September 25, 2013
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, with hardly a moment to spare between giving school programs and getting ready for the next new program. Today is the first time I've felt I can take a breath and write in a while because I finally gave my last new lesson at Exit Glacier (yesterday, about the water cycle). I still have two more programs to give, but I've led them before, so I don't need to frantically pack them into my brain—they're in there somewhere already. The fact that I only have four more days of work at Kenai Fjords hasn't really begun to sink in.
September 11, 2013
A school bus pulls up outside the Exit Glacier Nature Center to unload its passengers. A stream of 6th graders pours out its door under a blanket of gray clouds. Clouds that threaten rain, but won't make good… not this day, at least. The students gather under a pavilion briefly to hear their mission and split into groups of five. Then they're off on the trails, park rangers and chaperones trailing behind as they hurry down the trails on a hunt to find different native plants using a GPS and a sheet of clues.
August 21, 2013
Fall is here. Nighttime is an increasingly convincing presence in the wee hours of the morning, schools are starting up, and the Education staff at Kenai Fjords is kicking into high gear.
August 10, 2013
It had to happen. I didn't know when, exactly, but there was no avoiding it. Too many Sewardites warned me, 'this isn't the real Alaska.' I knew it couldn't last, but hope lingered quietly in the back of my mind. That hope finally lost its stare-down with reality.
The rain is back.
July 18, 2013
Summer is well under way here in Seward. Temperatures regularly soar into the high 60s, the sun breaks through the clouds (most days) by the afternoon, and hikers and sight see-ers are showing up in droves at Exit Glacier...
July 08, 2013
It's nearly impossible to miss how much the landscape changes over the course of the short walk from the Nature Center at Exit Glacier to the glacier itself. You might notice it in fits and starts, when the trees suddenly get small enough peer between with ease, or when you emerge onto the hillside and see them replaced by occasional shrubs poking out of a patchy moss carpet.
June 24, 2013
A large part of my job this summer will be to lead interpretive programs for visitors at Exit Glacier. Interpretation is all about giving people a better opportunity to connect with the nature, history, or culture of a particular place, and there is plenty of exciting nature at Exit glacier to connect with. There is, however, one bit of nature at Exit Glacier that I'm not so enthusiastic about—climate change.
June 13, 2013
After a week of interpretive training plus another two weeks of prep work and shadowing the more experienced rangers, I'm excited to be leading my own programs. Though similar to the school lessons I've done with the education department, there are a few things about interpretation that take a little getting used to.
May 09, 2013
Last week marked a big departure from my first two weeks at Kenai Fjords; I started actually leading lessons. Thus far, I’ve mainly been learning the ropes around the office, occasionally shadowing the education rangers while they give programs, or helping with park-related arts projects in Seward Elementary School for National Park Week while the road into the park itself is impassible under three feet of snow...
May 03, 2013
I've been in Seward, Alaska for almost three weeks, and the cold, persistent drizzel is finally making me believe everyone who told me not to get used to the constant sunshine of earlier weeks. This is a temperate rainforest, after all...