Craig Welch@craigwelch

Writer, National Geographic. Runner. Angler. Dad. Must have mountains. Also sea.

https://twitter.com/CraigAWelch

298 posts 2,267 followers 709 following

Excalibur. Seattle community theater. #kingarthurlikeneverbefore

Meydenbauer Center
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Saturday night sunset. #Seattle

Sunset Hill, Seattle
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My 9-year-old daughter channeling Andy Warhol. Pop art, with a hipster twist. We’ve become a Seattle cliche. #kidart #flavoredwaterandchill

Phinney Ridge, Seattle
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Another of my favorite moments. Such a cool shot, @ianvaso

#Repost @ianvaso
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#tbt with @pattersonimages doing some next level drone flying in Antarctica 🇦🇶 🙌❄️ It was one of our last days on the expedition and we were headed back up the Antarctic Peninsula. There were huge icebergs of all shapes and sizes floating in the ocean. @paulnicklen having an eye for all things awesome, noticed this crazy ice-arch-berg in the distance and told our ship’s captain to head for it. Once we came up along side the iceberg, everyone had the same thought... “Let’s fly a drone through it!”


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From the “that was then” files: Me, introducing U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the foreign ministers of France and Norway during the Paris climate talks in 2015. As climate leaders meet in Bonn this week, it’s no secret that the U.S. has, for the moment, isolated itself by stepping away from the Paris agreement. But it’s equally important to note that we still have delegates at the table, most notably from cities and states. Last week, the White House made no effort to suppress a massive report that pinned the blame for rising temperatures squarely on humans. Can we get where we need to be fast enough to avoid the worst? Not easily, but yes. Will we? Well, that depends on all of us. So let’s get cracking. Taken while #onassignment for @natgeo .
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@unitednations @unenvironment @unfccc @ipcc #climatechange #climatechangeisreal #cop21 #cop23 #oceans #sealevel #risingtemperature #warmingseas #tbt

Paris, France
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Leopard seals! [Warning: Graphic Content] Incredible work, @andy_mann @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier! Look for my story behind the story in @natgeo magazine next spring. #Repost @natgeo
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Video: @andy_mann @paulnicklen #onassignment for @natgeo // One of the wildest, most intense predation situations we've ever encountered. As young penguins fledge the safety of shore, hungry Leopard Seals arrive like clockwork. We are here with some luck and just in time to capture the event unfolding naturally. @paulnicklen and @cristinamittermeier drop into the frigid sea to film the underwater sequences and I stay on the surface, tracking the penguins to sea. It's not easy to see a Leopard Seal simply drown a penguin for the fun of it. However, when on full display, the power and beauty of this frozen paradise is like nothing else you can experience on earth. To know that both these species face critical times ahead with inshore krill fishing and melting sea-ice is exactly why @sea_legacy and @natgeo are on location in #Antartica to share these stories. In 2018 there will be a vote to protect the Antarctica Peninsula by an organization called CCAMLR in Hobart, Tasmania. We'll be there. #CCAMLR2018 #TurningTheTide with @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier @ladzinski @craigwelch @sadiequarrier. // Please give me a #follow at @andy_mann to see and learn more about the wildest continent on #Earth, Antarctica.
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#marinelife #marineworld #sea #sealife #ocean #oceanlife #seascapes #naturephotography #wildlifephotigraphy #adelie #adeliepenguin #penguinlife #leopardseal #oceanpredator #secretlifeofpenguins #ice #seaice #landofice #lastwilderness #frozensea #climate #climatechange #foodweb


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Autumn sunset in America’s fastest-growing city. How it looks four miles from my house. #northwestlife🌲 P.S. Don’t miss the quite large volcano to the south.
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#seattlemade #seattlefall #seattlesun #seattleforever #pacificnorthwest #seattlewaterfront #spaceneedlesunset #kerrypark #queenanne #notbadforanoldphone

Queen Anne, Seattle
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Not my finest look, but nothing beats running on cold mornings. Somehow managed both my longest and fastest run in months - the best combo. The #CurtisMayfield tunes helped. #yourdreamisyouronlyscheme #aintgotthestrengthtobebothered
#runfarrunfastrunfree #runnersofinstagram #autumnrunning #fleetfeet #trailrunning #wannaultra

Phinney Ridge, Seattle
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Finally sliding into home ... phew. #sunsettinginabetterlocation

Seattle, Washington
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Come for the blow hole, stay for the fluke in sunset. Pulling out of Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica, in our 87-foot boat after an unusually warm and clear February afternoon, we stumbled onto dozens of humpbacks feeding in the dying light. Everywhere we looked, seals, whales and small groups of penguins chased krill or silverfish toward the setting sun, the squeaks and exhalations alerting us to each new arrival rising beneath the snow-draped mountains and volcanoes. It was an evening I will never forget. #tbt Shot #onassignment for @natgeo and @natgeopristineseas
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w/ @lilienfrederic @cristinamittermeier @paulnicklen @pattersonimages @andy_mann @ladzinski @lilienfrederic @shanemoorefilms @shane_moore_jh @ianvaso @ignacioferrando360 #keepantarcticawild #whalesongs #southernocean #marinelife #oceansforever #seachange #climatechange #leopardseal #crabeaterseal #furseal #adelie #penguin #antarcticsilverfish #natgeoyourshot #natgeo #wildlifephotography #sunsets

Antarctic Peninsula
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Beautiful day in San Francisco ...

