Summer in Fairbanks

Summer in Fairbanks

My name is Lynneva Carroll and this summer I will be a Biology Assistant intern at the Central Alaska Network. I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, have lived in Alaska for my entire life and am Gwichyaa Gwich’in (Athabaskan). I have always enjoyed the outdoors in Alaska, starting at an early age camping, hunting, and berrypicking with my family. During elementary school my class went on several camping trips around Alaska, allowing me to see more of my home state. This has led to my interest in ecology and human interaction with the environment. Driven by this interest, I am attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working toward a degree in Biological Sciences. 

Fairbanks is surrounded by miles of wilderness and has cold, snowy winters and long, hot days in the summer. Since my work site is very close to my house, I’ll be living at home this summer, with my parents and sister. Our house is on a gravel airstrip and float pond, which often attracts ducks, geese, cranes, and the occasional swan. All through high school I drove by the building where I will work this summer on the way to school, and I have visited it for past field surveys that I have participated in when we pack up the trucks. 

The Central Alaska Network is composed of three parks, which are Denali, Wrangell-Saint Elias, and Yukon-Charley Rivers. The only park I haven’t visited is the Yukon-Charley Rivers, but perhaps I will be able to go there this summer. Wrangell-Saint Elias is south-west of Fairbanks, and I’ve only been there once, in sixth grade, for a class camping trip. Denali is closer, just a two hour drive away from Fairbanks, and makes for an excellent weekend camping trip with friends. The scenery down in Denali is gorgeous, with the mountains and spruce trees. I am excited for this internship and can’t wait to get started!

This summer I will spend most of my time at the National Parks Service Fairbanks Administrative Center, working on conservation videos. Before the pandemic, I was scheduled to complete field work at a couple different parks for various projects. The field work would have included the small mammal survey in Denali National Park, which I have participated in for three years, the hare survey near Coldfoot, which I have participated in for two years, and the the peregrine survey in the Yukon-Charley Rivers, which I have never been to and was really looking forward to. I have volunteered on the small mammal survey for the past three summers, recording vole populations. The survey is a week long, and is done with live trapping and pit tags. The hare survey I have gone on for the past two summers are completed by collecting and counting rabbit pellets. I am hoping that I will still be able to do some field work this summer. There will be more details after I begin my internship. Regardless, I am excited to learn more about my home state during this summer through my internship.

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