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Robert Schaeffer, Part 2

This is a continuation of the interview with Robert "Bobby" Schaeffer on March 30, 2016 by Karen Brewster, Andy Mahoney, and Rebecca Rolph in an apartment of the Fish and Wildlife Service bunkhouse in Kotzebue, Alaska. In this second part of a two part interview, Bobby talks about the first time he led a seal hunt, changes in ice conditions, including pressure ridges, ice movement, and the stability of the ice. He also talks about changes in the storm pattern and winds, and the importance of protecting the ocean for the future of the Iñupiaq subsistence lifestyle.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2013-25-34_PT.2

Project: Sea Ice in Northern Alaska
Date of Interview: Mar 30, 2016
Narrator(s): Robert "Bobby" Schaeffer
Interviewer(s): Karen Brewster, Andrew "Andy" Mahoney, Rebecca Rolph
Transcriber: Denali Whiting
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Coastal Marine Institute, North Pacific Research Board
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

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First time in charge of a seal hunt as a young man

Pressure ridges and ice piles

Changes in storms, and effect on ice lift and beach flooding

Changes in wind

Movement of ice, ice breaking off and piling up

Stability of jumbled and piled up ice

Power of the ice and the ocean

Importance of the ocean and needing to protect it from climate change

Future of the subsistence lifestyle

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KAREN BREWSTER: -- you were thirteen.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Somebody might get a kick out of this. But it -- you know, I --

For most of the -- time I was -- the last three or four years, I’d be going out with my dad, I was a gopher. ‘Cause that was how we did things.

My older brothers became gunners and spearers and I was a -- a -- down on the lowest on the food chain, so I had to work my way into it.

And by gosh, my dad took us out and I became thirteen years old and I -- I shot shotguns and -- and .22s and higher powered rifles. I was big enough.

So my turn. Ah. He took my brother, Mike, was five years older than me, and me and went out -- out on the ice. He wanted to get one more ugruk.

So we went out on the ice and that was probably back in -- God knows. Late ‘50s, early ‘60s, I guess. And just a young fella.

We went out on the ice and we started keeping on this ice pile, big ol’ ice -- ice -- cake of ice and it had ice piles on that, on it.

We came to it and then when we got close to shore I’m so used to being the gopher, I’d have to go out there and put the anchor out and tie everything up, stay in the boat and watch, make sure everything’s fine.

And dad looked at Mike and said, “Mike, Mike!” My older brother. “Bob’s the captain.” Mike, “Okay.” Phew, me the captain? Oh shit.

So -- so anyway we stopped on ice. Mike went out and did the -- did the chore. Put the ice, make sure it --

And dad, “Remember Mike, Bob’s the captain.” Holy moly, I can’t screw up. So we jumped out and we started to -- slowly crawling over toward -- following this little ice ridge.

And I got -- we got to within 100 yards of it, maybe about there, I guess, and -- and I looked over and I saw my brother, Mike, my older brother, and I have to respect the elders, you know.

He was -- he looked like he was getting ready to shoot here and he was just looking at it. And I thought he was gonna shoot, and I said, "Oh man." I pumped a shell in there and -- And, of course, I did whatever dad told me -- I was the captain so I had to shoot first, right?

So I shot and I missed. The ugruk jumped in the water. Walking back to the boat and I could see my dad just fuming. Oh God, what did I do?

I walked up to -- to my dad and he looked at me and he says, “You stupid SOB.” He says, “Look. What you see? You see that hole over there where that ugruk was? What do you see?” I says -- He says, follow that -- He said, "Follow this ice right here."

"Huh?" I followed the ice, the ice ridge went right to the hole. He said you could’ve come over -- you could’ve went over and clubbed it to death, you know.

But see, it taught me a lesson. It taught me a lifetime lesson that you --out there you think of every -- everything. You look at something and you -- rather than looking at the object you expand into the whole picture. And you have to think of the best way to get it.

And that’s what it taught me. It never left me because -- The SOB thing was nothing compared to what he called me, so -- You know, and it scared me. Because you never saw him mad. He never -- until he needed to be to teach you something.

But it was a life-long learning experience for me. And every time I look at a situation, I teach my boys, my children, the same thing. Look at it and you look at the whole picture. And find out the best way, you know.

