George Divoky has studied seabirds in Alaska since 1970 when, as a researcher at the Smithsonian Institution, he participated in the Coast Guard's survey of the Arctic Ocean adjacent to Prudhoe Bay. Since 1975, he has lived for three months alone every summer on remote Cooper Island, at the edge of the arctic pack ice, where his observations of Black Guillemots provide one of the best examples of a biological response to the reality of global warming in the arctic.
Divoky's research and his struggle to maintain a long-term study on a desolate arctic island were the focus of a New York Times Magazine cover story entitled "George Divoky's Planet" by Darcy Frey. (Frey is currently writing a book on Divoky due out in late 2006.) This major New York Times coverage in turn led to an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman as well as to being featured in the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda.
His long periods of isolation from civilization in an environment rapidly changing from the impacts of that civilization have given him a unique perspective from which to view the early 21st century.
Denis Hayes, National Coordinator of the first Earth Day, described a recent presentation by Divoky as "hilarious, poignant, provocative, compelling. He held the crowd rapt, and left them at the end of the night much better educated, but without feeling like they'd heard a lecture."
Divoky obtained his doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he now holds a position of Research Associate at the Institute of Arctic Biology. He is one of the founders of the Pacific Seabird Group, an international society of professional ornithologists and conservationists studying and protecting the marine birds of the Pacific Basin. He currently is director of "Friends of Cooper Island," a nonprofit dedicated to continuing his three-decade study and informing the public of his findings.
His presentations focus on understanding climate change
and its impacts on arctic ecosystems. He provides audiences with well-documented
evidence of climate change, but in addition he offers insights into
the daily battle to survive next to the Arctic Ocean.
More Information About George Divoky
Video speaking excerpts and programs, radio interviews and audio programs, scientific articles, testimonials, a New York Times Magazine cover story, and other information by and about George are available here.
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