Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Stella Anasogak carries her 1-year-old daughter, Audrey Nashoalook, through the streets of Wainwright.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

The Inupiat Eskimo village of Wainwright, Alaska, is already showing signs of the coming oil boom as Shell begins its drilling operations off the coast in the Chukchi Sea.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A group of biologists is conducting species surveys in the Chukchi Sea to make a baseline study before Shell's drilling operations near Wainwright.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Carl Anasogak uses a VHF radio to help organize a nighttime rescue of an injured hunter along a river near Wainwright. VHF radio is one of the primary means of communication in this small Inupiat Eskimo community.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

From left, biologists Laura Gutierrez, 29, John Rose, 61, and Matt Apling, 30, collect samples for a Shell-funded study of marine life being conducted in the waters around Wainwright.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Oil spill containment boats sit on shore in Wainwright, where workers are being trained to respond in the event of a spill.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Walter Niyakik with caribou meat from a recent hunting expedition.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Rossman Peetook, on his 80th birthday, listens to traditional Inupiat Eskimo singing and drumming during an open house at his grandchildren's school in Wainwright.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Benjamin Ahmaogak Jr. looks into his ice cellar, where he stores whale and caribou meat, part of the subsistence hunting existence of many of the Inupiat Eskimos that live in the largely frozen region.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Karla Phillips, 8, looks out the window of her home on a cold and rainy summer day in the Alaskan village.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Village residents Darren Anasogak, 15, and his cousin Melvin Kagak, 14, play a videogame while Carlen Anasogak crawls on the floor.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Carlen Anasogak gets a push on her bicycle from her mother in their home in Wainwright.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Inupiat Eskimo children play on a trampoline on a summer day in Wainwright.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Meredith Panik, center, and other Inupiat women perform a traditional dance as men sing and play drums nearby.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Inupiat students at Alak High School in Wainwright watch a computer video lesson about their language and culture.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Benjamin Frederic Tagarook, 32, picks wild salmonberries as a new road is being built near the Wainwright shoreline.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A piece of heavy equipment sits on the edge of the tundra on the outskirts of Wainwright, where roads are being built in anticipation of exploratory oil drilling operations off the coast in the Chukchi Sea.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A new road is being constructed in Wainwright.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Minnie Nashoalook, 20, takes a midnight walk on an Arctic summer evening.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

The midnight sky has yet to darken fully in Wainwright, where the sun sets late during the summer months.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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Oil boom brings hope, anxiety to Alaska town

Shell’s exploratory oil drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea promise an economic boom in Wainwright, Alaska. But some see the transformation as a threat to the ancient indigenous culture there. Read more

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