AGE 32Partnerships and Public Affairs Staff Officer, Tongass National Forest
How did you make your first dollar?
Bagging groceries at the local supermarket.
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and Conservation Biology (double major) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Master's Degree in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Community work: KRBD-Ketchikan, Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council, Ketchikan General Hospital Foundation, Monthly Grind, Girl Scouts
Family: Husband Reid Parker, sons Noah and Micah, cats Lena and Poa
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Favorite lunch spot? Good Coffee Co.
Best stress reliever? Reading, preferably a good trashy book.
Favorite place in Alaska? The top of Deer Mountain. It's a two-hour hike from downtown Ketchikan. You can look one direction and see the city and surrounding islands, over Gravina and Pennock all the way to Prince of Wales … or you can look the other way and see nothing but alpine meadows and mountains. A quick escape from the everyday.
What is the strangest thing you've ever seen in Alaska? A float house complex being towed through the downtown narrows by a fishing tender and being maneuvered into place by three skiffs.
Name the person you most respect and why. My grandmother on my dad's side, Ruth Elizabeth Uloth. She survived the depression and dust bowl in North Dakota, raised three boys, taught French, and lived into her late 80s with the sharpest mind of anyone I know.
Famous quote to live by: "After the final no, there comes a yes. And on that yes the future world depends." — Wallace Stevens
What did your pet or child teach you about business? How to take things in stride, to become an impartial observer rather than a reactive participant.
What is the best moral lesson learned from a character in a book? Sometimes the path to resolution takes turns you would not anticipate, but often it makes the journey more fun, if a little nerve-wracking! Learned by Sally and the little boy in "The Cat in the Hat" and "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back."
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Watching my mom pass away from cancer — and recovering from the loss after she was gone. I learned how to be patient with myself, to suspend expectations and just allow the mourning process to unfold. I wouldn't say I've "overcome" it, more so learned to live well despite her absence.
What was the least intelligent thing you've ever done or seen and what did you learn from it? When I was in high school, I drag raced a friend down some neighborhood streets. I took the wrong side of the road and raced along a fair distance before I came to my senses and went back into the right lane. I learned a bit about my own risk thresholds, what level of risk I am comfortable taking.
Describe something you learned as a child that made a difference in your later years. When I was about 12, I allowed my temper to get the best of me and I yelled at my father, storming out of the room. My dad followed close behind and made it clear that that behavior was not acceptable in any form. It was a great lesson not only of the capacity for my own temper, but also learning to value holding that temper in check.