Alaska Wilderness League's Geography of Hope series is a collection of virtual events and experiences connecting you to writers, experts, filmmakers and other wild Alaska advocates in a celebration of the lands, waters, wildlife and cultures we all care so deeply about.
Our intent is to lift your spirits, to mentally transport you to the temperate forests and tundra and majestic points in between and, we hope, leave you inspired and feeling connected to others who share a passion about our nation's wildest places and re-energized in the fight to protect them.
We will continue to introduce more events to this series, including some exclusive sessions available to contributing members. As always, feel free to reach out to email@example.com with any questions.
Thursday, May 7 at 4:00 pm (EST): Highlights from the award-winning short film “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins.”
Note: This event has passed, but you can watch the film.
Enjoy video clips, photos and discussion with filmmaker Kristin Gates. The film follows Kristin and Jeremy as they search to find the Porcupine caribou migration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and in so doing, learn from leaders of the Gwich'in Nation about the value of their culture, the importance of the Porcupine caribou herd and its calving grounds on the Arctic Refuge coastal plain, and the continued protection of their sacred land from oil development.
Tuesday, May 12 at 7:00 pm (EST): Caroline Van Hemert presents "The Sun is a Compass: A 4,000-mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds."
Note: This event has passed but you can read Caroline's recent NY Times article here.
Caroline Van Hemert is a biologist, writer and adventurer whose journeys have taken her from the pack ice of the Arctic Ocean to the swamps of the Okavango Delta. She is the author of “The Sun is a Compass: A 4,000-mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds,” which received the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition Award for Adventure Travel. Her writing has also been featured in The New York Times, Audubon Magazine, Birding, L.A. Times, Outside Magazine and more. Caroline will present a reading from her book, as well as stories and photos from her time spent trekking in Alaska.
Thursday, May 21 at 7:00 pm (EST): Michael Boardman, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Artist-in-Residence.
Enjoy an in-depth presentation featuring images and videos from Michael Boardman, a member of the Maine Master Naturalist program and the 2019 Arctic Refuge Artist-in-Residence. In spring of 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service selected Michael as its 2019 artist-in-residence for the Arctic Refuge, and he was flown to the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge in June to spend two weeks along the Canning River helping ornithologists study bird migrations to the Arctic tundra. Michael will share his unique experience in an extreme environment, with plenty of artwork and stories about how the migrating birds of the Arctic Refuge connect us all to that endangered landscape.
MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: Saturday, May 23 at 6:00 pm (EST): Debbie Miller explores Prince William Sound
Debbie Miller takes us to glacier-carved fjords and lush forests in Prince William Sound, sharing images and stories from her book, "A Wild Promise: Prince William Sound" (Braided River, 2019) while guiding us through its history. Debbie will also preview a soon-to-be announced 2021 Alaska Wilderness League trip through Prince William Sound (also featuring Debbie as a special guest), offering a unique opportunity to see this amazing wilderness landscape.
MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: Saturday, May 30 at 8:30 pm (EST): Mark Titus and guests present “The Wild”.
Filmmaker Mark Titus has created an exclusive access opportunity for Alaska Wilderness League members to access his amazing feature length film “The Wild” before its public release later this year. “The Wild” is an urgent call to action to protect the beauty of Bristol Bay, Alaska, and its unparalleled salmon runs — it is an examination of what it means to save what we love. For millennia, wild salmon have survived ice ages, continental shifts and most recently (and destructively), human beings. Mark's film explores their continued existence in the face of a massive mining project and provides a glint of hope under the surface of malaise we now find ourselves in.
Tuesday, June 2 at 7:00 pm (EST): David Thoreson presents Arctic Adventures by Land and Sea
David Thoreson has spent more than a decade sailing and exploring the waters of the Arctic aboard his boat the Ocean Watch and is the only American sailor in history to transit the infamous Northwest Passage in both directions. He has spent eight days traversing the Arctic Refuge coastal plain on foot and has sailed along its coastline multiple times. Though David comes from Iowa and first ventured out to sea alongside a Minnesota farmer, he has now sailed more than 65,000 nautical miles including an 8,000-mile circumnavigation by sail of North and South America. Join us and learn more about his time spent in the Arctic Refuge and sailing Arctic waters, and the changes he has witnessed over the years in this region.