Dr. Henry P. Huntington
Age: 42
Married with 2 children (ages 6 and 9)
Lives in Eagle River, Alaska
Studies: Human interactions with the environment

Hobbies: hiking, camping, traveling, reading


My polar interests started when I read about Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions while I was in high school. I took a year off before going to college and worked as a janitor at McMurdo Station, the big U.S. base in Antarctica in 1982-83. I came home the long way, crossing the Arctic Circle while in Sweden.

I liked the polar regions, but my travels also made me fascinated with people and cultures. So I majored in English. After college, I came to Alaska in the spring of 1988, to count bowhead whales near Barrow on the north coast. I quickly became interested in Iñupiaq culture and the ways in which wildlife management efforts (such as our counting of whales) meshed or clashed with the Iñupiaq relationship with their environment.

After completing my Ph.D. in 1991, I moved back to Barrow. To my good fortune, Kathy Burek came up to help with the bowhead research, and we fell in love and got married. We moved to Eagle River in 1994, and have lived her ever since. We have two sons, Caleb who will be 10 when the AC-BT trip starts, and Thomas, who will turn 7 not long after we get back. Kathy and the boys enjoy the outdoors and traveling, too.

Most of my work now looks at various ways that people interact with their environment. This includes traditional knowledge, the impacts of climate change, conservation, and other topics, often done in collaboration with indigenous peoples of the Arctic. I’ve been fortunate to take part in other Arctic and Antarctic trips, including taking a small boat across 650 miles of the Arctic coast, traveling by dog team through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, climbing the highest peak in Antarctica, and following Shackleton’s footsteps across the remote island of South Georgia.





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