Woman with dark pants and bright red top in grass field
Gretchen Roffler

Gretchen Roffler is a wildlife biologist who has studied large terrestrial mammals, including caribou, Dall sheep, and moose, across Alaska for two decades. Her work has taken her from the Seward Peninsula to the Wrangell Mountains and, presently, to Southeast where she researches wolves for the ADF&G. There’s never a dull moment in her line of work. Her investigations on wolf predation patterns, foraging ecology, and population genetics take her across the rainforests of Southeast’s panhandle, from islands to the glaciated peaks of the coastal range. She lives in Douglas with her husband, enjoying the good life in the mountains and inside their home, while concocting gourmet meals out of wild fish and game. To learn more about Gretchen’s work, you can read her research papers here.

Product Descriptions by Gretchen Roffler

When you buy something from selected links on this page, Alaska magazine may earn a commission on your purchase. For more information, click here.

Wiggy’s Lightweight Waders

These thigh-high waders weigh less than a pound and are a permanent installation in my field-work backpack. For high-mileage days with stream crossings, these are ideal because they can be deployed at will, keep your socks dry, and are easily tucked away when safely on the other side of the crossing.


Black waders

Lacrosse Women’s Alphaburly Pro Boots

Although XTRATUF are the signature footwear of southeast Alaskans, I prefer the Lacrosse Alphaburly boots for their traction and ankle support. These boots are waterproof and optimal for side-hilling and climbing steep slippery slopes. I have the insulated and the non-insulated versions for winter and summer field work.


a camo patterned boot

Sea to Summit Flow 35L Dry Pack

This waterproof backpack is actually comfortable and large enough to carry all field-work essentials. The outside pockets are handy for stashing collected samples that might be on the smelly side.


Yellow waterproof backpack

Muveen Level 5 Cut Resistant Gloves

Bushwhacking is often a necessity to get to a field site, and these gloves can save hours of extracting devil’s club spines out of your hands.

mydexfit.com; $16

hand in gray glove holding shears

Garmin inReach Explorer+

This is essential safety gear and enables communication among the field crew, and boat and aviation support when off-grid. I connect through the Earthmate app to facilitate typing messages. This is also a handy platform for storing tracks and field-site locations.


Garmin inReach Explorer handheld GPS

Bjorn Dihle is Alaska magazine's gear editor and a lifelong resident of southeast Alaska. You can follow him at instagram.com/bjorndihle or facebook.com/BjornDihleauthor.

Comments are closed.