MEDIA ALERT: Photos Available

The California Academy of Sciences Presents
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land
Photography Exhibit Opens September 13, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO (June 4, 2003) - In the far northeastern corner of Alaska, a pristine wilderness known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pulses with life, even in the depths of a white subzero winter. Until recently, most images of this vibrant ecosystem were captured only during the brief summer seasons when weather conditions permitted more comfortable photography - leaving many to imagine the area as largely frozen, barren and lifeless during the rest of the year. However, physicist-turned-photographer Subhankar Banerjee has now shattered any such assumptions by recording four seasons of abundant life in the refuge with a series of stunning photographs. In early 2000, Banerjee left his job at Boeing, raided his savings, and began a two year photographic journey of the region, enduring blizzards, bitter cold, and a trek that totaled 4,000 miles to capture polar bears, musk oxen, the rare buff-breasted sandpiper, and dozens of other species that thrive in the refuge throughout the year. On September 13, 2003, forty-nine of these stunning photographs will be put on display at the California Academy of Sciences.

A spectacular tour of endangered wildlife, tremendous terrain, otherworldly skyscapes, and isolated Inuit and Gwich'in villages, Academy officials worked with Banerjee to develop this exhibit, titled Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land, to make these images more widely available to the public. Banerjee wrote captions to accompany the exhibit's forty-nine large format photographs, based on material from his book of the same title. Additionally, Dale Djerassi and Bo Boudart have contributed selected scenes from their upcoming film, Oil on Ice, which complement Banerjee's photographs and give depth to the issues they present.

Sponsored in its entirety by the California Academy of Sciences, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land exhibit will be available to travel to other museums and educational venues after it closes at the Academy on December 31, 2003.

Associated Programs:

Meet the Raptors
Saturday, September 13, 11:45 am-1:45 pm

Meet live hawks and falcons from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These birds, currently residents at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, represent a few of the many avian species that rely on a healthy ecosystem in the Arctic Refuge. This free public program will take place in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land exhibit.

Seasons of Life and Land
Lecture by Subhankar Banerjee
Thursday, September 18, 7:30 pm

$6 members/ $8 non-members
Join Banerjee as he recounts both his adventures in the Arctic Refuge and the insights he developed as a result of the time he spent there. Behind each of his stunning photographs is an equally stunning story that you won't want to miss. A book-signing will follow the lecture.