Her latest project, The Last Reindeer, highlights the sharp decline of North America’s caribou population and the measures the indigenous Inuvialuit community is taking to save it.
“It’s the culmination of what’s been three or four years of work about Arctic caribou, which are like the wild North American cousins of reindeer,” Katie explains.
“There used to be caribou all across North America – even as far south as Maine,” she continues. “But over time they’ve been slowly pushed up into the Arctic.”
Katie tells us that, despite this displacement, caribou populations remained strong in Canada and Alaska right into the eighties. However, recent years have shown a sharp decline in numbers.
“Scientists don’t really know why,” says Katie. “It is a species that experiences natural oscillations in population, but over the past 20 years the drop has been incredibly drastic. Climate change is a huge theory, along with increased development, mining, and building of roads. Other theories include disease and predation.”