24 Aug Home Sweet Nome
Imagine this: a landscape built of rolling, verdant hills in the north and crystal clear waters merging into an endless sea in the south. A sun that never sets, warm hospitable people, and chocolate chip cookies freshly baked from the oven of Pingo’s bakery. No, this isn’t paradise. It’s Nome.Muskox grazing in the distance
Nome is established on the ancestral lands of the Iñupiat- Alaskan Natives whom have lived, stewarded, and hunted on these lands since time immemorial. This small town located on Alaska’s Seward peninsula is home to almost 4,000 residents and the finish line to the famous Iditarod sled dog race. Berry picking, xtratufts, and parkas capture the summer personality of of this community, which sharply contrasts with the lifestyle of a home-grown Southern Californian girl. As I’ve come to learn, it’s easy to spot a desert transplant in an arctic ecosystem when it’s 50 degrees outside. My shivering under two layers of jackets and sweatpants while locals go about their day in shorts and a thin hoodie calling the day “hot” speaks for itself.
It’s in this place where I have the pleasure of working as the Social Media Intern for the National Park Service’s Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BELA). For the next few weeks, I will be working alongside BELA staff in our park’s visitor center to produce digital content and media posts for this year’s NPS Fashion Week campaign. (Yes, you read that right! Fashion meets Park Ranger in this quirky social media campaign that is both trendy and hot. After all, what spells style better than a flat hat and a green and grey uniform? Don’t answer that. Stay tuned as park rangers hit the green carpet this September!) More of this to come in another LHIP blog.
My first week in Nome has been nothing short of special. Staff at the visitor center have been very supportive, kind, and attentive. I am fortunate to be part of such an amazing team and have no doubt that I have the support system necessary to grow professionally and experience the world through a new lens of discovery. In just this past week, I have had the opportunity to participate in a guided hike with my team and go kayaking on the Bering sea. These two activities allowed me to gain familiarity with local ecosystem dynamics and truly process the scope of natural beauty Alaska encompasses. In the office, the experiences have been just as exciting. I’ve been able to get behind the camera and tap into photography, as well as get some introduction to social media strategies, analytics, and content production.
Overall, this week has been unforgettable. From hopping onto the plane at LAX to settling into my office quarters- it’s all been a learning experience. Finally, I’d like to take this closing as a chance to briefly reintroduce myself. My name is Kiara Prado (she/her) and I am an LA native with a passion for media production, environmental justice, social justice, and wildlife conservation & field work. As the daughter of two Guatemalans, I grew up in a bilingual household with strong ties to and appreciation for my Latino heritage. I can’t wait to see how I can put some of my background & heart into my work in the upcoming weeks!
Y ahora… a trabajar!