SCIENCE -- August 9, 2011 at 11:34 AM ET
Thelon River Explorers Check in from the Campground
After 16 days of battling fierce mosquito swarms and hauling heavy equipment along a poorly charted river, Nature Conservancy's M. Sanjayan and a group of young members from the Dene First Nation have completed their 200-mile trek along the Thelon River in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Their journey ended in North America's largest and most remote wildlife refuge, the Thelon Game Sanctuary. Their trek has been mapped here.
The Thelon, just south of the Arctic Circle, is tundra country, packed with shrub, grass and sedge, and populated by herds of migratory caribou, musk ox, moose, wolves, foxes, songbirds and bears and lots of insects. Sanjayan traveled with a group of youngsters from the Dene First Nation. "The region is facing potentially devastating resource extraction threats and the youth attending the trip will be responsible for many important decisions in the future," he wrote in his blog.
Before leaving for the expedition last month, Hari Sreenivasan caught up with Sanjayan at the NewsHour.
And last week, Hari connected with the group again mid-journey from the remote Canadian wilderness. At the time, they had traveled more than 70 miles, and had about 60 miles left to go. Foldable solar panels allowed the group to connect via Skype.
They discussed buggy evenings transformed to stormy nights by gale-force winds, hunting for caribou meat and unrelenting mosquito attacks. Read Sanjayan's blog on the Nature Conservancy site here.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the location of the Thelon River. It is in the Northwest Territories of Canada.