25 Jul Bering Land Bridge National Preserve by Gisel Adame
We are over the halfway mark of my internship with the Latino Heritage Internship Program. I wanted to discuss a trip I was looking forward to during my time here. I committed to a backcountry trip to Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. The office for the National Preserve is actually located in Nome, AK. This is where I currently do all of my work! However, many across the world are unaware that in order to get into the preserve, it must be by small plane.
As you can see based on the map below, the Visitor’s Center is located at the bottom.
We spent three hours driving to Quartz Creek where we then flew 15 minutes flying by plane to Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. This is one of the most remote protected areas of the United States. My assignment was to photograph areas of Bering Land Bridge, do a study on the bees located in that Alaska region, and check out the beaver deceiver.
When you arrive, the area is covered in swarms of mosquitos. However, you truly feel the quiet and alone experience despite the amount of people with you are with. It is amazing to just see the granite Tors for miles on end. There was still snow visible on some of the mountain ranges. While it was cold, muggy, and wet most days, we had some heat creep up on the later days during our four-day stay.
Day 1: We arrived to the NPS Bunkhouse that was built and used for any visitor during year long visits. We all as a team of rangers, and other interns went on a hike to explore the mountains, and experience much of the connection of Beringia. Bering Land Bridge tells the story of migration between Asia and North America. I had the opportunity to photograph many different types of plants, animal remains, old rock features, and much more.
Day 2: We decided to work with our maintenance team who had been actively working on the Serpentine Hot Springs bath house, to head over to the beaver deceiver near one of the other hot springs. We were asked by our Wildlife Biologist to photograph how the beaver deceiver device had been working. We observed no signs of beavers despite previous run ins with the creatures. They built this structure to prevent the beavers from damming and stopping the water from flowing through the creek.
That evening we decided to set out these small multi-colored cups that are placed to capture bees inside them. This was for the company Bumble Bee Atlas, who is studying Bumble Bees in the Arctic. Unfortunately, we did not capture any during the days we laid them out, and the study we completed was unable to move forward. However it is still data, so we submitted our findings.
Day 3: The team decided to head out on another hike. I decided to stay back and photograph much of the rare algae that inhabits Serpentine Hot Springs. It is so unique in textures, and colors, I knew I wanted to photograph so much of these exciting organisms that are protected in Bering Land Bridge. Unfortunately my knowledge of the algae is scarce due to limited study availability. I stepped out of my role a lot and immersed myself into Biology and Science. I was thrilled with the images I was able to capture for social media. These are the stories I am sharing, and knowledge that will be documented for years.
Day 4: Packed up all our belongings after cleaning the NPS Bunkhouse, and departed from our journey.