On June 25, the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, David and Janet Carle visited Korea’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), on the 38th parallel. The Carles are following the 38th parallel around the world, exploring intersections of water, environment, and culture, and Korea was their first stop in Asia. After touring an estuary in the DMZ, they traveled to Seoul and to the banks of the Han River, where a widespread river redesign project is underway.

David and Janet Carle both worked as California state park rangers for over 27 years. David is the author of several UC Press books about California’s environment, most recently Introduction to Earth, Soil, and Land in California. They are chronicling their 38th parallel journey on their blog, and their trip will be the foundation for a future UC Press book.

From David and Janet Carle’s blog, Parallel Universe 38° North:

Korean DMZ: A Wildlife Haven Behind Barbed Wire

The Korean War started on June 25, 1950. Sixty years later, on June 25, we stood inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with a delegation from Pasadena, which has a “Friendship City” relationship with the South Korean city of Paju (37°46′), on the edge of the DMZ….Read More

Dams and Dredging: Korea’s River “Restoration” Project

Seoul is a city of 10 million people now, but hundreds of years ago, it was a newly founded village along the banks of a pretty creek called Chonggyecheon. As the city grew, the creek became a sewer and finally was covered over by concrete and a freeway. Until recently, that is, because Mayor Lee Myung-bak brought the creek back to the daylight and pushed construction of a semi-natural running water experience for the urban dwellers in Seoul….Read More