Back to Boreal

Celebration 2014 starts tomorrow.  Every two years, people gather from all around Alaska to celebrate Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian culture. Social media’s been thrumming with the festival’s preparation. I’m sad I won’t be there now that I live in Fairbanks, but I hope you’ll follow along as it gets underway.

I feel like coming back from hiatus never works well when you start off announcing you’re back from hiatus. Nevertheless, I return with an update, a brief update, but I will bring more topics of substance in the coming weeks.

I’m working at the UA Museum of the North in Fairbanks now. Back to Fairbanks, back to boreal, from rainy Juneau. I’ve been back here a little more than a year now. As digital media producer, I don’t get to go out into the forest quite as often as when I was a field assistant at the university, but there are still plenty of adventures to be had. I have a quick couple highlights for you then I’m off to work on another, longer post.

I’m working on a radioplay. PoLAR Voices is our new mystery-adventure podcast — episode 6 is out tomorrow. Our team’s been running all around the world (Helsinki! San Francisco! New York!) to gather sound for this multi-year project.

The museum is a partner in what’s called a climate change education partnership — but climate change education series just doesn’t quite encapsulate this new show. It’s part documentary of the people who live and work in the Arctic and the changes they face, part fictional story revolving around a small mystery that becomes something much greater. Again, a team effort: my supervisor Roger Topp writes it, and my officemate Hannah Foss illustrates, and I edit it. Roger and I also gather sound, and, well — if you know any of us, some of the voices in there might be a bit familiar. Excited to hear what you think, it’s also on iTunes.

We finished an exhibit. “Arctic Odyssey: Voyages of the R/V Sikuliaq” opened in May, and I’d recommend you check it out if you happen to be in Fairbanks. UAF’s shiny new research vessel Sikuliaq is traveling to icy Arctic waters over the next year, and the exhibit follows alongside it.

The exhibit includes a first-person look aboard the ship, several science-inspired games, oceanographic instruments, researcher interviews and historic footage of past university ships. It’s also only open for a year. I can’t quite fit it all into one sentence or one picture. Just, go check it out. To be clear, my part in this exhibit was quite small, and I admire the experience of those who worked around me. But still, it’s very special when you first experience something so big and complex form over the course of the year. I may be biased — but hey, I have written about the museum in similar light several times before. I love this job.

We pulled together a series of web video interviews with UAF researchers for the exhibit that explains more about working at sea in the Arctic.

And there’s also a time lapse of our team putting the exhibit up.

Oh! I’d talk more about the museum, but honestly, our Tumblr says it all, Theresa Bakker does a great job with it. Go see for yourself. Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop recently reblogged us. Yeah, that was cool.

Well, I’m off and writing the next post — expect before next week is up. Until then, follow along on Twitter.

It’s good to be back. And I’m excited to hear what you’d like me to cover. What have you been up to over the last year? What adventures are in store this summer?


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