Intensive petroleum-related development on Alaska's Arctic Slope is not always compatible with the habitat requirements of barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti). Surface alteration can result in displacement of caribou from previously occupied components of range. Although, to date, losses of habitat have been localized, apparently with no adverse effects on herd productivity, uncontrolled or improperly planned future development on state and federal lands could remove large areas of caribou habitat, with potentially serious consequences to all of the arctic herds. Caribou represent a valuable recreational and subsistence resource. State and federal land management agencies must fully acknowledge the potential conflicts associated with industrial activity and adopt conservative policies of subsurface leasing and surface development.
This is the first of a chronological series of northern journals by a man who later did mapping that was put to use by the Dominion government and who was to write one of this century's most perceptive books about the subarctic north and wilderness canoe travel. The journal provides a detailed account of P.G. Downes's experiences during R.M.S. Nascopie's 1936 passage from Montréal to Churchill.
Distribution of hydrocarbons and microbial populations related to sedimentation processes in Lower Cook Inlet and Norton Sound, Alaska
Arctic, v. 36, no. 3, Sept. 1983, p. 251-261, figures, tables
Technical paper - Oregon. State University, Corvallis. Agricultural Research Station, no. 6556
Contribution - Los Angeles. University of California. Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, no. 2303
Contribution - U.S. NOAA. Environmental Research Laboratories. Pacific Marine Research Laboratory, no. 542
ASTIS record 12296
In spring and summer 1978 and spring 1979 an integrated study was carried out to examine the interrelationships of physical (sediment deposition), chemical (organic carbon and hydrocarbon concentrations), and biological (microbial populations and activities) factors in the Cook Inlet and Norton Sound regions with respect to the probable sinks and fates of hydrocarbon contaminants within these ecosystems. Most of the fine-grained sediment entering Cook Inlet is transported out of the inlet into Shelikof Strait. However, significant sediment accumulation occurs within areas of Kamishak and Kachemak bays. In Norton Sound, sediment from the Yukon River is transported counterclockwise around the embayment and approximately 50% is deposited in the nearshore regions of the sound. In both regions, areas of high sediment accumulation are richer in organic carbon and hydrocarbon derived from land than are areas of low sediment accumulation. In general, areas with high sediment accumulation rates for fine-grained particles are also areas of relatively high microbial activity. Results suggest that these elevated microbial activities reflect biodegradation of detrital carbon associated with these particles. Also, the Cook Inlet and Norton Sound region were found to be free from petroleum hydrocarbon contamination (with the exception of one area in Cook Inlet). No evidence was found of hydrocarbon accumulation resulting from a gas seepage in Norton Sound, nor for accumulation of hydrocarbons in sediments of lower Cook Inlet and Shelikof Strait from oil well operations in upper Cook Inlet.
Underwater vocalizations as a tool for studying the distribution and relative abundance of wintering pinnipeds in the High Arctic
Arctic, v. 36, no. 3, Sept. 1983, p. 262-274, figures, tables
ASTIS record 12297
Recordings of the underwater vocalizations of ringed seals, bearded seals and walruses were made in the High Arctic between late March and late June 1980 and 1981, to evaluate the potential for using sub-ice vocalizations to study the distribution and relative abundance of wintering pinnipeds. Most of the calls made by these three species are identified and an initial lexicon is presented. Ringed seal vocalizations were more frequent in late April than earlier in the season or in late June, whereas the highest vocalization rates recorded for bearded seals were in late June. Vocalization rates of all three species were indicative of their distribution and relative abundance in different areas and sea ice habitat types. We conclude that underwater vocalizations have the potential for giving more precise information on the relative abundance of wintering pinnipeds than techniques previously used. It may be possible, provided the necessary information on the vocal behaviour of these species is acquired, to use this technique for censusing.
Use of nearshore and estuarine areas of the southeastern Bering Sea by gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus)
Arctic, v. 36, no. 3, Sept. 1983, p. 275-281, figures, tables
ASTIS record 12298
During spring aerial surveys of the coast of the southeastern Bering Sea significant numbers of gray whales were seen in nearshore waters along the north side of the Alaska Peninsula. Many (50-80%) of these animals were observed surfacing with mud trails or lying on their sides, characteristics both associated with feeding. A migration route close to shore (within 1-2 km) was used until whales neared Egegik Bay, where they began to head west 5-8 km offshore, across northern Bristol Bay. Smaller numbers of gray whales were present throughout summer in nearshore waters and estuaries along the north side of the Alaska Peninsula. At Nelson Lagoon gray whales normally used the lagoon in spring, were absent during early summer, returned in mid-summer, and then were present until late November when they departed for the wintering grounds. Gray whales were present in the lagoon most often during periods of peak tidal flow; those that appeared to be feeding were oriented into the current. Three behaviors that appeared to be associated with feeding were observed: side-feeding from a stationary position within shallow waters of lagoon channels, diving within the lagoon and in nearshore waters, and elliptical side-feeding in the surf zone along the outer coast. Large crustaceans of the genus Crangon were available to and probably eaten by gray whales at Nelson Lagoon.
