Polar Play

Tuesday, May 25th…. I thought I would post pictures of a “typical day at the office”.   See my slideshow called “Point Barrow Polar Play”.  I saw these polar bears last summer one early morning feasting on a pile of whale bones at Point Barrow. I am about 150 yards from them. Polar bear sightings are very common in villages on the North Slope, especially in the summer when the ice goes out. Sadly these magnificent creatures are falling victim to the changing ice conditions, being forced to swim greater distances. The department is commonly presented with polar bear carcasses that have been found on the beaches and around town. Many of these animals are severely emaciated and suffer from the effects of malnourishment.

After the break you can see my slideshow!  (click ‘Read More!’)

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A Tribute to Arnold Brower, Sr.

Arnold Brower, Sr. was a longtime whaling captain, community leader and well-respected elder.  His father was the “King of the Arctic”, Charles D. Brower.  His father was America’s most northern pioneer, a Yankee whaler who owned and operated the whaling station.   Arctic explorers such as Roald Amundsen, Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Captain Bob Bartlett were common guests at the Brower Whaling Station.

Arnold Brower, Sr. was captain of the  ABC Whaling Crew and the last living child of Charles D. Brower.  National Geographic did a special entitled “Whale Hunters” that depicted the 2008 Spring Bowhead Whale Hunt and featured the ABC Crew.  Sadly, in October of 2008, Arnold passed away at the age of 86.  His snowmachine fell through the ice on the Chip River.  Arnold managed to pull himself from the water and wrap himself in the skin of a caribou he had just shot.  Unfortunately,he was not able to make it back to the warmth and safety of his family cabin some 60 miles from Barrow.  Family and community members were deeply saddened by the loss of such a wonderful man, community leader and hunter. Continue reading

Top of the World Veterinary Pathology

Greta M Krafsur (CSU PVM 2013) and Victoria Woshner, DVM/PHD

Barrow, Alaska is approximately 375 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is one of 10 villages that belong to the North Slope Borough. The North Slope Borough is a very vast and remote land that encompasses 89,000 square miles of land rich in wildlife and oil/gas reserves.   About 5,000 people call Barrow home, 75% of the residents are Inupiat Eskimoes.  Marine mammal susbistence hunting has sustained the North Slope Inupiat Eskimoes for thousands of years.  The native culture stresses the importance of maintaining spiritual ties with the environment, respect for the animals that feed them and sharing with the community.  In addition, the expenses associated with the importation of nontraditional foods make subsistence hunting a necessity.  Continue reading

Greetings! My name is Greta M. Krafsur. I am a student in the professional veterinary medical program at Colorado State University. Today marks the completion of my first year as a student in the program. It seems like only yesterday I received an offer of admission into the program! Tonight I can sit back and take time to reflect about this past year and plan for the exciting opportunities that await me on my annual summer journey to America’s northernmost city, Barrow, Alaska.

January 2010