The Aleutian Islands
Extending nearly 2,000km westward from the Alaskan Peninsula towards Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, is the Aleutian Island Archipelago. The chain makes up the northern border of the Pacific Ring of Fire, boasting 57 volcanoes. The waters that surround the islands, belonging to the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, are cold and rich. Nutrient upwellings rising from the dark depths of the Aleutian Trench and the interaction of currents and sea ice to the north make for an incredibly productive marine ecosystem. This area is protected by the Aleutian Maritime National Wildlife Refuge - 3.4 million acres set aside to protect the marine mammals, birds, and the aquatic wealth upon which they rely. This region holds special biological importance for seabirds. An astonishing 40 million individuals of over 30 species call this place home.
I've been very fortunate to travel by boat for two months throughout the western reaches of this island arc. Working as a naturalist and photographer for Zugunruhe Birding Tours gave me the incredible opportunity to document some of the unique wildlife and landscapes found in one of the Earth's true, wild places.