To Shishmaref and Savoonga

56 year old Harlan Kingeekuk of Savoonga appeared to have died from hypothermia on his journey to a dig site. Photo Credit: KNOM (2014)

Thanks to a sponsorship with a regional airline, KNOM staff and volunteers benefit from free travel to many of the communities our mission serves. Lately, our volunteers have been taking full advantage of this opportunity by keeping tabs on nearby villages.

Nome's Guy Martin

Nome’s Guy Martin, the subject of our December 2013 episode of Elder Voices.

Last autumn, volunteer Anna Rose MacArthur visited the communities of Shishmaref and Savoonga (suh-VOON-guh), both within KNOM’s listening range. In Shishmaref, Anna Rose investigated the ongoing coastal erosion the community has experienced for decades – erosion long tied to climate change and, most recently, exacerbated by fall storms in the Bering Sea. She also conducted an interview for the January edition of Elder Voices. (The first Elder Voices episode Anna Rose produced – featuring Nome’s Guy Martin, pictured – aired in December.)

In Savoonga, another place impacted by recent storms, Anna Rose reported on the catch of two bowhead whales. It’s an event of great cultural significance for any Alaska Native community but especially for Savoonga, a village still grappling with an historically low harvest of walrus in 2013. In Savoonga, Anna Rose captured the photos above, including a snapshot of an advisory on recent bird deaths (detailed here).

Thank you for making trips like these possible!