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  Field Notes From
Carbon Cycle

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From Photographer

Peter Essick

Carbon Cycle On Assignment

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From Author

Tim Appenzeller

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Brian Strauss (top) and Mark Thiessen


Carbon Cycle

Field Notes From Photographer
Peter Essick

Best Worst Quirkiest
    The trip up to the Queen Charlotte Islands was beautiful. We traveled on a motor boat and stayed for three days, sleeping in floating cabins. There are two types of ecosystems on the Queen Charlotte Islands. I'd never seen anything like the tide pools that provide habitat for vividly colored sea urchins. Then just off the beach are old-growth cedar forests up to 800 years old. It's a magical place.

    When I returned home from China, I found I had contracted a bacterial infection in my throat. I had a cough and sore throat that lingered for about three months. I took all kinds of antibiotics, but nothing seemed to work. It weakened me pretty badly, but I went out and kept shooting. This was before the SARS outbreak; it was only a few months after I got better that I began to hear about it. I never really figured out what I caught.

    I was getting underwater pictures of sockeye salmon in Alaska's Kulik River, and the place where I was working was right next to a trout-fishing lodge that had a hot tub. It was September, and the river water was very cold. I had to go in and out of the water to set up the remote camera. Since the hot tub was right there, I'd go into the water, take pictures, get cold, run back, and jump into the hot tub. That kept me going.


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