This summer Arctic program intern, Sam Schillinger, traveled from New York, where she grew up and attends school at Parson’s School of Design, and experienced the record-breaking summer in Fairbanks. Like many of us, though the beauty and richness of the landscapes surrounding us still carry us through challenging days, Sam learned firsthand how extreme heat and intensified wildfires mean can impact each of us.
Much of her work with us was focused on directing the 23rd annual Run for the Refuge. Until race day, air quality from wildfire smoke seemed fell in the unhealthy range for most runners and walkers, and though the smoke cleared on race day, she took part in the conversations that will likely become more and more common about how climate change affects our choices about the health and safety of routine activities.
According to the International Arctic Research Center’s recent report, “Alaska’s Changing Environment,” climate change is increasing the length and intensity of the wildfire season, as well as the number of smoky days throughout the state.
Thank you, Sam, for sharing your skills over the summer, and your reflections with us here.