Visual Summary of Summer 2019 Kodiak and Selawik National Wildlife Refuges

Summer 2019 marks my fourth summer and seventh national wildlife refuge as an artist in residence with US Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska.  Wow!  I’m thrilled to be continuing this work with an agency that cares deeply for the public lands in Alaska.  This summer brought me to Kodiak and Selawik National Wildlife Refuges and two very distinct and wonderful experiences.  Between these two I stopped in Anchorage to give a presentation at the Alaska Public Lands Information Center, Fairbanks to guide a sketching activity with kids at the Writing in the Woods camp put on by the National Parks Service, and spent a week teaching, helping and learning at Julie Mahler’s Culture Camp for kids at 8 Mile outside of Fort Yukon.

Kodiak NWR was my first stop.  It is an archipelago of islands, a compact space that has several unique ecosystems ranging from temperate forest in the north, high mountains in the center, and tundra and rolling hills in the south.  It has an epic amount of coastline, rivers and lakes, so travel around Kodiak was mostly done in sea plane.  We encountered the incredible Kodiak brown bear at Frazer Lake, hiked through prolific sockeye salmon streams on Karluk Lake, created a mural on paper and painted faces of kids in Akhiok, visited the 102-year-old functioning cannery at Cape Alitak, traced the contours of the petroglyphs of Alutiiq ancestors, taught nature sketching at Dig Afognak kids camp and witnessed the kids dancing, drumming and crafting their love of their Alutiiq heritage.

Selawik NWR completed my summer in Alaska.  Located outside of Kotzebue, Selawik is one of Alaska’s most remote national wildlife refuges.  It is unique in that as public land its main use is subsistence by the Iñupiaq Eskimo people of Selawik and surrounding villages.  We traversed the delta of the Selawik River by boat on the many sloughs braiding through wet tundra.  We camped on tundra to the smell of Labrador Tea and blueberries.  A boat ride up Fish River took us into land of Iñupiaq lore and towards the mountains and trees.  Ducks, swans, sandhill cranes, great horned owls, and foxes abounded.  In Selawik, a village built on stilts, boardwalks and bridges over quickly changing permafrost, I met with elders and school teachers and completed a mural in the tribal council building as a gift to the village.

A summer complete with adventure, learning, culture, wilderness, and joy.  Enjoy the ride…

Kodiak NWR

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Photo by Lisa Hupp

Selawik NWR

Photo by Sonny Berry

Photo by Susan Georgette

Photo by Sonny Berry

Photo by Susan Georgette

Photo by Sonny Berry

Photo by Sonny Berry

Photo by Sonny Berry

 

…….