San Francisco, California
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Coming into the northern plains. #Calgary

Calgary, Alberta
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Not in Seattle any more. Just a little snack shack at the airport in #Halifax. #Tomalley, anyone? So long, Nova Scotia. It was delightful. Next stop: #sanfrancisco

Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Unusual place for a Seattle boy: About as far east as you can get and still be in North America today. My first trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I met with a bunch of whale scientists, including some of the biggest names in the business, has been fantastic. Really looking forward to more time in the field on this one. Shot #onassignment for @natgeo @natgeopristineseas while attending #smm2017 .
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#whales #spermwhale #orca #killerwhale humpback #rightwhale #societyformarinemammalogy #cetacean #oceans #climate #conservation #wildoceans #sealife #marineworld

Halifax Harbour Waterfront
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Montreal at sunset. Last leg of a long journey to #halifax for biennial meeting of the Society for #Marine #Mammalogy. Looking forward to seeing lots of top #sealife pros. #onassignment for @natgeo @natgeopristineseas

Montreal, Quebec
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Fur seals, Weddell seals, elephant seals, leopard seals, crabeater seals (which feed on krill - not crab). It’s easy to think of Antarctica as remote and desolate, a frigid place too hostile for life. But one look at Lemaire Channel, with its penguins and whales and seabirds and seals, quickly dispels this notion. The #antarcticpeninsula is milder than the mainland, and there is life everywhere you look. There are often so many seals resting so close together that they eventually appear to snipe at one another, though it’s often impossible to know whether this is fighting or play (or if the distinction is even meaningful). On some crabeater seals we often saw the double hash of tooth scars, the legacy of long-ago attacks by killer whales, which have been known to splash the sea ice in an attempt to wash seals into the drink. This snippet was one of the last scenes of the night before a ridiculously gorgeous #southernhemisphere #sunset that seemed to last for #days. Shot #onassignment for @natgeo w/@natgeopristineseas @sea_legacy @paulnicklen @pattersonimages @cristinamittermeier @andy_mann @ladzinski @ianvaso @ignacioferrando360 @lilienfrederic @shane_moore_jh @shanemoorefilms .
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#keepantarcticawild #wildnature #wildlifephotography #gowild #natgeo #natgeotravel #climatechange #oceansareforever #marineworld #sealife #seals #pinnipeds #snowandice #iceberglife #icelife

Lemaire Channel
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The two freshly minted 9 year olds and their birthday gift: theater tickets. @Aladdin was terrific. The lights. The colors. The sets. The magic carpet. The humor. That genie. Just spectacular. Even better was the gape-mouthed wonder from these two, and the whisper from my daughter at intermission: “This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.” #theaterkid #broadway #onejumpaheadofthebreadline

Paramount Theatre
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Wow. What you get when a fantastic @natgeo team works together. Last time I saw them, they were surrounded by icebergs. Look what they’re up to now. 👇
#Repost @andy_mann
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Thanks @cristinamittermeier for capturing this beautiful image of me working with the crocodiles down in Cuba. Unforgettable day! It was an honor to work with @sea_legacy over the last few weeks in Gardens of the Queen. I learned so much from @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier @samkretch & @captik_iank. Proud to be on such an amazing team of storytellers. // Repost @sea_legacy ・・・
Photo: @cristinamittermeier, with @andy_mann / Supported by a bed of eelgrass, the very existence of which is a testimony to a healthy ecosystem, our first encounter in Jardines de la Reina -Gardens of the Queen, Cuba, was with this mighty crocodile. The crocs are abundant here, sheltering themselves in clusters of thriving mangroves.
Steeped in history that has both polarized and unified people all over the world, Cuba’s dedication to using science as a guiding principle in policy making is a shining example of conservation in action; one that other places in the world can learn and benefit from.
The Cuban government established a 367-square-mile marine preserve here in 1996, tightly restricting tourism and banning all fishing except for lobster, a crucial element in Cuba's economy.
Our visit comes less than a month after Hurricane Irma struck the Camaguey Archipelago as a category 5. While the Gardens of the Queen is unaffected by Irma’s wrath, Cuba’s marine science and conservation community was not. Jardines del Rey, or the Gardens of the King, was hit hard and two of Cuba’s most important marine research stations suffered extensive damage. With relations between the US and Cuba stabilizing and a potential tourism and development boom on the horizon, rebuilding is perhaps more crucial now than ever before. Cuba needs to maintain its 20-year history of exemplary marine conservation.

