huge, nearly blond Brown Bear foraging on the beach. The world’s largest Brown (Grizzly) Bears live in this area and nearby Kodiak. As we approach, it gets concerned enough to amble away, easily hopping over some heavy…

GYRE Expedition, Day 2 – afternoon (Sunday, June 9)

  A lost shipment of fly swatters has recently made an appearance on various beaches. We found one yesterday and today Kate has found three more fly swatters. She adds them to her pack. After lunch we go ashore at a place named Red Buoy Beach. Guess why it’s called that. There’s sparse trash here,…

GYRE Expedition, Day 2 – morning (Sunday, June 9)

 I wake to find us motoring off the Kenai Peninsula. We have passed the Chugash Islands, passed the Barren Islands. We are headed south toward Shuyak, which looms large far ahead. Islands are so high here that some are visible from distances of up to 100 miles. Afognak rises behind Shuyak (it hides the next…