The Vanishing Island

And so it begins!

I am so excited to launch this website and share photographs and stories from one of my favourite places on Earth. This first post is designed to welcome you to the site and give some context to the project. I’m Sandra and I’ll be your guide, so put your tuque and mittens on, and follow me on an Arctic journey.

Qikiqtaruk: The Vanishing Island is a photographic project supported by the Environmental Awareness Bursary from the Royal Photographic Society and the Photographic Angle. I have been working in Northern Canada for over eight years, studying how tundra plants respond to climate change. In 2018, I found myself having just submitted my PhD (freedom!), and itching to turn my attention back to my camera for a while. The Bursary allowed me to combine my passions for photography and science, and I joined my friends and colleagues from Team Shrub for a third visit (the lucky one!) to Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island.

The coast of Qikiqtaruk, shrouded in fog - welcome to the vanishing island!

The coast of Qikiqtaruk, shrouded in fog - welcome to the vanishing island!

Qikiqtaruk is a very special place rich in Arctic wildlife and with a fascinating past. But its natural and cultural heritage are threatened by climate change, which is occuring more quickly in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet. The images on this website are meant to convey the beauty and uniqueness of rarely seen places, and to illustrate how these places are already being transformed. The project will also include a live exhibition (get in touch if you have the space and interest to host me!) and a public talk. Stay tuned for details!

I will also use this blog to share thoughts about climate change and stories about how I took some of the photos. For now, I invite you to explore the galleries and enjoy the journey!