And so -- that was my -- probably the most important --

ANDY MAHONEY: It stuck with you obviously, yeah. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: -- experience. Stuck with me. Stuck with me for a lot of years.

KAREN BREWSTER: That’s a good lesson. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Mm. Good lesson.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. You had talked about the ice piles, the ivuniq? Has that changed? Are there more or less of them, in different places, or what, than there used to be?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It hasn’t changed much. The intensity of storms -- I think the intensity of storms have made a lot of them huge. Because it -- it pushes the ice faster and they just --

We've had some tremendous piles of ice even this year. And it -- the ice is only that thick, you know. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: But there was tremendous piles over there that -- I’ve never seen --

ANDY MAHONEY: Where -- whereabouts were these piles? Like were they near shore or in the shallow water here? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Or -- ?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: All over. Because Kotzebue here. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And, where am I?

KAREN BREWSTER: Maybe you need that other map? ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, maybe the other map, there, Becca. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. REBECCA ROLPH: Oh.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Oh, this is Sisualik on this side over here. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, that’s a bigger scale map.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: This one here. But the -- but the whole beach over here, it started pretty -- pretty -- pretty early over towards Sisualik. ANDY MAHONEY: Ah, pretty much the beach, okay.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It’s just amazing piles of ice right on the beach. KAREN BREWSTER: Right on the beach at Sisualik? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Sisualik all the way to Akulaaq to Katyuuraq, Anigaaq. All those areas. I could see ice piles all the way through.

And where I’m at is over here. Anigaaq, where’s Anigaaq? Anyway, somewhere out here and I go out half a mile because I saw this monster -- had to be stuck to the -- ANDY MAHONEY: Ivuniq. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Ivuniq had to be stuck -- stuck to the bottom. So I knew that if it froze, it'd be safe. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: So I went out there and -- but I -- Just tremendous ice piles all toward the beach.

Normally, you’d see them out there where it’s -- because the ice is thick enough and strong enough, you know, to keep the ice piles way out. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: This year there’s nothing out there. ANDY MAHONEY: Right.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Nothing. All the ice piles are on the beach. And I’ve never seen it like that hardly here before.

ANDY MAHONEY: That’s really interesting. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It just normally --

REBECCA ROLPH: It was ‘cause it’s thinner ice, so it’s able to get -- ?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah, the thinner ice and the intensity of the winds. REBECCA ROLPH: Oh.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: In 2006, was the first time I ever felt 100 mile an hour winds up here, you know. I mean it -- it -- it gusted over 100 where I was at and it was gusting to 75 in Kotzebue.

Blew off a bunch of tin and roofs and stuff like that.

KAREN BREWSTER: What time of year was that storm? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It was October 6. KAREN BREWSTER: So it hadn’t frozen up yet? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: No. No, summertime.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So, were there big waves? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Oh, most of it was from the east to northeast. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm, Okay.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And then it moved over to the -- toward the south, southwest. But southeast is not bad. When it gets southwest winds, you have a lot of surge. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And we’ve been seeing a lot of that, you know, up here lately and --

But, you know, my dad even mentioned that he’s never seen storms to that magnitude in his entire life until the ones in the last 20 years, you know. And --

And he said the storms are just so intense. He said it’s unbelievable.

But one thing he said -- did notice, though, real clearly was -- was the elevation of the water. It was -- used to be one and you’d get storms it would rise.

But now it’s higher, and when you get storms it’s over the banks. It’s different than it ever was. So, you know, the water is rising. And --

But he always mentioned that. And massive erosion all over the Arctic, you know, especially in this area here.

KAREN BREWSTER: So with that water higher, under the ice, does that make a difference? Does it do something to the ice?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. There' -- there’s certain places that when the -- when that last fall storm hit, the ice was probably about a foot thick, I guess. But it went over the top of the -- the land where the highest -- over toward Sisualik. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It went over. So when I got there -- everybody -- we had to go around the bottom part of the ice, because it piles up and it landed over the edge. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: So, because the water was so high when that stuff came in, but --

But this year, I’ve never seen so many ice piles at the beach. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. Because of -- it never froze. So it all froze and just -- every next storm it piled up at the beach. And that storm just added to the pile, you know. So --

KAREN BREWSTER: We’ve been talking a lot about wind. I’m wondering, has the wind changed in your lifetime? Like the direction’s different or strength is different.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah, traditional winds are west in the summertime, east in the winter. You know, we always pretty much counted on that for -- forever, you know.

