Video: Using Drone Photography to Protect the Arctic

Candice Gaukel Andrews December 20, 2018 3

A decline in sea ice is a major threat to polar bears, which are currently listed as vulnerable on the Endangered Species List. ©From the video “Drone Art: Conquer the Arctic,” Nansen Weber

Growing up in the Arctic regions of Canada made a lasting impression on National Geographic Young Explorer Nansen Weber. When he wasn’t out guiding guests who visited his parents remote lodge on the otherwise uninhabited Somerset Island, he was out exploring—often accompanied by a handheld camera and a camera drone.

Now, as a professional wildlife photographer, Nansen still feels a strong connection to the North. He hopes that those who view his still photos and videos will come to appreciate the Arctic’s beauty and value, and will turn into advocates for its conservation.

Narwhals look like legendary animals; males have a tooth that grows into a sword-like, spiral tusk up to almost nine feet long. ©From the video “Drone Art: Conquer the Arctic,” Nansen Weber

Watch the short film, titled Drone Art: Conquer the Arctic, shown below. In it, you’ll see Nansen’s mesmerizing aerial footage of beluga whales; narwhals; polar bears swimming in icy, blue waters; and the solitary, awe-inspiring Arctic landscape.

While such images fed Nansen’s spirit as a child and continue to do so now that he’s an adult, some things have changed since his early years. Over the past two decades, especially, the photographer says he’s noticed the climate changing at an alarming rate. The landscape here is turner much greener, the sea ice is disappearing and mosquitoes have moved in.

Beluga whales are social animals and generally live together in small groups known as pods. ©From the video “Drone Art: Conquer the Arctic,” Nansen Weber

We’ve learned that what happens in the Arctic has reverberations all across the globe. By watching Nansen’s video, I hope you will get to know more about this amazing, wild place; and come to believe, as he does, that exploring it, documenting it and keeping it safe is the work of all of us.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,



  1. Carlyn Kline December 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Soul- stirring! Renews my appreciation for all the natural wonders of this world.

  2. Malcolm (Mac) Bishop December 20, 2018 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Spectacular. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thomas Sawyer December 20, 2018 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Absolutely stunning! So much more beauty than concrete and steel!

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