This blog is my way of keeping the rest of my awesome family up on my adventures and travels this summer. I’ll be posting lots of pictures every few days for the kiddos, and will try to post regularly between work. Please comment and let me know what you’d like to hear about and I’ll do my best to fill you in! Love – Hannah
School ended on May 12th for me and I had to leave my job as an RA a day early to go on an NRM 290 trip, which is a required class for my major called Resource Management at High Latitudes. It was a 10 day field course around the state checking out different types of resource management done by federal and local agencies, and the different types of living people are making off of Alaska’s natural resources and agriculture. I learned so much about the different types of agriculture and land use taking place in the state that I had never known before! I was sure that I knew a lot about Alaska, but this trip showed me that you never know as much as you think you do.
We started our trip in Fairbanks, and visited Delta Junction, Glennallen, Palmer, Wasilla, Seward (and went on the Kenai Fjords Tour!), Kenai, Soldotna, Homer, Willow, Cantwell, and Denali National Park. Over the ten days we saw so much wildlife it was hard to get any sleep in the van! I think we saw every major land and sea mammal I can name, as well as hundreds of birds and other critters. What a great experience! Me along the TransAlaska Pipline!
Our trip ended in Fairbanks, and the next day I drove straight down to Homer in 10.5 hours. I spend two days with the family there and then took the ferry to Kodiak. I spent the next few days meeting the women I’d be working with and stayed with my boyfriend Joe’s mom and brother, who live in Kodiak. It was great to see them, and I got a chance to poke around the island and enjoy a local celebration called CrabFest before taking a 30-hour ferry ride over to where I am now, Sand Point.
I’ve been hired by Alaska Fish and Game as a Technician III, which means that I will spend two months out here working for the WASSIP (Western Alaska Salmon Stock Inventory Projoect) program. I’ll be taking clips of the axillary fin off of Sockey and Chum salmon as fishermen catch them and return them to the tenders, and in some instances collecting scales off of fish. These samples will let the fishery biologists tell the age and location of origin of the salmon, and will hopefully help them make intelligent management decisions in the future within the Western Alaska salmon fishery. The pay is great, and they feed and house me for free. I also get to spend two months out in some pretty wild Alaskan territory which should be chalk-full of bears by the time I get out there. My job is also pretty darn neat since by dad was out here when he was a little older than me in these same places fishing and crabbing. Sounds like a Harrison family tradition in the making. Some family’s collect china, some pass on heirlooms and money, and some go out in the middle of nowhere and get beat up by the weather. Sounds like we need a new hobby. 🙂
Our next move is to head out to King Cove to start sampling on the 5th or so, and then I’ll head out to Port Moller (the house between the red-roofed building and the two-part building is mine!) for the rest of the season around the 12th. At the moment, the weather is pretty typical for Sand Point: rainy, windy, and the locals are all busy doing their regular activities: fishing, getting ready to fish, and hiding from the weather. I’m currently in a coffee shop trading wireless internet privileges for hot chocolate patronage, and am sharing the space with a guy from Mississippi who’s family left him an old gold claim, and he came out here on the ferry to try and make some money off of it. Maybe the Harrison hobby isn’t so weird after all…