About Arctic Stories







This site came about as a result of the friendship between three people - Peter Lourie, Paul and Jody Shepson.  Their passionate concern about climate change and love for the natural environment, and a grant from the National Science Foundation to Paul, created the opportunity to capture, in the form of "Video Storytelling," the voices of the Arctic, and the scientists who study it.


Peter started taking photos for his nonfiction children's books and gradually got interested in multimedia projects.  Working with an atmospheric chemist like Dr. Shepson, while in the Arctic, presented many wonderful opportunities to capture a special people in a magic environment. 


Here we present a range of videos about the Arctic environment, how it is changing, how it is being studied, what the impacts might be, and most importantly, what life in this beautiful part of the planet is all about.


Dr. Paul Shepson                Jody Shepson              Peter Lourie


Click on photo for larger view


Jody writes:

My role in this project has been small but crucial. It took me a
few years to arrange it, but I finally introduced my great friend,
Pete, to my great friend, Shep, who later became my husband. I'd been
wanting them to meet for some time. Although it might not seem that
an author in Vermont and a chemistry professor in Indiana have much
in common, they do share many of the same qualities. These are both
men whose faces light up like Christmas trees when they talk about
their "work," and see everything they do as an exciting adventure.
When the three of us finally sat down together to talk, the
conversation was spirited and enthusiastic. It became obvious that
there needed to be some marriage of professions. The idea was born
that Pete should join Shep in Barrow and write a book about their
adventures. This website was the next step in that progression, as
an expanded, ever-evolving way to share their combined passions for
what they do, and for the Arctic.

Arctic Thaw

at Amazon


Whaling Season

at Amazon



at Amazon




Locked in Ice: Nansen's Daring Quest for the North Pole



On June 24, 1893...


Nansen and his tiny, twelve person crew set out to do the unthinkable.


With the recent exploration of Central Africa, the planet’s only last unknown regions were North and South Poles. Reaching either was a crazy person’s death wish. For hundreds of years, explorers had tried to uncover those mysterious lands and for hundreds of years they had failed. Many never returned home. When Nansen put forth his own plan, experts called it “an illogical scheme of self-destruction,” but the Norweigian couldn’t be swayed. 

Instead, he invented entirely new ways of exploring, methods and technologies that would keep him and all his men alive for three long years of seclusion in one of the harshest environments on the planet. A new ship that could withstand the incredible force of the Arctic ice. A new sled that was stronger and lighter. A new way of traveling those dangerous regions altogether. If he tried to go to the North Pole as other men had, he would die as they did. Instead, he did something daring beyond measure. 

Peter Lourie’s newest book tells the story of that incredible journey, of the explorers who left their family, friends, and safety behind to research unchartered depths and go further North then had ever been explored before. Locked In Ice tells of the discoveries they made, the hardships they endured, and the lessons they learned. 



Pete, Jody, Shep

Email Pete