Saturday, October 13, 2012

Arctic whales in a melting world

          Readers of this blog may not realize that I’m not just a life-long fan of whales, and narwhals in particular, but I have been writing a book about the amazing sea unicorn and its unusual left tooth. That’s why I traveled to northern Greenland to learn about hunting practices and the importance of narwhals in Inuit culture. It’s why I spent two weeks in a research camp far above the Arctic Circle on Baffin Island, Canada, as scientists attempted to trap live narwhals and attach satellite tags to their dorsal ridge to track their movements during migration. And it’s why I have interviewed numerous others around the globe about narwhal biology, ecology, and physiology, as well as experts on Arctic climate, the science of sea ice and icebergs, the movement of pollutants into the polar regions, and many other topics.
                I am happy to finally report, that after four years of research and writing, the book is in the late stages of production. Entitled Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World and to be published by University of Washington Press, it is due to be officially released in March 2013, but it will be available to be ordered sometime next month. And I am pleased to make public the final design for the cover, which I am quite happy with (thanks to designer Tom Eykemans). Very soon I’ll have a video trailer to share with you as well, produced by my good friend Rodd Perry at The Ant Farm, one of the most prestigious movie trailer producers in Hollywood.
                When Narwhals is on bookstore shelves and available through Amazon and other outlets, I’ll be making presentations at aquariums, natural history museums, marine conservation organizations, libraries, universities and elsewhere. If you are interested in having me speak in your area, I’d love to hear from you. Perhaps together we can find an appropriate venue to host it.
                In the meantime, visit my website to get up-to-date information about the publication of the book, and follow me on Twitter for the latest details. I’ll continue to share what I learn about narwhals and other marine conservation issues here in this blog, and I hope you will continue to follow along with me. It has been an exciting journey so far, and it’s long from over.