But the -- the -- the major storms are coming from the southwest as they move up. As they move up the Bering Straight.

Tremendous storms, you know. And what was it -- I forgot what year it was, we had that hurricane that came up here in 2012, I think it was. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, 2012.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah, and it -- it was, you know, 940 milibars or something. And we get 100 mile an hour winds up here, you know. It was just amazing the power of it.

And even though we weren’t on its direct path, but we hit -- we hit that -- that part of the -- of the -- of the -- of the pressure -- low pressure that hit us pretty hard.

And it was -- Kivalina hit -- got hit pretty hard. The shelter cabin we built up there completely disappeared. The wind just blew it away. You couldn’t find any piece of it.

That’s how strong the wind got over on that end. Well, the -- the -- that particular part of the hurricane.

KAREN BREWSTER: What month was that? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Hm? KAREN BREWSTER: That was October or that was another -- ?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: When the hell was it? It was in October. ANDY MAHONEY: Right.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah, I think it was in October. Late fall. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: I know it was -- it was -- they were talking about it being -- having lower pressure than some of the major hurricanes that hit. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: That hit the Atlantic.

KAREN BREWSTER: But, so, you said traditionally the winter winds are from the east? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Traditionally. KAREN BREWSTER: And has that changed?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. We get 30, 40 mile an hour winds all the time. And -- but not 70 to 80 mile.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. But I wondering if the direction, do you still -- typical winter is east winds more? Or that’s changed?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: East, northeast, depending on the storm. You know, if they go up the Bering Strait that’s the first thing that hit us is as the -- Because the low pressures all go counterclockwise. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And then they hit us. And as it moves north, it can change depending on it all. But, let me tell you, the -- I’ve -- I’ve never believed that the storms would get that intense.

When I was growing up, we had a lot of storms. But they were always one from the east, then as it went by the next day it would start switching around one from the west.

So we'd get the east wind drifts and the west wind drifts, you know. But it was cold. It was --

It’d never get to 30, 40 above, you know. Once in a great while it’d get 25-30 degrees when I was a boy.

We’d love that, you know because we’d just be warm. But when the winds started switching around to the west, you get that ocean -- ocean air, and it just -- it can drop 30 degrees in an hour. I remember those when I was a boy. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: But it doesn’t happen that way no more.

KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. And if you’re out on the ice, you’d want an east wind or a west wind? Which is safer?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: West wind when it’s in the ice. But it’s a cold, formed a fog kind of wind because it -- you got that cold air and the warm water. You -- people don’t like it. I don’t like it.

I don’t go out there in west wind. North wind, northeast wind, as long as it doesn't blow past 15, I don’t -- I don’t mind it. Anything past that, it’s -- especially with the ice so thin -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It can -- can be pretty dangerous. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: So you mentioned the -- the ivuniq on the beach. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: Ha -- have you seen other ice formations on the beach from freezing waves?

So this would be happening more in the falltime when it’s getting cold. And do you ever see sort of a frozen mix of ice and gravel forming on the beach, does that ever happen?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah, sometimes, you know. This -- this year was the first time I’ve ever seen -- in a long time -- ivuniq's right on the actual beach itself. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: You know. ‘Cause normally, like I told you, steadfast ice would be -- and especially around Sisualik, would be way out there. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: But there was no steadfast ice this year because of all the warm weather that we had. It just didn’t form.

But when it blew from the east with the storms that we had, holy moly, it made some mountains over there. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Nice ones. Really nice ones.

ANDY MAHONEY: Have you ever seen -- Wait, so you haven't seen ivuniq on the beach before? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Nothing that huge.

ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. Do you think these ones might -- BOBBY SCHAEFFER: I see -- I’ve seen them out there before that huge. ANDY MAHONEY: Right, okay. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: A mile or two out. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. But it has to be where there’s movement. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Because when it blows like a son of a gun from the southwest, it’ll blow that stuff right in. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: ‘Cause south winds always bring in the surge. So you got the current moving it and the wind moving it at the same time. And tremendous force.

