About Us

Alaska magazine has been sharing authentic Alaska since 1935. Today’s Alaska is a vibrant and multifaceted place, and we guide you on adventures large and small while you explore life on the Last Frontier through images and stories by award-winning photographers and writers.

Join us for tips on how to watch wildlife such as bears, moose, eagles, wolves, and whales; get expert planning advice for road trips and backcountry escapes; delve into Alaska’s unique Native cultures and meet people who live in environments both harsh and beautiful. Discover remote communities, try quintessential Alaskan activities—dog mushing, fatbiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing—across the seasons, travel to glaciers and mountains, and sample the 49th state’s unparalleled food and drink.

Alaska magazine is published 10 times annually. Each issue is packed with tales of adventure, details from history, in-depth features on people, industries, events, wilderness, places to see, and complex matters affecting Alaskans and those who love it.

Who We Are

Our staff members are knowledgeable professionals with a passion for bringing Alaska’s exciting stories to readers worldwide.

John Lunn: Group Publisher

When I became publisher of Alaska magazine and got to know the state, I quickly discovered it’s a fabulous place to experience, live, and visit. I’m thrilled that I can use my two decades of experience working with local, regional, and national media brands to drive marketing and advertising results for Alaska’s regional and statewide travel and tourism partners. Together we can share authentic Alaska with the world.

Tom Marriage: Associate Publisher

Family moved to Alaska when I was eight. Graduated from East Anchorage High School and then Willamette University in Salem, OR. What I love most about The Last Frontier are the people and its humbling beauty.

Susan Sommer: Editor

I’m a lifelong Alaskan and will always have a nest here. I grew up commercial fishing every summer, lived in a cabin in the Alaska Range along the Iditarod Trail for two winters, traveled the world and came back home to roost, and got a master’s degree in creative writing. From my editorial perch, I squawk like a raven about clarity, punctuation, word counts, level horizon lines in photos, and deadlines. Wilderness sustains me.

Michelle Theall: Senior Editor

Alaska “bit” me fourteen years ago and wouldn’t let go. As the owner of Wild Departures, I run wildlife-viewing trips throughout the state because bears (polar and grizzly) are kind of my thing, and I think everyone should see these stunning animals at least once in their lifetime. I’ve been to every national park in Alaska multiple times, with the exception of Kobuk Valley.

Steven Merritt: Art Director

I turned down a journalism job opportunity in Alaska right out of college, but it took my future wife, her family, and John McPhee’s Coming into the Country to straighten me out. My wife and I have three teen boys (yes, Costco is our friend) who usually don’t have to be asked twice if they want to go ski/ride/fish.

Alexander Deedy: Assistant Editor/Digital Content Manager

Born and raised in Wasilla, Alaska, I cut my teeth camping and hiking during Alaskan summers and skiing through snowy winters. Now I drink coffee before five and craft beer after. Somewhere in there I find time to write, and when I’m not clacking at the keyboard, I still like to get outside.

Bjorn Dihle: Gear Editor

I’m large, flatulent, and hairy. Outwardly, I fulfill every cliché of what an Alaskan man is supposed to look like. This has led to reality television producers constantly hounding me to be in shows from everything from finding monsters in the wilderness to me acting like a mountain man in the wilderness. They’re always taken aback when they find out that I’m basically just a small lost boy with serious mommy issues which manifests by my constant need to be held and be helped with basic tasks like going to the bathroom.

Photo by Chris Miller.

Nick Jans: Contributing Editor

I came to arctic Alaska in 1979 as a young guy hoping to find a new path. It was the best decision of my life.

David L. Ranta: Special Projects

Born in Aberdeen, Washington, but grew up in Centralia, Washington. Graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts (BAFA Graphic Design emphasis). Began working for Alaska magazine’s sister publication, The MILEPOST, in June of 1989.

Our History

In 1935, Emery Tobin and Ray Roady started The Alaska Sportsman from Ketchikan. The focus was on hunting, fishing, adventure, and politics.

In 1958, the same year that Congress approved statehood for Alaska (it officially became the 49th state on January 3, 1959), Anchorage publishers Robert A. Henning and Robert N. DeArmond purchased The Alaska Sportsman and expanded the content to include a wide variety of topics. They changed the name to Alaska magazine in September 1969. The issues produced during the ensuing decades continued to promote the fierce individualism and beauty of Alaska—a consistency that carries through today.

The title has weathered pivotal events such as The Great Depression, World War II, the second largest earthquake in the world, and the nation’s worst oil spill in Prince William Sound. The longevity of Alaska magazine remains a testament to the resilience and dogged tenacity of the state and its people—a rugged time capsule reflecting all that has changed, and those things we hope never will.

Contributor Submissions

Alaska magazine accepts submissions year-round from freelance contributors. See our guidelines.

Alaska is published monthly except for combined July/August and December/January issues by MCC Magazines, LLC, a division of Morris Communications Company, LLC.