ANALYZING MORE THAN A CENTURY OF PHOTOGRAPHY FOR SCIENCE AND STEWARDSHIP IN GLACIER BAY, WRANGELL–ST. ELIAS, AND KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARKS
The photographs, which number in the thousands, are the anchors upon which time-series of subsequent film-based and digital images, suitable for many purposes, including Park management and research, have been built. Sequences of these photographs depict landscape evolution, hydrologic system change, ecosystem development, and glacier advance and retreat in each Park. These early historical photographs serve as baseline snapshots for repeat photographic pairs at specific locations that can be geographically identified, revisited, re-photographed, and quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed to produce comprehensive information about annual, decadal, and century-scale change. For GLBA, WRST, and KEFJ, more than 100 repeat photographic pairs and sequences have been compiled by the author, some spanning as much as 133 years. In addition to ground-based repeat photography, repeat photography pairs can be produced from aerial photography and spaced-based imagery, and from other sensors, such as LIDAR and RADAR.
The purposes of this presentation are three-fold: (1) to summarize the history of landscape photography in Alaska, with special emphasis on each of the three Parks; (2) to document how these early photographs can be used to construct an extensive baseline upon which a repeat photographic history for selected locations in each park can be built; and (3) to show examples of the usefulness of repeat photography in understanding the complex dynamics of landscapes, hydrologic systems, ecosystems, and glaciers in the three Parks.