#TurningTheTide | #gardensofthequeen | #Cuba | #UniversityofHavana | #JardinesdelaReina | #TheOceanFoundation | #jardinesdelrey | #crocodiles | #TheOceanFoundation | #marineconservation | @aluciaproductions | @cubamarine

Cuba
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The precise moment - captured on a screen with my phone from the journalists’ den at the Paris climate talks in 2015 - when 195 world leaders announced they had reached a global accord to stem the rise of greenhouse gases. As nations prepare to gather in Germany next month, with the U.S. representing a decidedly different position this time, it’s valuable to remember how hard it was to get here.

1. From left, French climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana, who led what @natgeo writer Rob Kunzig called “the greatest cat-herding project in history;” Christiana Figueres, #UNFCCC secretary; and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius got China, India, and the U.S. to commit to trying to keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees - after 20 years of trying and failing. The agreement is voluntary, but sent a clear signal to energy markets and investors that the world was turning away from #fossilfuels. And, it still is. It remains to be seen whether we can make the transition fast enough to avoid the starkest consequences, but the shift to renewable energy is happening, no matter what the new U.S. administration claims. The question is, when our diplomats get behind closed doors in Bonn next month, do they simply step aside, or work to undermine this progress? We’ll see.

2. The press room where 6,000 reporters and editors, including me, worked around the clock for 16 days. 3. The “country columns” outside the makeshift city where the talks were held. Each was adorned by a national flag. It made for a surprisingly powerful path into work each day. To be continued ... shot #onassignment for @natgeo .
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#climatechange #cop21paris2015 #cop21paris #CO2 #wildnature #worldoficeandfire #diplomacy #paris #france #futuregeneration #wecandoit #unitedstates #china #india #europeanunion #oceans #deserts #cities #grasslands #forests #glacier #icesheet #risingsealevels

Le Bourget, France
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We arrived at dusk through a channel choked with icebergs the size of towns and anchored off Paulet Island, essentially an Antarctic volcano so stacked with penguins they lined the entire slope - and much of the ice in the nearby bay. This was where shipwrecked Swedish explorers in 1903 spent a winter trapped at the frigid bottom of the world. There were so many Adelie penguins along this stretch of the White Continent that the survivors ate them, burned their blubber for heat and stretched the skins over stone beds to make themselves more comfortable. Today, on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, Adelie penguins are thriving. But 40 nautical miles west is the fastest warming stretch of the Southern Hemisphere - winter temps are up 7 degrees just in the last 40 years.Adelie penguin colonies there are collapsing left and right. Chicks sometimes drown in nests filled with rain and melting snow. Some starve. Who wins and who loses? It’s all about location, location, location - another way #climatechange reveals the complexity of natural systems. The world is not a simple place. We need to embrace it and stop looking for easy answers to hard problems. I think we’re up to the task. Shot #onassignment for @natgeo W/ @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier @ladzinski @andy_mann @ianvaso @pattersonimages @ignacioferrando360 @lilienfrederic @shanemoorefilms @shane_moore_jh @natgeopristineseas .
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#antarctica #penguin #whale #seal #seals #naturephotography #wildlifephotography #natgeo #natgeotravel #antarcticocean #wildlife #marinelife #oceanconservation #oceans #seas #wildnature #keepantarcticawild

Antarctic Peninsula - Paulet Island
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Smoky August sunset behind the #Tetons, as seen from the National Elk Refuge near Kelly. Missing those long summer nights at 6,700 feet in #JacksonHole.

Kelly, Wyoming
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Riding to dinner on a Saturday night with the clan. Downtown Seattle, looking beautiful again.

Lake Union
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I've covered a lot of #wildfire as a journalist. But I've never experienced anything as hot and fast and deadly and terrifying as the fires folks are dealing with in California, and I can't stop thinking about how rough it has been for so many people. It's horrifying and sad and frightening and so frustrating - 34 dead, 5,700 structures gone, and countless lives upended. In a year when smoke followed us across the West, from Fernie, B.C., to southern Idaho, to Bend, Oregon, and even Seattle, it's hard not to wonder what comes next. Forests are dry and heat records are being broken year after year. This 2012 shot by @bookerthompson of @bettinahansen and I came moments after a wind-whipped section of flames shot through high dry grass and raced uphill during that year's Horse Canyon fire. It was a small moment, just close enough to be unnerving, but a reminder that things can quickly get out of hand. Please, everyone, be careful out there. Wildfire, now more than ever, is no joke.

