I am hoping to go to Kaktovik this September. Every year the village does a whale hunt and this, as well as the ice pack, attracts the polar bears to the area. I've heard that you can often see them at the airport. I hope I get a find like this one.
I'm thinking that is a Hemlock tree. They are quite common farther up on the mountains in the Alaskan Rainforsts. They don't handle the salt as well as the Spruce(who don't like it either)and tend to grow at the lower elevations by the ocean, as well as over the rest of the state. The northern most population of the hemlock can be found on the moutains near Anchorage, where the spruce (Sitka in the south and Black and White more north) are very populas.
Intersting fact: the Spruce grow faster and tend to be bigger, but the Hemlock have flat needles and grow slow and steady. Perhaps some day the Hemlock will take-over.