Conservation Begins Here
Well folks, I can say with a large degree of confidence that it is very much November here in Alaska. What I mean is that a) I haven't experienced above freezing temperatures in a few weeks and b) the sun rises after 8:30 AM and sets by 4:30PM. If it weren't enough that those happen to be my exact work hours, our precious 8 hours of light each day is shrinking--and fast! By 5 minutes and 30 seconds per day, in fact. That's almost 40 minutes each week!
You like how I did math there? Oh, and I'm not a student anymore so I'm definitely not going to show my work.
But hey, the great thing about being an SCA intern in Alaska is that something always seems to pop up and brighten my day. Last week it was a person, a place, and a thing.
The Person: Evan Escamilla
Last week, SCAs northwest region recruiter, Evan Escamilla was in Anchorage to get the word out about SCA internships, conservation corps, and field leader positions. If you can't tell from my blog posts, I really love working with SCA and I believe that the work they are doing for conservation is incredible...not to mention it lines up with my desired career path(s). So, I thought it would be great if I could shadow a recruiter for a day to see what it is like working for the SCA on the other side. After contacting Evan, he was more than willing to have me along for some of his visits to the University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University. He thought it would even be useful to have a current intern along so that students could see a real, live SCA intern...like, "See, they exist!"
Anyway, the few days I spent recruiting with Evan were great. We had a lot of fun chatting about our experiences and it gave me a little more confidence that I would like to continue working with SCA in the future. Plus, let me tell you, nothing gets students to pay attention like a little witty banter about conservation before class. If you are in the northwest, FIND EVAN! Here are his tour dates (it's like he's a rock star!)
Yes, we even found time to dork-out SCA style and make this snow mural...
The Place: Eagle River
I was asked by a friend of my supervisor to house-sit for a week at their place in Eagle River, just 20 minutes north of Anchorage. Of course, the commute (in a giant manual Toyota 4x4 with snow tires, and a 6 inch raise) was much longer than my normal 5 minute walk, but it was completely worth it. The first night I arrived at the house, a HUGE BULL MOOSE came bounding towards me out of the trees in the pitch dark. This very secluded home is at the top of a .8 mile long driveway complete with 7 switchback turns on a steep hillside. When you look out from any of the windows or step outside to walk around the property you can't see another occupied home...anywhere. To be so alone was breathtaking and frightening at the same time. It was a wonderful break from the daily life of living in the very urban downtown Anchorage (where my neighbors are an art gallery, a salmon bake restaurant, and JCPenney's) and I got to take care of an awesome dog named Keno.
Keno and I went on a lot of walks in the woods and if you have ever taken a dog on a hike, you know that they are the best way to find hidden treasures outside. We came across an old homestead complete with some seriously decrepit cars and a wooden sled. Parts of the mountain side don't get too much light any more and the ground is covered with the most beautiful ice crystals...
I really have no words for this, it was just one of the things that made me smile. This week I am heading to the Mat-Su Science and Conservation Symposium, so look out for some blog-a-licious reports about that on my next post!
cheers to keeping my fingers from freezing off until then,