It is well documented that climate changes are significantly impacting Alaska’s ecosystems and the rate of these changes is greater than in lower latitudes. I collaborated with Dr. Jane Wolken, a boreal forest ecologist working with the Scenarios network for Alaska and Arctic Planning at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Our collaboration focused on the implications of climate changes on vegetation in the Arctic and subarctic, specifically increases in the abundance and growth of shrub cover and tree encroachment in tundra ecosystems.
Moving North calls attention to the shift of species in response to warming temperatures in recent decades. Vegetation that did not previously grow in the Arctic has been advancing north. During our collaboration, I found myself drawn to the cross sections of spruce trees as they are time capsules of ecological and climatological change, and are inherently aesthetic.