Katmai National Park, Alaska

 

During the summer of 2018, I worked for Katmai National Park's media team. I assisted and produced several aspects of National Park Service media projects including: fully scripted video, unscripted video, digital photo requests and editing, and community outreach and engagement. I also worked alongside two coastal biologists to document their work and findings on coastal brown bears. I created three educational videos as well as published close to 50 photos through Katmai's social media and outreach programs over the course of the summer. Video content from my position was used by CBS This Morning on October 9th, 2018 for a story on Katmai National Park "Fat Bear Week." I have published work on both Katmai National Park and Travel Alaska's social media as well as the official National Park Service Instagram account.

Joy Erlenbach completeing research in Alaska
Brown Bear in Alaska by Joshua Paluh
Gray Wolf near camp photograph by Joshua Paluh
Alaskan camp taken by Joshua Paluh

Social media examples

This experience opened my eyes to a remarkable ecological world. Here I was able to help document the backcountry of Alaska alongside two bear biologists, Joy Erlenbach and Isaac Kelsey. Being in these pristine and untouched ecosystems created an impact on my future career path and my life. My position at Katmai National Park had me documenting these incredible ecosystems as an educational tool to be shared with the public. Using my camera, I was able to record how the annual salmon runs that fill the streams, brown bears grazing in sedge meadows, and large migrations of birds are connected in a complex cycle. For as much time as I was out in the field, there was an equal amount spent brainstorming and creating educational social media posts that would help teach the public about Katmai.

 

     

Filmed & Directed by Joshua Paluh

Joy and Isaac make a difference in shaping how people view these cycles, and it was an honor to be able to work alongside them. I felt drawn to their work and how their research evolved around protecting the bears found in Alaska. On two different occasions, I camped with them for 10 days. I was able to see these bears in their mating season as well as in their feeding cycles. As part of Joy’s research, we would spend close to six hours a day observing them in the sedge meadows where they graze. Joy and Isaac taught me the importance of observation and how we can learn from nature if we simply open our eyes and listen. They not only had a lasting impact on me but reinforced my passion for photography, ecology, and education.

Brown Bear in Alaska photograped by Joshua Paluh
Katmai National Park visitor center photo by Joshua Paluh
Isaac Kelsey loads gear off plane Alaska
Katmai coast photo by Joshua Paluh
Brown Bear catches fish on Katmai Falls photograph by Joshua Paluh
Joy Erlenbach and Isaac Kelsey complete research in Alaska
Brown Bears eat sedge grass photograph by Joshua Paluh
Brown bear sticks his head out of sedge meadow photogaph by Joshua Paluh
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