Downward-sloping beds of paragneiss & marble, conducive to sliding. Kéitl.adi Héeni, seagull stream (Rudyerd River, Misty Fiords). Extraordinary diversity of forest and wetland in this scene.

Terrestrial, fresh-water aquatic & coastal natural communities

Habitats has 3 subcategories: Aquatic, Coastal and Terrestrial. Explore those sub-categories or find general information below. You can also view the entire JuneauNature hierarchy at this site map.

A good resource is the third edition of The nature of Southeast Alaska (2014), available in Southeast bookstores, including Discovery’s store at the glacier visitor center.

Forthcoming compendium on Southeast habitats

In 2014, Bob Armstrong and I published the 3rd edition of Nature of Southeast Alaska. The Habitats section of that book is 73 pages long—a pretty good introduction to the terrestrial, coastal and freshwater habitats of our region. But for the serious Southeast Alaskan wanting more information about habitats, there is so much more available! In Nature of Southeast we were limited by space, and the decision to minimize cost with ‘black-&-white’ illustrations. Yet when paper is bypassed, digital color is now ‘free.’ Furthermore, most avid readers now own tablets. These have changed the game, for meditative readings on the couch, or instantaneous feedback on the trail and in camp. (A phone’s suboptimal but handy for quick reference, especially in the field.)

Typical watershed array for Lingít Aaní. Colored habitats, darkest to palest, include fans, floodplain, salt marsh, upland forest, subalpine meadow, alpine tundra, and snowfields.


Here’s the first 11 pages of my draft.

Some of this collection first appeared in chapters I contributed to a region-wide conservation assessment in 2007. That publication saw only limited printing and distribution, and was replaced by the Ecological Atlas of SE Alaska. (Smith, ed, 2016). The latter prioritized maps, retaining only thumbnail synopses of my Habitat and Biogeographic Provinces sections.
My goal in this vastly updated not-for-profit document is to provide an encyclopedic review of what objective, non-agenda-driven science and natural history observation tells us about the habitats we hike, hunt, fish and paddle through. I’m also working on a similar photo essay/encyclopedia for Southeast’s 22 biogeographic provinces. A description of that effort is in Places>Southeast Alaska biogeographic provinces.

Contact me if you’d like to review either of these draft documents.

In this section

“Ecosystem:” a rant

A plea for semantic reassessment Sifting through journals and course manuals recently, I came upon this one-page 2018 attack on…

2020 | Richard Carstensen | 1 page

Common birds of Southeast Alaska

This field-ID laminate introduces common land-&-sea birds of Southeast. Beginning birders can be overwhelmed by the number of species in…