Zodiac Cruising in Antarctica

Michael Stewart

Polar Naturalist

Mike Stewart

Mike spends most of his time working as a professional mariner. He is the second mate and navigator on the new polar icebreaker, Sikuliaq, and also sails as captain on the Kittiwake. These vessels bring field scientists into the sub-Arctic and Arctic waters of Alaska. Mike worked much of his 20’s and early 30’s as a Zodiac driver and naturalist with the expedition ship Europa, a square-rigged sailing vessel which spends half its year in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic. On land, Mike works as a field technician for the Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory, supporting climate change science in the high Arctic. He has traversed over 3,000 miles of the Greenland ice sheet by snow mobile with the SAGE project, sampling snow, measuring ice crystals, and helping gather data to better understand the continents’ rapid ice melt. Mike and his wife Micheley run an art gallery and coffeehouse inside a 100-year-old church in Seward, Alaska.