John Craighead “Craig” George

John Craighead “Craig” George was born in upstate New York into a family of biologists and writers. Craig earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the Utah State University in 1976 and moved to Utqiaġvik (Barrow) since 1977 doing various jobs at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory. In 1982, he started work as a Wildlife Biologist with the North Slope Department of Wildlife Management in Barrow, Alaska. Beginning in 1982, Craig focused on the bowhead whale ice-based population abundance project (“whale census”) on the sea ice near Point Barrow for four nearly decades. He also has participated in hundreds of examinations of bowhead whales harvested by indigenous whale hunters. 

Craig has participated in studies of Inupiat and Siberian Yupik traditional knowledge on bowhead biology, sea ice dynamics, and arctic anadromous fish but his principal focus has been bowhead biology. He completed his Ph.D. in 2009 at University of Alaska Fairbanks on bowhead whale energetics, age estimation and morphology. Publications include bowhead anatomy and physiology, population biology, Inuit traditional knowledge, marine ecology, and sea ice dynamics.  Craig has attended International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings since 1987 focusing mainly on Indigenous whaling management procedures and estimating bowhead abundance. Craig is married to Cyd Hanns, a veterinary/wildlife research technician who grew up in Fairbanks. Together they raised their two sons, Luke and Sam, in Utqiaġvik where they enjoy community and outdoor activities. Craig and Cyd are retired and continue to live in Utqiaġvik. 

Affiliation: North Slope Borough, Dept. Wildlife Management (retired)


  • Co-Production Team Member, Drivers & Ecological Consequences of Arctic Change

←  Back to SEARCH People