Botany Margaret Doutt Return Home
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Weather conditions in the Far North can change with no warning, and the rocky coast presents many dangers to larger boats. For thousands of years, the small, quick kayak has been the preferred form of transportation. Even children can master these easy-to-handle boats in the tricky northern waters. Peg Doutt found a parallel between this ancient practice and the unchanging nature of the Arctic landscape::

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"As a snapshot catches and records a single instant of summer afternoon, so by our studies we were able to record an instant in the life of the islands. For many ages, innumerable birds, in company with polar bears and arctic foxes, have found these islands a haven. Change here has been constant but so infinitesimal that they are much as they were a thousand years ago, and so they will remain a thousand years hence if left unmolested by man . . ."

Photo: Peg Doutt in a traditional sealskin kayak, loaded up in the back with the morning catch of fish.

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