I mean, I crabbed out there one time when it was like that and -- but it was only blowing about 15 to the southwest. But all of the sudden right in front of me this pile started moving.

And I got scared. I pulled out my pots and got the hell out of there. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: But I watched it for a while just to see the tremendous power. I was awed by it. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It just blew my mind. But it was coming in so I wasn’t too -- too afraid. I was in a position to make sure that my escape route, it wasn’t happening there. But it did happen there.

And it was an awesome, awesome power just to --

Nothing stops it. It just keeps coming and it keeps getting bigger and bigger right in front of you, you know? ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And it just -- nothing stops it. It was just a huge chunk of ice, the wind had an effect on it and the tide was coming in.

And let me tell you, you get to have some tremendous respect for what happens out there. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: Does the ice ever come up -- you’re talking about it coming and piling up. Does it ever move along the side and shear off? And cause a dropping edge that way?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: No. Where I was at, was about four foot. So it -- the strength of the shore -- the steadfast shore ice was solid. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: But it’s -- but it was -- was two and a half miles out where I had my crab pots. It was good and solid.

But it hit that. It didn’t break it on the other side. Nothing happened going in. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: But it start piling up right there in front of me and I had to pull up my pots because I was not too far from that -- from the lead.

And -- but I moved back just a little ways just to watch it, because it was awesome.

KAREN BREWSTER: How far back did it break up? About, you know, like ten feet?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Right -- right -- Right to where it’s at. It start piling in. It start crawling over. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: The ice'll start breaking the ice as it went down. I just moved back further just to watch it.

KAREN BREWSTER: But like how -- like a hundred feet? A quarter mile? How far back?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: By the time I left, I got tired of watching so I just left, but I -- I had to pull out all my gear. You know, I -- I didn’t want something to happen further in so I -- I --

You know, you have to make a decision whether it’s safe or not so I just -- I bugged out of there before -- before it got too bad.

And when I went back a couple of days later, there was a mountain there. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: I’m just wondering how many -- how many feet of ice it chewed up to -- along the way?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: When I -- When it first hit, it was jumbled up ice anyway but it was steadfast. It was solid when it first hit. By the time I got back a couple of days later, it must've been three hundred foot. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. It had moved in. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: You know. But what it does is it just piles up and then just starts breaking it -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And it keeps breaking it and it keeps coming from -- ‘cause it kept climbing. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And then next thing you know, it’s 30 foot there, but it’s 60 foot to the bottom. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And there’s only 40 foot, so it’s piling up in the bottom as well. And so it became -- it becomes steadfast. It -- it doesn’t --

I mean, I’ve seen them out there to where some of those ice piles were stuck to the bottom where it was 70 foot, 60 foot.

ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, the water depth, you mean? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah, the water depth. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Because it was 40 to 50 foot up where I was at. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It was really good for me that year, because once it froze to the beach, I -- I stayed there until May.

It was open on both sides of me, but there was a beautiful land bridge, or it’s like a land bridge -- ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Ice bridge. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: That went to the -- went to -- went to where I had my crab pots. So I was able to use that, but it was quite a ways out.

You know, so it can pile up tremendously.

ANDY MAHONEY: Where -- whereabouts was this? This was around Sealing Point? Further north, or -- ? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Around Sealing Point, yeah. Right outside of Sealing Point over here, probably about a mile out.

ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, you mean -- Sealing Point’s here, right? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Oh, Sealing Point. Yeah, over here. Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, okay. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Alright, yeah. Yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah. That was pretty cool. That was back in the early ‘80s, I think, when I was crabbing over there.

I had my own -- I had a couple crab pots. We didn’t do the -- crab -- start crabbing for Anigaaq until ’95, ‘cause that’s where the crab pretty much --

You know, they -- they -- they -- it must be good feed over there or something. They -- they hang around that area.

ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. Wow, that’s -- I -- I love the story about watching the ridge, the ivuniq build. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: I’ve -- I’ve seen it in Barrow and it’s okay if you feel safe, because it’s quite a scary thing to watch. Like you say, the power of it -- it --

If you don’t feel like you’re on safe ice, you don’t want to be anywhere near it.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Especially when it starts moving five, six miles an hour, you know. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: It just -- It’s just amazing. When the ice start -- tides are coming in, it goes in that fast. And it makes it -- It has a tremendous effect on everything around it. Holy moly.

