I just want to start off and say, it feels good to be in Fairbanks and really good to be in this class. It was quite the journey to get here (in more ways then one). I got my undergraduate degree in Natural Resources Management at the University of Connecticut, the house I grew up in is only an hour away from campus, but most of my work experience has been in environmental education through different agencies over the years. For awhile I had it in the back of my mind that I was going to be a wildlife biologist, but it finally dawned on me over this past year how much I love working with kids and teaching them about the environment. This past February I taught a wildlife tracking lesson to grades 1-6 in Yakutat, AK, and then took my students out (in snowshoes mind you) on a trail to look for some “wild” animal tracks that I may or may not have transplanted along the way. They weren’t going to have the wool pulled over their eyes on that one, but being outside with them while talking about wildlife and trying to dodge flying snowballs at the same time, was too fun to call work. That lesson was a good blend of classroom instruction with a flair of scientific inquiry which was topped with some old fashion outdoor enjoyment . If I can do that for the rest of my professional life, I think it will be a pretty good one. Here is to a great semester!