In Spring 2013, based out of the small settlements of Niaqornat and Kullorsuaq, expeditionary artist Maria Coryell-Martin accompanied scientist Dr. Kristin Laidre onto the pack ice of Baffin Bay. Dr. Laidre and colleagues are investigating the effects of sea ice loss on narwhals and polar bears, iconic species that are highly adapted to the extreme Arctic environment and vulnerable to climate change.

Coryell-Martin worked alongside the scientists as they recorded data on the health and movements of narwhals and polar bears, creating ink and watercolor sketches, as well as multimedia recordings. Following the tradition of artists working with early explorers, her work illustrates the environment and scientific process with a human touch.

See Coryell-Martin’s fieldwork and studio paintings at, and read updates from the field on the Expeditionary Art Blog.


Dr. Kristin Laidre

Dr. Kristin Laidre

Marine Mammal Biologist

Dr. Kristin Laidre is a marine biologist at the University of Washington, Seattle working at the Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Lab and the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in 2003 from University of Washington and worked as post-doctoral fellow at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk, Greenland, between 2004 and 2006. Kristin’s research is field-based and is focused on studying the behavior, ecology, and population dynamics of Arctic marine mammals. She is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Polar Bear Specialist Group, the IUCN Species Survival Commission Cetacean Specialist Group, and has worked with the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission Beluga and Narwhal scientific working group and the International Whaling Commission.

Maria Coryell-Martin

Maria Coryell-Martin

Expeditionary Artist

Maria Coryell-Martin is an expeditionary artist following the tradition of traveling artists as naturalists and educators. She graduated from Carleton College in 2004 and received a Thomas J. Watson fellowship to explore remote regions through art from 2004-2005. Since then Maria has worked with scientists, local communities, and travelers in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and the Antarctic Peninsula. In the field, Coryell-Martin sketches with ink and watercolor, and collects multimedia recordings to build her palette of place, a record of experience, climate, and color. This work becomes the basis for exhibits of large-scale studio and field paintings, as well as multi-media presentations and hands-on workshops for audiences of all ages to promote observation, scientific inquiry, and environmental awareness.

Tiina Itkonen

Tiina Itkonen

Exhibition Partner

Finnish contemporary photographer Tiina Itkonen lives and works in Helsinki, and is partnering on exhibition events. She graduated from Turku School of Art and Communication in 1995 and the University of Art and Design in Helsinki (renamed Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture) in 2002. Since 1995 she has traveled regularly to Greenland to photograph polar landscapes and people. Her photography book Inughuit was published in 2004. Her work has been shown in numerous international group and solo exhibitions: amongst others at festivals and venues such as the 54th Biennale de Venezia, 17th Biennale of Sydney, Danish National Museum of Photography and New York Photo Festival. Tiina Itkonen is represented by Michael Hoppen Gallery in London, Gallery Taik Persons in Berlin and Kashya Hildebrand in Zurich. Itkonen has been awarded with the William Thuring Prize and the Young Photographer of the Year Award in Finland.


Completed Imaging the Arctic Exhibition

December 12, 2014 –February 22, 2015

See the culmination of Imaging the Arctic in this exhibition at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle. The interdisciplinary exhibition will be centered around the impact of climate change in the Arctic, featuring the work of Dr. Laidre, field sketches and studio paintings from Coryell-Martin, and the evocative photographs by exhibit partner Tina Itkonen. December 12, 2014 through February 22nd 2015, opening reception on Thursday, December 11th from 6pm-9pm, 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle 98117.

Completed Imaging the Arctic

February 8, 2015

Come see and hear the stories behind Imaging the Arctic! Dr. Laidre and Coryell-Martin will present fieldwork and stories together in Port Townsend, Sunday February 8, 3pm, at the chapel in Fort Warden State Park, Port Townsend, WA. This presentation is part of the Future of Oceans lecture series, and is sponsored by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

Completed Virtual Expedition to Greenland

February 7, 2015

Join expeditionary artist Maria Coryell-Martin on a Virtual Expedition to Greenland! Explore the Arctic environment through a multimedia helicopter journey, while learning and practicing field sketching techniques. This program is open to children ages 8 and up, cost is $10. Younger participants are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, Saturday February 27th, from 10–11am. Space is limited, please call the museum to reserve a space: (206) 789-5707 extension 10.

Completed Imaging the Arctic

February 3, 2015

Come see and hear the stories behind Imaging the Arctic! Dr. Laidre and Coryell-Martin will present fieldwork and stories together at the Nordic Heritage Museum, Tuesday February 3, at 7pm. 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle 98117. Suggested museum donation $5.

Completed Polar Science Weekend

March 6–March 9, 2014

Dr. Laidre and Coryell-Martin participated in Polar Science Weekend at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA. This event was co-sponsored by the University of Washington's Polar Science Center. The event featured an exhibit and hands-on activities alongside other scientists presenting their tools and research.

Completed Fieldwork

Spring 2013

The fieldwork phase for Imaging the Arctic was completed during March 18–April 16, 2013. Please read our news and field notes to learn more.

Completed Whatcom Museum

January 11, 2013

Dr. Laidre and Coryell-Martin presented at the Whatcom Museum Saturday on Ice series in conjunction with the Vanishing Ice exhibition. The event featured hands-on Imaging the Arctic activities and a presentation.