Gretel Ehrlich


Expeditions Council Grantee

Photo: Gretel Ehrlich

Photograph by David McLain

Photo: Gretel Ehrlich

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.

Inside National Geographic Magazine

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    Between Volcanoes

    Fire and water collide in Daisetsuzan, where two massive volcanoes pin the national park at the center of Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido.

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    Living on Thin Ice

    As Arctic Greenland warms up, its inhabitants—both human and animal—confront a precarious future.


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.

—Gretel Ehrlich

Listen to Gretel Ehrlich

Hear an interview with Ehrlich on National Geographic Weekend.

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