Alaska

Summer 2018

Bridge’s inaugural expedition kicks off summer 2018 in Southeast Alaska. In partnership with the Alaska Whale Foundation, we are curating an immersive experience for one selected artist on a seven day sail around Northern Alexander Archipelago in the Alaska Panhandle. The artist's work—a creative response to the expedition—will be revealed through a series of public exhibitions and campaigns come fall 2018.

Our partnerS

David Benjamin Sherry is an American photographer and avid darkroom printer who is challenging and reinvigorating the American Western landscape tradition among other classic genres of photography.

His work revolves around interests in the analog film process, environmentalism, color, mysticism, abstraction, human connectedness in the digital age, minimalism and queer politics, and he ultimately aims to reexamine the history of photography.

The Alaska Whale Foundation (AWF) was founded in 1996 by a team of passionate individuals who wanted to shed light on the amazing behaviors of the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska.

Today, AWF is able to fully realize a mission that extends beyond research: to effect change through ambitious science-driven research, conservation and education programs.

The expedition

Alaska Expedition Map

Itinerary

1. Hidden Falls Hatchery

2. AWF FIELD STATION

3. OLD GROWTH FOREST

Le Conte Glacier, Alaska

4. Le Conte glacier

Areas of Concern

Human wildlife conflict

Human-wildlife conflict is on the rise as humans continue to encroach on animal habitats. In Southeast Alaska, this is especially true with marine mammals and commercial fisheries. As a result, humpback whales have learned to feed on salmon released from salmon hatcheries; sperm whales have started stealing fish from commercial black-cod fishermen, and sea otters are threatening the regional crab fishery by exploiting Dungeness crab. To make matters worse, whales, porpoises and sea lions are increasingly entangled in fishing gear, which is costly for the fishermen and potentially lethal for the animals. We will visit several sites where these conflicts are occurring and talk with those individuals being affected. We will also learn about the steps that AWF is taking to mitigate these problems.

habitat degradation

Southeast Alaska is home to the largest remaining tracts of rare, yet globally-significant temperate rainforest. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the original old-growth forests still stands, and these are under threat from continued logging. We will visit both an old-growth forest stand and a ‘cut-block’ to experience the effect that clear-cut logging has on this ecosystem. We will also review regional maps to appreciate the extent of the problem and consider solutions that take into account social, economic and environmental concerns.

our changing planet

The effects of climate change in Southeast Alaska are both visible and striking: glaciers are receding at unprecedented rates, snow is disappearing from the mountain tops, and iconic cedar forests are experiencing widespread die-offs. We will discuss the causes, implications and possible solutions to climate change while visiting the Le Conte Glacier, the planet’s southernmost tidewater glacier and one that is predicted to disappear in the near future. In this dramatic and awe-inspiring setting, it is possible to see firsthand how quickly change is occurring by looking at photos of the glacier taken decades earlier.

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