Photograph by David McLain
Photograph courtesy Gretel Erhlich
Gretel Ehrlich was born on a horse ranch in California and was educated at Bennington College and UCLA film school. She is the author of 13 books, including three books of narrative essays, a novel, a memoir, three books of poetry, a biography, a book of ethnology/travel, and a children's book, among others. They are The Solace of Open Spaces; Drinking Dry Clouds; Heart Mountain; Islands, the Universe, Home; A Match to the Heart; Questions of Heaven; A Blizzard Year; John Muir; This Cold Heaven; The Future of Ice; and In the Empire of Ice.
She has published in Harper's, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Time, Life, National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, Aperture, National Geographic Traveler, Architectural Digest, Orion, Shambhala Sun, Tricycle, Antaeus, and Outside, among many others.
Ehrlich is the winner of many awards, among them, the 2010 PEN Thoreau Award, a Bellagio Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, the Harold B. Vurcell Award for distinguished prose from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, and two Expedition Council Grants from the National Geographic Society for circumpolar travel in the high Arctic.
Ehrlich has spent much of the last 16 years traveling in Greenland and the Arctic. She lives in Wyoming.
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Inside National Geographic Magazine
Gretel Ehrlich's In the Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape chronicles her experiences among indigenous Arctic people living on the thawing edge of climate change.
In Their Words
What people don’t understand about the Arctic is that this isn’t just about those other people, those Eskimos that have nothing to do with us. The Arctic drives the climate of the whole globe.
Listen to Gretel Ehrlich
Hear an interview with Ehrlich on National Geographic Weekend.
00:11:00 Gretel Ehrlich
Gretel Ehrlich’s new book, In the Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape, chronicles her experiences among the indigenous Arctic people living on the thawing edge of climate change. Ehrlich joins Boyd in the studio to talk about the impact that melting ice is having on the lives of northern people.
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Meet female explorers who have pushed the limits in adventure, science, and more.