Our Changing Glacier

How does a glacier impact the people whose lives are lived in the landscape it shapes? In this interactive photo essay, members of the Juneau community in Alaska reflect on life shared with the Áakʼw Tʼáak Sítʼ (or Mendenhall) glacier – and how it feels to witness it receding as a result of climate change.

“Arriving recently in Switzerland from Juneau, Alaska, I joined the MRI Coordination Office just in time to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The anniversary theme 20 Years of Our Changing Mountains causes me to reflect on how the glaciers in my hometown have changed in recent decades. Juneau is located in Lingít Aaní, the homeland of the Tlingit people since time immemorial. One of our most beloved glaciers is Áakʼw Tʼáak Sítʼ (Glacier Upland of the Little Lake), also known as Mendenhall Glacier. 

I asked Juneau community members to share their impressions of Áakʼw Tʼáak Sítʼ over the last 20+ years. Aatlein gunalchéesh (many thanks) to everyone who contributed.”

– Gabrielle Vance.

If you would like to add to this open photo essay, please get in touch.

Our Changing Glacier: A Community Photo Essay

Hover over the satellite image to navigate photos by approximate glacier terminus location by year.

For the best experience, click here to view in full screen mode.

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Approximate glacier terminus positions traced from Google Earth satellite imagery. Please note that the location pins for each photo on the map are an estimate based on Google Earth satellite imagery, and are not an accurate depiction of the glacier terminus at the time the photo was taken.

Further Reading