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2012 One Campus, One Book selection is:

Being Caribou: Five Months on Foot with an Arctic Herd by Karsten Heuer

Being Caribou"In April 2003 wildlife biologist Karsten Heuer and his filmmaker wife, Leanne Allison, set off on a trek of epic proportions. For five months they skied and walked alongside the 123,000-member Porcupine Caribou Herd from their Yukon winter range to Alaskan calving grounds and back.  The couple's mission? To give the caribou a voice in the decades-old debate of whether or not to develop their 27,000-year-old calving grounds for oil. This is more than a story of river crossings, Arctic blizzards, hungry grizzly bears, and swarms of mosquitoes. It is the story of a newlywed couple transformed by the experience of surrendering to thousands of wild animals in one of the biggest ecosystems in the world."

Copies of the book are available at the Egan Library and the UAS Bookstore. All students who attended Fall 2012 New Student Orientation received a copy of the book. Karsten Heuer visited the UAS campus on November 15thand 16th, 2012. Over 11 faculty used the book in their classes.  You can watch video from Karsten's reading/lecture "Being Caribou: Five Months on Foot with an Arctic Herd" as well as Randall Tetlichi's on "Human-Caribou Relations from a First Nation’s Perspective" .

From the author and filmmaker's website "Necessary Journeys":

Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison

Who we are:

Leanne and Karsten met over thirty years ago in kindergarten in Calgary, Alberta. Fifteen years later they “re-met” by chance, and discovered they’d led parallel lives. After a decade of friendship and trips together (including the Y2Y Hike) they married and set off to honeymoon with the herd (Being Caribou). Shortly after returning from their Arctic adventure, Leanne gave birth to their son, Zev.  They now live in Canmore, Alberta.  

Karsten Heuer, Author

Karsten is a University of Calgary trained wildlife biologist and writer who also works as a seasonal park ranger in Canadian national parks. He is a gifted public speaker and best-selling writer of award-winning magazine articles and books for adults and children. He is the recipient of the Wilburforce Conservation Leadership Award, the Outdoor National Book Award (2006), the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award (2007), a National Magazine Award (2010), and the Banff Mountain Book Festival’s Grand Prize.

Leanne Allison, Filmmaker

After taking a course at The Gulf Islands Film and Television School in 2003, Leanne plunged into the craft of documentary filmmaking while following the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Most of what she’s learned since those initial days comes from direct experience and, according to the various producers she’s worked with, a natural affinity for working in film.

Her specialty is working as a one-person crew in difficult (and hard-to-reach) locations in the outdoors. She has the skills to ski, hike and paddle into remote settings, capture the required footage and sound, and return to her edit suite where she crafts the raw materials into a compelling story.  The film is available in the Egan Library collection (check availability). 

Karsten Heuer and Leanne Alison visited the Juneau campus for a series of lectures and classroom visits November 15th and 16th. Gwich’in elder Randall Tetlichi was elder-in-residence on the Juneau Campus November 5th-9th 2012 and gave another perspective on related themes.

  • Gwich’in elder Randall Tetlichi presented an Evening at Egan lecture, Egan Library: 7:00pm Friday, Nov. 9th
  • Leanne screened the related film, Egan Lecture Hall followed by a Q&A 5:30-7:30pm Thursday, Nov. 15th 
  • Karsten presented an Evening at Egan lecture, Egan Library: 7:00pm Friday, Nov. 16th

 Sarah Ray, OCOB 2012 Committee Chair


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