The above images are from the original Sheenjek trip.
The image to the right is of the Sheenjek River, courtesy of USGS.
Artwork Dedication | Thurs. Aug. 10 | 2 PM | Murie Bldg.
Original Party Members for 1956 trip
- Margaret Murie (UAF alumna)
- Olaus Murie
- Brina Kessel (UAF professor)
- George Schaller (UAF alum)
- Bob Krear
Members for 2017 trip
- Mike Fallon
- Stan Havlick
SAVE THE DATE
When: Thursday, Aug. 10 at 2 p.m.
Where: In front of the Margaret Murie Bldg if sunny, inside the atrium if rainy
Address: 982 N. Koyukuk Drive
Who will be there: American sculptor Susan Raymond. Mike Fallon and Stan Havlick (learn more about Stan), who are going on the 270-mile canoe trip.
Hosts: The College of Natural Science and Mathematics and the Institute of Arctic Biology
There will be light refreshments
Why the dedication
- The artwork dedication will honor the 1956 on the Sheenjek River.
- The expedition boosted the campaign to protect what is now part of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Two adventurers – Mike Fallon and Stan Havlick – are repeating the trip right now after being inspired from their friend Bob Krear, a member of the original party.
- Fallon and Havlick worked with American sculptor Susan Raymond to create an art piece that honored the original 1956 expedition.
- Fallon, Havlick and Raymond will be at the dedication ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 2 p.m.
- The original party included Margaret Murie, who graduated from the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines in 1924; UAF alum and famous wildlife biologist George Schaller; and UAF professor and ornithologist Brina Kessel. Along with scientists Olaus Murie and Bob Krear, the group conducted the first scientific study of the Sheenjek Valley.
Then and Now
Like the then and now images of repeat photography, friends Mike Fallon and Stan Havlick want to contrast two points of time along the Sheenjek River in Alaska’s northeast corner.
They will “repeat” the 1956 expedition that started the campaign to study and protect the precursor to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Fallon and Havlick’s point of reference is 95-year-old Bob Krear, a member of the original five-person party.
All three met in their current home state of Colorado. Fallon is a retired Alaska fish culturist, and Havlick is an outdoor enthusiast who has bicycled 20,000 miles coast-to-coast across six continents.
Over the course of many get-togethers at Krear’s house, one story floated to the top. Krear recounted a trip that Margaret “Mardy” Murie described as “this wondrous mingling of weariness and triumph.”
The naturalist and her husband Olaus Murie, a field biologist, arranged the expedition with goals that seemed lofty given the postwar industrial boom.
They wanted the public to appreciate and advocate for a place that they would probably never visit. They also wanted people to realize the value of restraint and to let a place be as it has always been – wilderness.
The trip was also meant to benefit the participants. “Wilderness teaches a person what one really is, and not what one thinks one is,” said Krear.
The Muries asked Krear, a biologist who served with their son in WWII, to photograph the trip. They also recruited George Schaller, a field biologist who later authored “The Mountain Gorilla,” and Brina Kessel, an Alaska ornithologist. Schaller is still alive but the others have since passed.