Karluk Lake has a rich history of teaching humans about Kodiak Island. The first inhabitants were the Alutiiq people, who initially settled 7,500 years ago. Karluk served as a classroom for the Alutiiq, and taught them how to survive, thrive, and coexist with the land while using it to sustain their families. Their population would eventually grow to a peak reaching nearly 30,000 people in the Karluk Basin.
After the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was formed, pioneering bear work was conducted from Camp Island right near the site of the present-day Kodiak Brown Bear Center. These studies were the first to scientifically evaluate the concentration and behavior of bears in the Kodiak NWR, and formed the foundation of current bear research being conducted today.
Our research and education program represents the fusion of thousands of years of traditional Alutiiq knowledge with the most modern scientific methods. We are building a holistic and collaborative program to continue the Alutiiq’s heritage of learning from the land in order to continue the stewardship of our resources so that future generations will have the same opportunities we enjoy today. Through sharing this experience with you as our guest, we hope to perpetuate Karluk Lake’s tradition of serving as a classroom, and your participation in research, whether as a bear viewer, University professor, or agency scientist, will contribute to the body of knowledge about our great Island.