OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

AUTHOR LOOKS AT ARCTIC THROUGH EYES OF SCIENTISTS, IÑUPIAT

09/22/2004

CORVALLIS - An Alaskan author, who has written a widely acclaimed book comparing Arctic environmental views of Western scientists with those of Iñupiaq Eskimo whalers, will give an illustrated lecture at Oregon State University on Monday, Oct. 4.

The talk by Charles Wohlforth, "The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change," begins at 7 p.m. in Gilfillan Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

In his book, which has the same title as the OSU lecture, Wohlforth explores environmental change in the Arctic using traditional scientific methodology, including field work and computer modeling. He also uses the traditional knowledge of Iñupiaq hunters, whose "holistic appreciation of the dynamics of the ecosystem is based on millennia of experience and community sharing," he said.

Wohlforth will present dozens of slides taken from his journeys with the Iñupiat.

The San Francisco Chronicle called Wohlforth's book remarkable, adding: "Never has the complicated science of climate been presented so clearly."

The Library Journal echoed that praise. "In this truly extraordinary book, journalist Wohlforth, an Alaskan resident, tackles the central question of how do we know about our environment?"

A life-long Alaskan, Wohlforth has spent the last 12 years as a freelance writer. After graduating from Princeton in 1986, he went to work as a newspaper reporter in Alaska and served as the lead reporter for the Anchorage Daily News during the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

His OSU lecture is supported by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States and the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs.