Name: Marinell Chandler
Position Title: Sled Dog Kennels Intern
Site Name: Denali National Park and Preserve
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
School: Appalachian State University (Boone, NC)
Major: Sustainable Development, Environmental Studies concentration (graduated 2013)
Dream Job: National Park Service
Current favorite song: “Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men
The person who inspires me most is… John Muir
If I could pass a law… Federally mandated nature time
If I was a shape shifter I’d turn into… A bear! Or a sled dog…
My motto: “I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer… . Civilization and fever, and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me, have not dimmed my glacial eyes, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.” – John Muir, Travels in Alaska
My most memorable outdoor moment: Boating in Redoubt Bay, 12 miles south of Sitka, AK where I spent my ﬁrst summer working with the SCA. There had been a humpback whale feeding nearby, and we shut the boat off to see if it was still there. Sure enough, we saw a ﬂuke, a ﬁn, bubbles, and the smooth back of the humpback as he surfaced to breathe. For several minutes he returned to the surface time after time, seemingly showing off for us, until he disappeared. We waited ﬁve, ten minutes, convinced that it was the end of our encounter, until all of a sudden, our friend launched breached above the still water of the bay at least twenty yards from the boat. We gave a shout – I ducked – and the humpback spun in the air, landing on his back. What an incredible moment! I never thought I would see such a beautiful creature from so close, in such a remarkable way.
What forces, events, or inﬂuences in your life inspired you to become a conservationist? Growing up in Louisiana and being exposed to the issue of coastal wetland loss inspired me to follow a path of conservation that was nurtured by my studies at App State, with the Blue Ridge Parkway right in my backyard. Now, I’ve fallen in love with the natural beauty of Alaska, and never want to go back!