The remote Arctic is experiencing the greatest changes in climate of anywhere on the planet. Because small changes send rippling effects through these delicate ecosystems, the predictions of drastic change leave scientists fearing for the future of many Arctic organisms. For millennia local subsistence communities have understood, depended upon and celebrated the annual migration of the Central Arctic Herd of caribou in Alaska. Tens of thousands of caribou repeat the 500+ mile journey through the treacherous Brooks Range, however, affected vegetation, weather and permafrost are jeopardizing safe passage. In 20 years their numbers have dwindled to less than half. Are we seeing their demise? Cloven documents an international team of research scientists as they attempt to unearth whether the future will offer the Central Arctic Herd enough forage to continue making their epic annual migration.
Ryan Vachon is a film producer with Provare Media and has done additional work with the University of Colorado. His footage has been incorporated into dozens of documentaries and has been broadcast on Discovery, National Geographic, PBS, History, and Science Channels. His recent work as the producer, director, and writer of the youth-science education show “Adventures in Science” has received two Emmy Award nominations. Ryan’s background began in the earth sciences. Likewise, he directed and produced the award winning feature documentary, Tomorrow – A Pandemic Story. He earned his Ph.D. in climate science and geochemistry in 2006. For 15 years Ryan traveled to Greenland, Alaska, the Andes, and the Himalayas researching changing climate. In addition, Ryan is a Research Affiliate at The University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research where he is also an invited lecturer.