Though it's generally understood that any landscape changes over time - particularly as the number of people it supports increases - these changes occur over such a span of time that they go more or less unnoticed. With "The Changing Arctic Landscape", photographer Ken Tape sets changes in the landscape in stark relief, pairing decades-old photos of the arctic landscape of Alaska with photos of the same scenes taken in the present. The resulting volume is a stunning reminder of inexorable change; divided into sections on vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, the images show the startling effects of climate change and human encroachment. In addition, each section presents a short biography of a pioneering scientist who was instrumental in both obtaining the antique photographs and advancing the study of arctic ecosystems, as well as interviews with scientists who have spent decades working in Alaska for the United States Geological Survey. "The Changing Arctic Landscape" is thus simultaneously an account of what we've learned, what we've lost, and what is left to us to preserve.
Ken Tape was raised in Fairbanks and has been studying and photographing the arctic for the past decade.