The Trail is a new short film by Ellen Frankenstein, one of several commissioned by the Rasmuson Foundation to celebrate the work of its grant recipients. Frankenstein says The Trail is a whimsical, possibly mysterious short inspired by late night episodic-serial TV watching. It is a celebration of Sitka Trail Works, a nonprofit that, along with its partners, has literally helped change the ground we walk on. The trails are places I walk solo to get exercise, clear my head, or stir up new ideas. I go with family or join friends, dogs and babies, discussing the serious, the mundane and the sublime. Rain or sun, cross country teams run, senior hiking clubs and people with disabilities visit on field trips to walk and picnic. The trails are home to berry pickers, bears, slugs and, as needed, crews with chain saws and axes. The invitation to respond creatively to the mission of a Rasmuson Foundation grantee in Sitka was also an opportunity to collaborate with Regal Cheese, a local band, game to haul their instruments into the woods.
A species of fern common in Asia has been found in Southeast Alaska. But unlike invasive species, Wright’s filmy fern is an early colonizer. And figuring out how and when it got here is the next piece of the puzzle. more
Rob Harcourt is a professor of Marine Ecology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He's in Sitka as a Scientist in Residency Fellow (SIRF) at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Harcourt uses advanced tagging techniques to study ocean animals and their habitat -- everything from jellyfish to blue whales. He'll be speaking tonight (6PM Wed Apr 22, Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center, free) on climate change and penquins: "Will Happy Feet feel the heat?" With SSS research director Tory O'Connell. Downloadable audio. more