Alaskan polar bear mark and recovery studies from 1967-1976 and concurrent studies elsewhere indicate some interchange of polar bears between Alaska and the mainland coast of northwest Canada, but not between Alaska and the rest of Canada, Greenland, and Svalbard. The extent of movement between Alaska and the U.S.S.R. remains unknown. The number of Alaskan bears recovered in the same general area as marked suggests that the same animals tend to occur in the same general area in late winter and early spring each year. Distance traveled between marking and recovering sites and the proportion of animals that move to a different area are about the same for both sexes and for subadults and adults. Bears tend to disperse from commonly used areas in years when ringed seals are less available. The rate of movement in late winter and early spring is about the same for both sexes and for subadults and adults. After mid-April the predominant movement of bears north of Alaska is to the east.
It has been known for some time that the ice shelves of northern Ellesmere Island are the primary source of ice islands. The last major ice island calving occurred at the front of Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (WHIS) between August 1961 and April 1962 (Hattersley-Smith, 1963). Other important, but previously undocumented, changes to Milne and Ayles Ice shelves have recently been noted. During field investigations in spring 1982 and 1983 further changes were observed at the front of WHIS. ...
In 1903 when Knud Rasmussen, a member of Mylius-Erichsen's "Danish Litterary Expedition", visited the Polar Eskimos for the first time, he interviewed a man called Merqusâq, one of the last of a group of Baffin Island Inuit who had migrated north and crossed to Greenland half a century previously. [This profile describes the travails of Merqusâq and his people as they journeyed from Baffin Island to Greenland.]
... George Comer was a professional whaleman whose career spanned the final decades of whaling in Hudson Bay. Success in whaling alone would probably justify his inclusion in this series of biographical sketches, but Comer's achievements went far beyond the sufficiently challenging tasks of pursuing whales, navigating small sailing vessels among pack ice, and wintering in the Arctic. He was a friend to the Inuit and a dedicated student of their culture, an amateur archaeologist, a scientific collector in the fields of ethnography and natural history, and a recognized arctic authority to whom a number of prominent scientists and writers owed much. ...
Great explorers are like great poets and great athletes. They often possess a kind of brilliance and genius that manifests itself early in life. Although J.B. Tyrrell lived for almost a century, he had completed his famous discoveries by the age of 36. ... Tyrrell's first field seasons with the GSC (Geological Survey of Canada) were spent in western Alberta. In one amazing week in June 1884, he discovered both the major coal deposits around Drumheller and the famous dinosaur remains. Every summer for a decade Tyrrell travelled the west, eventually working his way northward to Athabaska country in 1892. ... In 1893 Tyrrell, his brother, and six canoemen struck north from Lake Athabaska in three canoes, [into the Barrenlands, literally feeling] their way through true terra incognita, paddling the shores of the lakes looking for the outlets of rivers, poking through thin leads of open water along the shore of ice-filled Dubawnt Lake, and following the northward flow of the great river, always hoping but never certain that they would not end up on the Arctic coast. [This profile describes the life and exploits of a man described as] ... one of the last explorers to record the extent and nature of the Canadian landscape in the old style. He grasped the significance of the achievements of Hearne and Thompson because he travelled and worked as they had. Before Tyrrell's own life was out in 1957, the kind of exploratory work he had accomplished was being done by large parties supported by bush planes, helicopters, radio communications, air photos, and sophisticated sensing and surveying equipment. The circumstances necessary for the flowering of the kind of exploratory genius possessed by J.B. Tyrrell no longer exist.
This is an account of one man's dream to plunge into "a region where no footsteps would be found to guide him" and over which "still brooded the fascinating twilight of the mysterious unknown." Unfortunately, depending upon A.P. Low's map of Labrador, the small party, led by Hubbard, went astray. This error resulted in much misery and cost Hubbard his life.
