In class—our penultimate Wednesday—we reviewed Bay&Valley day, and then transitioned to the concluding Saturday field trip focusing on ‘serious-stuff-coming-downhill.’ For…2022 | Richard Carstensen | Landforms class archives
First contacts, 1741-1794
The earliest known encounter between European and Tlingit people was probably in 1741, when Chirikov sent a party ashore—some say at Xaayta.aan, inside the yellow-cedar village (Surge Bay) on outer Yakobi Island. They never returned, and much has been written and speculated about that event.
Closer to home, the first encounter was almost surely in 1794, when Joseph Whidbey led 3 small rowing craft through Áak’w Tá, little-lake bay (Auke Bay). This too was a tragic first meeting, in which one or more Tlingit warriors were apparently killed by musket fire.
The Whidbey surveys were well documented in several journals kept by the crew. The 2 most valuable records are George Vancouver’s, edited and published by W.K. Lamb in 1984, and those of Archibald Menzies, surgeon/botanist of the voyage, edited by Wally Olson in 1993. But nobody has tried to compare the various reports, enter them into GIS, and determine exactly what happened in the area now called the City and Borough of Juneau. Figuring this out requires familiarity with local topography, and an understanding of how waterways and habitats differed at the peak of the Little Ice Age. In 2010 I began to piece this story together, and I hope soon to link here to a narrated slide show detailing the events.
By the way, let’s be done with a common malapropism. Even many historians commit this error when citing what Vancouver “saw” in northern inside waters that his intrepid 1794 crew rowed through while he lay ill at anchor on the outer coast. Bad enough that George named all of our grandest landscape features for patrons and relatives back in England without suggesting that he actually saw Lynn Canal or Berners Bay. (Sorry; pet peeve.)
As Vancouver passed through the Pacific Northwest (places he actually did see), he ‘developed’ the landscape in mind’s eye—stripping off conifers and clothing hills in scenes of pastoral British productivity. He’d have been pleased to know that 135 years later, the gentlemen below (and a few wives and secretaries), would be hard at work on that dream. Heintzleman, second from left, would shepard the archipelago into the 20th Century, taming the rainforest, bumping Tleixsatanjín, hand at rest, and installing his name on the ridge dividing Áak’w from T’aakú biogeographic provinces.
In this section
Perfect location (except in an ice storm) In 2012, L’eeneidí historian Liana Wallace sent me a high-res scan of Waggoner…2022 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages
Exhuming an early slideshow Back in 2011, preparing for a Charter School/Goldbelt Heritage overnight expedition to Methodist Camp,’out-the-road,’ I created…2010: uploaded 2022 | Richard Carstensen | 16 minute slideshow
Environmental and cultural assessment for the proposed Salmon Creek road-pipeline development Before I began working with Dan Bishop in 1985,…1981 | Bishop, Mills, Jacoby and Moore | 95 pages
Unraveling the origins of a fascinating pond Til’héeni, dog salmon stream (Salmon Creek) is a new addition to featured Áak’w…2019 | Richard Carstensen | 4-minute slideshow
If Harriman had been serious About 120 years ago the steamer Albatross conducted watershed surveys, interviews and salmon distribution studies…2019; updated 2023 | Richard Carstensen | 60 pages
Focus group tour On Thursday, August 26th, about 30 masked aficionados of dynamic Fish Creek delta assembled on invitation from…2021 | Richard Carstensen, Bob Armstrong | RC-59 pages: BA vid-links
Áak’w & T’aaḵú country in 1794 Back in 2010, when first collaborating with Goldbelt Heritage, I began to mine the archives…2011 updated 2021 | Richard Carstensen | 36-minute slideshow
Fifty friends on backloop moraines On a sunny July 17th, 2021, Discovery Southeast and the Southeast Alaska Land Trust hosted…2021 | Richard Carstensen | 8 minute slideshow
History from the air Georeferencing old and recent vertical air photos in ArcMap makes it easy to export exactly scaled-&-aligned…2021 | Richard Carstensen | 9 pages
Discovery & FSL explore Héen Latinee For experienced backcountry navigators, Bessie Creek trail offers a ‘backdoor’ into the Cowee-Davies watershed,…2011 | Richard Carstensen | 13 pages
History from the air Georeferencing old and recent vertical air photos in ArcMap makes it easy to export exactly scaled-&-aligned…2021 | Richard Carstensen | 8 pages
Hydrology in the point cloud. Maybe it’s all those years stippling scenes and species portraits, point by point with double-ought…2020 | Richard Carstensen | 2-minute slideshow
Rebound, succession, fish&wildlife, and aviation on our frontyard wetlands In 2011, Jeff Sauer at Juneau Audubon asked for a presentation…2011 | Richard Carstensen | 36-minute slideshow
Navy aerials, 1929 and 1948 Most of Lingít Aaní is covered by early black-&-white vertical (nadir) air photography that can…2020 | Richard Carstensen |
Discovery-SAWC collaboration Beginning in early 2020, Discovery Southeast is assisting the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition with investigations at Fish Creek…2020 | Richard Carstensen |
Another great idea from Mike Cathy Connor and I (Richard Carstensen) have inherited a tradition spearheaded by our friend Mike…2019 | Mike Blackwell, Richard Carstensen & Cathy Connor | 27 pages
Slideshow in two parts Kaxdigoowu Héen, going back clearwater has been one of my favorite places since I first explored…2019 | Richard Carstensen & John Hudson | slide show in 2 parts: 38 & 22 minutes
On a sleety December 11th, 2018, Discovery Southeast staff (and Clay Good, board) hiked together in the lower valley of…2018 | Richard Carstensen | 7 minutes
The central chapter in my 2013 publication Natural history of Juneau trails, pages 29-36, is a summary of deep and…2013 | Richard Carstensen | 7 pages (full publication, 72 pages)