AK: Northwest Passage

This week on AK, we cruise the Northwest Passage. As the sea ice retreats, there’s more interest in the Arctic for resource development, for tourists and for the Coast Guard. We’ll take a look at the issues that are coming up, and we’ll look back at the world’s fascination with the Northwest Passage through history.

All that and more this week on AK, heard statewide on local APRN stations statewide.

Download Audio (MP3, 60 min)

Host: Jessica Cochran

Family Boat Trip
KMXT’s Casey Kelly, Story
Walt Jones, along with his wife Kit, his boss Pat Robertson, and others cruised from Maine through the Northwest Passage this summer on board the MV Geraldine. Not small ships have done it – but numbers are expected to go up.

Nome Prepares
AK’s Jessica Cochran, Interview
Increased Arctic traffic could be an opportunity for the city of Nome. Mayor Denise Michaels says the city has been working on its harbor, talking to the Coast Guard and looking for funding to prepare to meet take advantage of opportunities – and meet increased needs.

The Fabled Northwest Passage, Part 1
AK’s Ellen Lockyer, Story
Finding a way through the Northwest Passage has been a goal since the late 1400’s. Perhaps the most famous failure was Sir John Franklin’s 1845 attempt.

  • Break: Main Title from “The Northwest Passage – The Movie” by the MGM Studio Orchestra from Classic Film Themes from Hollywood Masters (Motion Picture Soundtrack Anthology)

The Fabled Northwest Passage, Part 2
Norwegian Roald Amundsen was the first to find the fabled route. It helped shape Canada’s national identity, according to geography professor Dorn Van Dommelin.

  • Music Button: ”Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” by Jimmy Buffet from Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes

Coast Guard Prepares
KTOO’s Rosemarie Alexander, Story
The Coast Guard spent time this year testing its capabilities in the Arctic during the summer: for the first time, it sent a cutter, not an ice-breaker on a mission there. Rosemarie Alexander spoke with the Hamilton’s Captain Vincent DeLaurentis and Rear Admiral Arthur Brooks.

Ship Building Boom
AK’s Scott Burton, Story
More traffic in the Arctic could be a boon for Ketchikan Ship & Dry Dock: it’s building up experience working on boats for northern conditions with a ferry designed by the Office of Naval Reseearch for Cook Inlet and Knik Arm. Scott Burton spoke with project coordinator Lew Madden and the shipyard’s Doug Ward.

300 Villages
Point Lay

  • Calendar of Events (Music Bed: “Liquid Water, Solid Ice” by Obie Leff from Sing to Learn Kindergarten! Science)
  • Break: “Northwest Passage” by Woody Herman from The Thundering Herds (1947 to 1947)

Who Owns the Arctic?
AK’s Jessica Cochran, Interview
Ben Ellis, managing director of the Institute of the North says since it’s ocean, no one owns it – though there is some debate about sub-floor rights, and the route through Canada. He’s been working on an Arctic Chipping Assessment with the Arctic Council, and he says most of the increased shipping up north will be regional.

The Future Northwest Passage?
AK’s Ellen Lockyer, Story
Mead Treadwell, also of the Institute of the North, looks ahead to the possibility of trans-Arctic shipping.

  • Music Button: “Beyond the Northwest Passage” by the Waybacks from Loaded

Science Kids
AK’s Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, Story
Alaska’s, and the country’s, ability to play a bigger role in the Arctic may depend on getting more kids interested in science: a recent performance in Sitka aimed to do just that. [Package]

  • Closing: “Around the World in 80 Days” [? by BBC Concert Orchestra from Choice Film Soundtrack Cuts, Vol. I – the BBC Concert Orchestra]