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Nicole Schmitt is the executive director of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, a grassroots nonprofit that advocates for protecting Alaska’s ecosystems and wildlife.

“I think overall the thing that I’m most proud of is that in just the couple of years since I’ve come on, the outpouring of support for the work that we’re doing has been incredible. We’re a very small nonprofit. We’re grassroots with a tiny, tiny budget. Any time we’re going up to film a documentary piece or need to stay over and testify at a meeting, there’s an outpouring of people who say, ‘Hey, you’re welcome to stay on my couch,’ or during COVID, ‘We have a cabin in the back that doesn’t have water.’ The community around the work has been really inspiring and it tells me that what we’re doing is important to people. I guess I’m just proud to have a cause that brings people together like that. It definitely keeps me going.”

Author

Alexander Deedy is the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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