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Legacy junk: MFA thesis exhibitionI recently purchased a tract of raw land with the intention of building a cabin, and wasn't terribly surprised to find the land came with some impressive piles of junk. I was frankly enamored of these objects, abandoned but not destroyed by the previous owner. They had a potentially useful quality that resonated with other aspects of the Fairbanks community; transfer sites, the airplane graveyard behind the airport, old couches and tables and wooden spools that littered the yards of countless homes. This rural detritus represents a confluence of natural and cultural forces that Alaskans experience every day. I wish to investigate this transitional territory by abstracting and amplifying the fine line between usefulness and decay. I believe that in this modern life, it is all too easy to assume that the world of nature and the world of human culture are totally separate. For me, this assumption was repeatedly challenged after experiencing the destructive power of nature during my childhood in Tornado Alley, and more recently, the subzero temperatures of Interior Alaska. I typically draw inspiration from daily observations of my environment, and as a result my imagery changed dramatically after I moved to the far North. Despite the change of landscape, the core concept of investigating intersections of nature and culture remains the same. This is a fascinating task in the Alaskan Interior, as these intersections are clearly exposed. This community has a unique relationship to nature, as modern homes and businesses coexist with virtually untouched wilderness. These experiences have instilled in me a deep respect for the vast web of life that both supports and threatens my community, and motivates me to seek out and emphasize places where natural and artificial worlds collide using the malleable language of art and oil painting.
VITAS: A Visual ExhibitVITAS is a visual exhibition that addresses the idea of a posthumous legacy. The substance of a person’s life is composed of what they’ve done, and what they become after death is determined by that substance. This exhibition is composed of 25 carved animal skulls and sculptures inspired by the concept of vitas, treating life as an opportunity to advance the next generation through life’s work. VITAS studies the idea of what happens after the passing of a being by applying embellishment, adornment, pigments, and carvings onto the skeletal remains of animals. By applying human influence to natural material, the animal’s experience becomes a vital part of the artwork. Bone density, size, condition, and abnormalities are all determined by how the animal lived. These factors are a major consideration in design and aesthetic choices in each unique piece.
Nome Eskimo Community Tribal Council Resource GuideThe Nome Eskimo Community Tribal Council Resource is a digital manual composed of information for newly elected tribal leaders so they can provide the best guidance to the Tribe, develop leadership skills, and serve the community. The purpose of this project is to ensure that current and future tribal council members and presidents have access to information necessary to make decisions on important issues using best practices for governance and leadership. The resource guide includes roles and responsibilities as well as local and statewide resources in various areas of governance including child welfare, land, natural resources, and education. It is intended to provide a starting point for newly elected tribal members. Additionally, Nome Eskimo Community (NEC) bylaws, program information, photos and recorded interviews of current and former tribal leaders will provide newly elected officials with important NEC history. The different subjects contained within the guide are specific to the programs the Council is governing. Leaders have access to the digital resource guide via downloadable files which can be viewed on a tablet. The resource guide will include the roles and responsibilities of the tribal council and the president and will cover governance, leadership practices, and program resources. The resource guide can be further developed to include advanced information for experienced leaders in the following areas: child welfare, land, natural resources, and education.
Creating safety policy and procedures in an active shooter eventSchool and workplace active shootings are on the rise and seem to be the norm today and there is not a working policy in place to train for an active shooter event in our organization, Golden Valley Electric Association. The purpose of this project was to develop a workable policy and procedure for the employees and to enhance the safety culture within our organization. To achieve this goal, a training presentation was created using the ALICE Training Institute’s protocol to train the workforce. The ALICE acronym stands for A=Alert, L=Lockdown, I=Inform, C=Counter, E=Evacuate. Over the course of research for this project, research indicated that a crisis management plan (CMP) and crisis management team (CMT) would be a better option for training the organization, not policies and procedures. A sample crisis management plan and outline for the crisis management team were created. The crisis management team would deal with the policies and procedures and ensure the success of training the workforce and enhancing the safety culture of the organization. The recommendations are for the organization to select the CMT, review the CMP created, and implement and maintain the plan. Following and implementing these recommendations into practice would ensure the workforce was trained and would strengthen the safety culture of the organization.
A Place-based study of Alaskan animalsIn the spring of 2020, my second-grade class, located in Fairbanks, AK, dived into a place-based exploration of Alaskan animals. The aim of the project was to increase students’ connections and understanding of the state where they live (Alaska) and the animals that they share it with. Through a backwards design, inquiry-based instructional model, my students met state standards with an integrated-subject approach. With art, guest speakers, research, and field trips my students learned about the Animals that share Alaska with us, their environments, and their adaptations. Students used informational writing published on digital mediums to share their knowledge with others. I propose to share this unit with other educators in the form of a website with links and lesson plans so that more teachers and children have access to quality place-based materials that align to state standards.