Peter Ralston, noted photographer and co-founder of the Island Institute, roamed with six others last summer all the way to Greenland and the heart of the Northwest Passage, a 900-mile sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

On Wednesday July 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Camden Yacht Club, Ralston will share his observations through conversation and slides.

It was a trip of epic proportions aboard a friend's 184-foot luxury sailing yacht, which Ralston describes as a privileged front-row seat in the most dramatic theatre of rapid climate change on the planet.

Climate change is obviously not a hoax, the core questions are to what extent are we actually culpable as well as what can we as a species do about our contribution to it all, Ralston says. There were many lessons to be learned up north that can be applied to our own changing Gulf of Maine and the fisheries that support so many here.

Ralston's photographs document the austere and severe beauty of the landscape, as well as Inuit villages and hunting camps, polar bears, and whales, all under the midnight sun.

Ralston grew up in Chadd's Ford, Pa., worked for a decade as a freelance photojournalist, and then began photographing the coast of Maine in 1978, drawn especially to the working communities that define the coast's enduring character. His work has been seen in many books and magazines, featured on network television and has been exhibited in galleries, collections and museums throughout the United States and abroad. In 2003, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree at Colby College for his photography as well as his role as co-founder of the Island Institute. He created Ralston Gallery in Rockport in 2011, selling his photographs as well as the work of his lifelong friends, Andrew and Jamie Wyeth.

The talk is free of charge and open to the public. Donations at the door will be gratefully accepted, to benefit the non-profit Camden Area Youth Seamanship Program (CAYSP). For more information, please contact the CYC office at 236-7033 or visit