For over two decades, Gleb has lived and worked with Indigenous communities around the world on traditional governance, sacred sites, climate change adaptation, and Biocultural Diversity conservation.
Born and raised in a small village on the Bering Sea coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, USSR, Gleb moved to the USA in 1988. He made his way from New York City to Fairbanks, Alaska, where he continued the wildlife biology studies he began back in the Soviet Union. Since then, he has traversed the Americas, from Canada’s Beaufort Sea to the Brazilian Amazon, from the Andes to the shores of Lake Superior, living and working with Indigenous peoples as diverse as Aleut fur seal hunters, Amazonian Caboclos pirarucu fishermen, and the Gwich’in caribou hunters. After earning his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology from Columbia University, he has continued working with Indigenous groups around the world, from Papua New Guinea and Australia, to Peru and Finland.
Gleb has written and contributed to books, scientific and popular articles on Indigenous issues, traditional knowledge, and conservation. He wrote Gwich’in Words about the Land – a book on the Indigenous ecological knowledge of Gwich’in people in the Northwest Territories in Canada that was published locally for all Gwich’in families. His popular articles on Indigenous and environmental issues appeared in various magazines, including Cultural Survival, Alternatives , and National Geographic. Since 2011, he has been a contributing author for National Geographic NewsWatch and United Nations University’s OurWorld 2.0.
Gleb is a co-founder of Conversations with the Earth (CWE) – an indigenous-led multimedia initiative that amplifies indigenous voices in the global discourse on climate change. Over a million visitors saw CWE exhibits at National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, and United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Gleb is now working on the ARCHIPELAGO OF HOPE: ENCOUNTERS AT THE EDGE OF OUR CHANGING PLANET – a book about climate change and Indigenous peoples, to be published by Pegasus Books in 2017. His latest assignment for National Geographic Magazine is taking him to the Yamal Peninsula in northern Russia, to report on how, in the face of climate change, the Nenets reindeer herders co-exist with one of the largest gas and oil development projects in the circumpolar north. This story is scheduled for publication in 2017.
You can find out more about Gleb and his work on his website www.gleb-raygorodetsky.com and follow him on Twitter @ArchipelagoHope. His Instagram Account is not to be missed and can be found here: archipelagohope.