This summer has not only had a strong impact on me, but I also feel that I reciprocated the impact, leaving an impression on my workplace and the wilderness. I discussed much of this in my previous post, so I won’t dwell on detail, but my internship this summer only strengthened my goals in studying and living in the Arctic. Alaska has felt more like home than previous areas I have lived, and I cannot wait to return after my last UM semester. Living here has led me to ponder the way people (including myself) live in urban areas, and certainly in Ann Arbor. My summer has not been McCandless Into the Wild level life changing, but I whole heartedly believe this was a defining stage; more impactful than my entire college career.
In turn, I hope the impact I have made here leads to positive changes. Each opportunity to educate people about the arctic, different mountains, and the species here will leave a lasting impression on those individuals. In addition, I hope that work with natives will lead to better programs and policies that help to preserve their traditional ways of living. The improvements, research, and presentations I have added to the Arctic Interagency Visitor center will hopefully remain here for next summer’s group of interns and rangers to utilize. If nothing else, perhaps the humor paper we started will be found in the truck stop across the street for years to come!
Enjoy my last slew of photos.