University of Alaska author Matthew Sturm is making his way across Alaska to measure the snow cover, which in turn affects run-off, ground insulation, and solar energy. Here, he chronicles the expedition for Scientific American:
April 8th, 2012: I had somehow missed that we were leaving on Easter Sunday. but the drive North across Alaska and the Brooks Range on a perfect day, clear blue skies, pristine white snow, and majestic mountains, was ample compensation for leaving town on a holiday, and my four companions did not seem to mind.
We five are the advance team for a campaign to measure the snow cover of the North Slope of Alaska. Read more…
The Anchorage Daily News reviews two new books on Alaska’s fascinating history: On Time Delivery:The Dog Team Mail Carriers by William S. Schneider and Ted Lambert: The Man Behind the Paintings, adopted from a found manuscript by the artist.
"Ted Lambert: The Man Behind the Paintings," is a remarkable first person narrative from the period by the artist in the title.
Born in 1905, Lambert came to Alaska in the 1920s, working various jobs, including as a mail carrier. He vanished in the Bristol Bay area in 1960. Today his paintings are considered among the greatest classics of Alaska art.
In researching Lambert, former Daily News sports editor Lew Freedman, an art lover who has written several books about mushing, discovered a handwritten manuscript by the author among his belongings stored at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Lambert had recounted his experiences and observations in a way that was both clear and, often, comical. (Chapters on bootlegging in McGrath or his first mushing misadventure remind one of “Prairie Home Companion” segments. It begs to be an audio book.) Read more (including an excerpt!).
As the discussion of marine travel in the Arctic continues to ramp up, the release of Fairbanks’ author Ross Coen’s newest book couldn’t be timelier.
Breaking Ice For Arctic Oil is a narrative history of the icebreaker SS Manhattan, a vessel charged with traversing the Northwest Passage on behalf of oil interests in 1969. Read more…
Read a brief excerpt of The Fur Farms of Alaska: Two Centuries of History and a Forgotten Stampede by Sarah Crawford Isto (University of Alaska Press, 2012) in this roundup from the Anchorage Daily News.
In the nearshore waters of Alaska’s remote and pristine Aleutian Islands is an astoundingly diverse and beautiful undersea world that is captured for the first time in Sea Life of the Aleutians (University of Alaska Press, 2012), a striking collection of color photographs taken by research divers.
Congratulations to University of Alaska Press! Khanty, People of the Taiga by Andrew Wiget and Olga Balalaeva was named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2011 by Choice: “Meticulously researched, authoritatively written, and enlivened with a magnificence of ethnographic, ecological, and linguistic detail, this unique study offers a portrait of immense scholarly value that could easily serve as a model for similar social analyses of other native peoples of Siberia… . Essential.”
We’re thrilled to see two glowing reviews of My Wrangell Mountains by Ruedi Homberger (University of Alaska Press, 2011) in the Alaska media. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner writes that Homberger’s photography “will immediately convey to readers what draws him repeatedly into these wild lands.” And the Alaska Dispatch calls the volume “a wonderful book (and gift idea) that will satisfy pilots, climbers, photographers and those who love the mountains of Alaska.”
“Based on two decades of original fieldwork, this penetrating analysis of Khanty cultural and social survival into the 21st century places one of western Siberia’s largest indigenous groups into broad historical perspective… . Meticulously researched, authoritatively written, and enlivened with a magnificence of ethnographic, ecological, and linguistic detail, this unique study offers a portrait of immense scholarly value that could easily serve as a model for similar social analyses of other native peoples of Siberia… . Essential.”—Choice review of Khanty, People of the Taiga: Surviving the 20th Century by Andrew Wiget and Olga Balalaeva (University of Alaska Press, 2011)
"On Sea Ice is a long-awaited book by the greatest living master of the art of sea ice research, and it satisfies all the expectations of those who have been waiting patiently for the last decade… . The book is literally the last word on the subject because, given the explosion of research effort in the past few years, the science of sea ice is now going beyond the capacity of one person to fully understand and summarize."—Oceanography review of On Sea Ice by W. F. Weeks (The University of Alaska Press, 2010)
Beginning this Saturday, June 25, the Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis will give Midwesterners the chance to see firsthand Jeff Jones’s stunning large-scale panoramics from Arctic Sanctuary. Celebratory and contemplative, Jones’s photographs mark the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
Tired of the Stieg Larsson and Pirates of the Caribbean? Among the “savvy verse veterans” recommended yesterday at the New York Times is Tom Sexton, former Alaska poet laureate and author of I Think Again of Those Ancient Chinese Poets. The times calls Sexton “a modern monk seeking refuge in Asian poems” and “an atavistic avatar of how to look hard yet write simply.”