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Distributed for University of Alaska Press

Finding the Arctic

History and Culture Along a 2,500-Mile Snowmobile Journey from Alaska to Hudson’s Bay

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

Finding the Arctic

History and Culture Along a 2,500-Mile Snowmobile Journey from Alaska to Hudson’s Bay

The history of the Arctic is rich, filled with fascinating and heroic stories of exploration, multicultural interactions, and humans facing nature at its most extreme. In Finding the Arctic, the accomplished arctic researcher Matthew Sturm collects some of the most memorable and moving of these stories and weaves them around his own story of a 2,500-mile snowmobile expedition across arctic Alaska and Canada.
During that trip, Sturm and six companions followed a circuitous route that brought them to many of the most historic spots in the North. They stood in the footsteps of their predecessors, experienced the landscape and the weather, and gained an intimate perspective on notable historical events, all chronicled here by Sturm. Written with humor and pathos, Finding the Arctic is a classic tale of adventure travel. And throughout the book,Sturm, with his thirty-eight years of experience in the North, emerges as an excellent guide for any who wish to understand the Arctic of today and yesterday.   

272 pages | 193 color plates, 14 maps | 7 x 10 | © 2012

History: American History

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"Sturm is an Arctic climate change researcher who has made many trips to the North and can thus write with authority and depth about the history, culture, and environment of the region. . . . The book is handsomely produced, lavishly illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs. . . a must read for anyone interested in the North."


"[Finding the Arctic] does an outstanding job of helping [readers] understand a bit of the history of the place, as well as offer insight into its current state. More importantly, it conveys a sense of why so many people have been inexorably drawn into such a forbidding land, sometimes at the cost of their own lives." 

David A. James | Daily News-Miner

"Sturm has enthusiastically brought together a charming book that is entertaining and aesthetically pleasing to the reader. . . The book is a patchwork of contemporary stories, explorations of historical sites and events, and plain-language descriptions of fauna and geography, and it includes a beautiful collection of archival images."

Morgan E. Moffitt | Arctic

Table of Contents


1. Tracks North
    Ballad of the Arctic Science Bandits
    Changes North
2. Rosebud Realities
    Quest’s Older Cousin—The Iditarod
3. Porcupine Hospitality
    Quarantine Island
4. Poignant Passing: The Mad Trapper of Rat River
    Who Was the Mad Trapper of Rat River
5. Big Mac
    Snow and Ice Roads
6. Finding the Douglas Cabin
    Black Lake Ice
    The Shield and the Cordilleran
    Fort Confidence
7. The Northern Cross
8. Kugluktuk
    Sea Ice Going, Going, Gone
9. The Starvation Trail
10. The Diamond Confluence
    The Complex Calculus of Barrenlands Diamond Mining
    The Oldest Rocks in the World
11. Braided Strands: The First Interloper
    Whiteout on Aylmer Lake
    Strange Wooly Attractors
12. Braided Strands: The Last Refugee

Another Arctic Story
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