Clothing for the Tundra from the Tundra When Dr. Rebecca Wilbur moved to Fairbanks in 2005, she was shocked at how different it was from Quinhagak, the Yup’ik village where she grew up. It wasn’t just the trees, which didn’t exist at the mouth of the Kanektok River. Or the fact that her freshman class at the University of Alaska Fairbanks contained more people than her entire village. She missed the Native values that were rooted in the tundra, the deep connection to family and land. Nearly two decades later—after getting married, starting a family, and becoming an optometrist—Rebecca still lives in Fairbanks, and still misses home. She started Tundra Flower Designs in 2021 to create clothing designs that made her feel closer to the tundra. It turned out to be much more. —AS TOLD TO AND EDITED BY MOLLY RETTIG You started drawing these designs as a hobby during…
Inspired by Alaska Maggie Shipstead’s novel Great Circle follows the life of Marian Graves, a female pilot who disappears near Antarctica in 1950 while attempting to circumnavigate the earth north to south. While the book is packed with shipwrecks, plane crashes, bootlegging mobsters, Hollywood scandals, and forbidden romance, a sizeable part of the story takes place in the glaciers, frontier towns, and wilderness of Alaska. The 600-page book—spanning three generations and nearly 100 years of history—took Shipstead more than six years to create, and was a finalist for the 2021 Booker Prize. In this interview, Shipstead describes how Alaska helped inspire her story of a woman breaking barriers, both personal and universal. —AS TOLD TO AND EDITED BY MOLLY RETTIG Your protagonist, Marian, had a pretty crazy childhood. She survived a shipwreck as a newborn in which her father, the captain, rescued Marian and her twin brother in a lifeboat.…
Becca Wolfe and John Wolfe Jr. Honor a Legacy Half a century after Helen Nienhueser published the popular guidebook 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska, her son and granddaughter have released a revamped and expanded trail guide to hiking, biking, paddling, skiing, and skating in the mountains and rivers around Anchorage, from the Kenai Peninsula to Mat-Su valley to the Copper River basin. In their new book, Alaska Adventure 55 Ways, authors John Wolfe Jr. and Rebecca Wolfe celebrate Alaska’s wilderness and their family tradition of being out in it. It’s so cool that this book now spans three generations of your family. How did it first come about? Becca: My grandmother found herself and found the love of her life in these mountains. She wrote the book with the intention of getting more people out to fall in love with the wilderness. It’s sort of endemic to…
Lydia Jacoby was just 17 years old when she became the first Alaska-born swimmer to earn a medal at the Olympics.
The Geophysical Institute researches earth and near space subjects including permafrost, seismic activity, sea ice, aurora, and drones.
Carl Johnson is an award-winning nature photographer based in Anchorage. He has a gallery and leads photo tours through Alaska Photo Treks.
Neal Fried, who has been an economist for the State of Alaska since 1978, talks about bow ties, travel in 2022, and why he loves his job.
Musician Kate Bass was born and raised in Anchorage. Here she talks about what it was like to return home to Alaska during the pandemic.
Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, talks about being a public figure, what Alaskans should do to stay safe, and silver linings.
Vera Metcalf is the executive director of the Eskimo Walrus Commission, which co-manages the Pacific walrus population.