Lucien M. Turner Meteorological Project

Ice spiculae observed by Lucien M. Turner at Fort Chimo, Quebec, 1882. Source : National Anthropological Archives INV 01450000

Considered lost to science for more than 130 years, this project explores the daily logs of the Smithsonian Institution naturalist, Lucien McShan Turner, who spent time in the Eastern Canadian Arctic from 1882-1884. Turner’s logs, located in the U.S. National Archives in 2015, provide a rich perspective on Arctic cultures, natural systems, and the changing Arctic climate. The 400-page journal includes descriptions of unusual events, including the passing of a comet, the impact of the Krakatoa volcanic eruption on Arctic weather patterns, the movement of Inuit groups across the land, and major caribou hunts. Turner’s descriptions of the Arctic represent some of the most detailed and earliest observations ever made by a trained naturalist.