Cle Elum, Washington
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October sky above Shilshole Marina. Seattle nights.
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#seattlenights #pugetsound #pacificnorthwest #olympicmountains #pacificskies

Sunset Hill, Seattle
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Went for a run in Seattle this a.m. that felt worse than that time in 2016 when I ran here, along this cliff, in the highlands of Ethiopia. Today was a rough outing. At least in Africa, I had an excuse. It was my first (and so far only) run above 11,500 feet. Somewhere on these vertical cliffs overlooking #ethiopia's #RiftValley, hundreds of #gelada #monkeys were stirring with the morning sun. I'd already seen several of the world's rarest canids, the ginger-haired Ethiopian wolf. I had hiked 20k with an anti-grass-poaching lawman armed with a Kalashnikov. My pal @jtkerby even insists that we'd seen a leopard race into some brush (though, truth be told, all I could make out were rustling branches). After all that, cocky bastard that I was, I thought it'd be cool to run 3-4 miles at way more than 2 miles above sea level. Dumb-dumb. I barely made it without crawling. And then I spent the next three weeks with a hacking cough. But it was spectacularly beautiful. And I'll never forget it. I hope memories of today's run, however, fade quickly. Some days ya just don't have it. Shot #onassignment for @natgeo .
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.#alwaystomorrow #runninglife #marathon #run #longrun #runnersofinstagram #runnershigh #alwaystunning #running #justdoit #needforspeed #windinmyhair #ultimatetrailrun #roofofafrica #caniblametheshoes #headwatersofthebluenile #runitfast #runningafrica

Ethiopia
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Look what arrived tonight. One of my favorite days of the year. So much ridiculously good work in here, from @chrisasolomon @rhymeswithmyhouse @johnbranchnyt @draperrobert @graysonschaffer and tons more. Fabulous writing and reading - from national parks and mountain gorillas and starship journeys to soccer and defections at 8,000 feet in war-ravaged Eritrea. #journalism #thewritinglife #thestoryisthething #sciencewritinglives

Phinney Ridge, Seattle
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Wisdom from my pal @paulnicklen. Read and then go and do likewise. Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving.

#Repost @paulnicklen
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It’s Canadian thanksgiving today. I want to say thank you to everyone who keeps pushing towards the light. Life can be challenging, so it’s important to stay positive, be empathetic, love each other, and be patient. When you watch the news, this world seems to be falling apart. I would urge you to turn off your TV—especially today—and instead look to your neighbours, your family, friends, co-workers. These are the real people and the real world, and they are all trying their best to be better. Let’s move towards the light together, and let’s be the best version of ourselves that we can be. Happy thanksgiving, everyone. Spread some love today.

Canada
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Terrific capture by my friend and @natgeo colleague. And she's right: The sea is, well, awash in tantalizing mysteries. (See below.) Perfect image to close out the week. #oceanwonders

Repost @cristinamittermeier
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There are many theories around why whales smack the surface of the water with their powerful tail-fins. While Orcas are known to tail-slap, it’s not common for it to last very long. This humpback, however, in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, continued for over an hour. Is he communicating? Is it a feeding technique? Maybe he’s stretching …
Why whales do this remains one of the many, many mysteries of the sea that still remains and symbolizes how little we actually know about the oceans, even though they cover more than 70% of our planet.
#TurningTheTide with SeaLegacy| #humpbackwhales | #greatbearrainforest | #beautifulbc | #adventureworld | #beautifuldestinations

Great Bear Rainforest
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A dozing #leopardseal listens as researcher Ari Friedlaender charts a course to track a nearby #whale. We were on our third week in #Antarctica and had been on this small rubber skiff for six hours trying to find #minke and #humpback whales. My fingers and nose were frozen and my back ached, but the Oregon State University scientist was still going strong. I'm regularly awed by #scientists in the field, where conditions are often harsh. In this case, travel is so difficult and expensive that Friedlaender regularly hitches rides on cruise ships where his OFF hours are spent giving free lectures to tourists in exchange for precious use of the vacationliner's rubber zodiac rafts. On this day, @andy_mann and I tagged along as Friedlaender took blood samples and put video cameras on whales to see what life is like as the cetaceans dive below the ice and plow through nutritious swarms of fatty krill. "What can I say?" he told me. "I love my job." Shot #onassignment for @natgeo @natgeopristineseas w/ @pattersonimages @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier @ladzinski @ignacioferrando360 @rodolfowerner @ianvaso @sea_legacy #tbt

Danco Island
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Killer @caitlinjmoran view of spawning salmon from one of the Pacific Northwest's most isolated stretches of freshwater. Very cool. Just terrific, in fact. #Repost @caitlinjmoran
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Salmon spawning season in Stehekin

Stehekin, Washington
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