Sergeant-Major Henry Webb Stallworthy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police came to prominence following an arduous 1400-mile (2250-km) dogsled journey in search of the German explorer Dr. H.K.E. Krueger in 1932, during which he circumnavigated Axel Heiberg Island. Much of Stallworthy's 31 years with the R.C.M.P. was spent in isolated parts of northern Canada. He was tough, energetic, unassuming, devoted to duty, and expert at arctic travelling - qualities that led to his secondment to the 1934-35 Oxford University Ellesmere Land Expedition. ...
Henry Astrup Larsen was the first man to traverse the Northwest Passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic, beginning his historic voyage in Vancouver in 1940 and ending it in Halifax in 1942. Within two years of this major success, Larsen navigated the Passage from east to west, thus scoring another "first" by crossing the continent in both directions. In 1940, desirous of asserting its sovereignty over the Arctic Islands, the Canadian government entrusted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with the task of patrolling this barren, largely unexplored region of half a million square miles. Corporal Henry Larsen, captain of th R.C.M.P. schooner St. Roch and a 16-years veteran of the Arctic, was chosen as a key figure in this dangerous, ambitious, and politically expedient undertaking.
William Laird McKinlay, one of the scientific staff of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-18, died at G1asgow on 9 May 1983 at the age of 94. The son of a factory moulder in the industrial town of Clydebank downriver from Glasgow, he became a pupil-teacher at the age of 14 and subsequently studied at the University of Glasgow where he graduated both M.A. and B.Sc. in 1910. It was during his student days that his aid was enlisted by Dr. W.S. Bruce in classifying specimens brought home by the Scottish Antarctic Expedition, and this was to change his life. In 1913 he was teaching mathematics in a Glasgow school when Bruce recommended him to Viljhalmar Stefansson for appointment as meteorologist and magnetologist. McKinlay travelled to Esquimalt, B.C., where he joined the main party aboard Karluk, commanded by the veteran Newfoundlander Bob Bartlett, with Stefansson himself in overall charge. Discord made itself felt at an early stage. When Karluk was trapped in the ice off the north shore of Alaska, Stefansson and his companions went hunting ashore; weather separated them from the ship which drifted to the west while Stefansson occupied himself with the sledge travel, at which he was adept, and discovered new lands to the far north. Karluk turned out to be less than ideal for work in ice, while her crew had only been hired for a round trip and were largely unprepared for privations. After drifting with the ice for over six months, the ship was crushed and sank. Four men made their way to Herald Island where they died. Four others struck out on their own and were never seen again. The others, eleven crewmen and scientists with two Eskimo men, one Eskimo woman, and two Eskimo children, took what supplies they could to Wrangel Island 80 miles away. Then Bartlett and the Eskimo Kataktovik made an epic journey across the ice to the Siberian mainland in search of help. Those who remained on Wrangel Island divided into small groups and eked out a miserable existence in which two died, ...; one seemingly shot himself. The remainder were rescued, thanks to Bartlett, in September of 1914. And McKinlay went to war as an officer in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Seriously wounded at Cambrai in 1917, he endured a long period of recuperation and limped for the rest of his life. ... He returned to teaching. It was only long after his retirement and the death of his wife, when he was moving with his daughter and her family to a new home in Glasgow, that his Arctic diaries and mementos aroused the curiosity of his granddaughters. He promised to write the story which turned into the book Karluk: The Great Untold Story of Arctic Exploration, published in 1976 when he was 87. Readers of that work, which was translated into many languages, will be aware that McKinlay was somewhat critical of Viljhalmar Stefansson. ... Perhaps his disappointment with Stefansson was heightened by McKinlay's being a scientist working in which he considered a scientific and thus a noble cause, with standards to which he felt Stefansson did not adhere. Yet it was not only in Stefansson that he was disappointed, for when he experienced comradeship in the army he "realized that this is what had been entirely missing up north: it was the lack of real comradeship that had left the scars, not the physical rigours and hazards of the ice pack, nor the deprivations on Wrangel Island." ... [After] ... Karluk had been published, McKinlay turned to the writing of his autobiography, a story which is frequently hilarious and utterly gripping, with the emphasis being placed upon teaching. But it would be wrong to suggest that in old age he slaved over his typewriter. He delayed the revision of Karluk for his publishers for most of a glorious summer in which he felt priority must go to his roses. And when he wrote his autobiography, in his nineties, he still did enough in his garden to win a neighbourhood prize. ...