But that was one of my most exciting days. Watching that mountain grow in front of me of ice, you know. And it start moving toward me, so I got out, watched it from a little distance.

Maybe a couple hundred yards or so. But I kept watching the ice on the inside to make sure there’s nothing --

ANDY MAHONEY: You want to be -- you want to be seeing the whole picture, right? BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, this has been great, Bobby. Thank you so much. BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Andy, Becca, anything else?

ANDY MAHONEY: I don’t think I have anything more.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. The only other thing I can think of is, you know, here we are talking science. And if there’s anything in your experience that’s happening out there that you think science -- that Andy could do some science and help people understand or explain or questions that science might be able to help Inupiat people with?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: I -- I -- I don’t know. You know, ‘cause I -- being a student of global warming and ocean acidification, you know, that was one of my biggest concerns.

Because I felt of -- of -- of all of the effects of global warming, that’s probably the most -- one that’s going to affect us the most. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: Because it could make su -- make us extinct. Once you kill off the oceans. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: And -- and -- and the -- the feed of our -- of -- of most of our animals. I mean it -- You look at the plankton, you know, and the krill. And all the little shellfish and the -- the -- the -- the -- the snails, the -- the -- the shrimp.

And -- and then the cod feed off the krill and the planktons. And there's a tremendous amount of cod out there that feed everything else, you know.

So the whole food chain from massive to small can be gone in -- in -- in no time, you know. Maybe in a span of time fifty years.

And once that’s gone, there’s no life out there. Because everything else that rely on that are -- are going to be gone. And that’s the scary part of it, you know.

I come to the realization when I was working there that, my gosh, you know, this -- this can happen. Maybe not in my lifetime, but in my children’s lifetime.

So -- we’ll, you know, the Eskimo could be extinct by then, you know, if that -- if that ever happens. ‘Cause we rely so much on that ocean.

So that was one of the things that I think is -- is the -- so important for people to understand and -- and know that our oceans are in trouble.

Our life is in trouble. You know, you talk about ice, you know, and the climate, and the climate change, and how it’s affecting the ice. But it’s affecting more than just the ice. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So what -- what do you think in the future if the ice isn’t forming every winter, what might that mean for people here?

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: I think the ability to -- to live a lifestyle of subsistence from the -- from the resources that are provided by -- by the ocean will be sorely -- sorely limited.

And I -- you know, I just can’t impress upon you the importance of the ice. At least in my lifetime.

I -- I know I’m kind of an old dinosaur. Maybe people can -- can live on McDonalds and -- and whatever other food chain that shows up here. They can.

But yet, on the other hand, you know, are we -- those of us that do enjoy the Eskimo lifestyle and food and traditions, you know, that can be gone.

You know, Ross was just mentioning -- my brother was mentioning actually yesterday about him and there's one old man are probably the only ones that go hunting seal. Years ago everybody did that, because it was an important part of their diet.

But it’s not that anymore, you know, and -- to a lot of our communities. And unfortunately, it -- it can be something that if it’s gone, it’s gone and people will evolve.

Just like folks talking about, you know, the -- the grizzly bear mating with the polar bear and having a little bastard, you know, that comes out. That’s different. It can be the same, you know.

Because of the ice being gone, those polar bears got to move somewhere. And it becomes land-locked and -- and does whatever it -- it has to -- to survive, to evolve.

And I already asked, I think it was Charlie Edwardsen or one of -- some of one of the leaders up there about -- about that. And they said well, animals aren’t dumb. They will evolve, you know. All depends on -- on the circumstance.

So, maybe we’ll evolve? But -- But Eskimo in itself, like Inuit, Iñupiaq, we’ve done this for thousands and thousands of years and now all of the sudden, you know, we have a threat that’s real. A threat that can take away our -- our -- our way of life that we’ve enjoyed for all these thousands of years.

Yet on the other hand, you know, we have to evolve. It’s just human nature.

KAREN BREWSTER: Alright, well thank you. Unless there’s anything else you want to tell us about or ask.

BOBBY SCHAEFFER: No, fishing is -- fish are biting! KAREN BREWSTER: Fish are biting. ANDY MAHONEY: Fish are biting. They’re calling your name, Bobby.