The summer field season is run by a dedicated crew of 10-15 volunteer staff. For two and half months, these all-stars carry the brunt of the trip leading, camp managing, blister treating, grocery shopping, helicopter (un)loading, and snow machine driving. We would truly be lost without them.
During the winter, we scale back to our skeleton crew of year-round staff. These three (plus Dixie the Dog) are busily putting all the plans in place for our 2020 field season.
Annie has been working continuously with JIRP for the past seven years. After coming up first as a student, she’s filled every role from junior field staff to Assistant Operations Manager and as the faculty lead for the growing Science Communication curriculum. Annie is finishing up her M.Sc. at the University of Maine using computer modeling to answer questions about glacial erosion in coastal Alaska. Before graduate school, Annie worked as a middle school science teacher, a field assistant on a research ship, and a trip leader in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. She earned a B.A. in Geology from Carleton College in 2011.
Annie couldn't imagine a better place to work than JIRP. She loves working with such a motivated crew of scientists and educators and firmly believes in JIRP as a positive agent in bringing up the next generation of Earth scientists.
When she's not keeping JIRP running and working on her thesis, Annie spends most of her time in the woods, running, hiking, skiing, and trying (in vain) to tire out her relentlessly energetic dog, Dixie.
Annie on JIRP: "When I landed in Juneau as a JIRP student, it took me about 20 minutes to figure out I had found my new friends. Every day with JIRP since then has affirmed that this is where I want to be: on the ground, figuring out how the natural world works, and pushing forward in science research and science education."
First a JIRP student in 2008, Newt immediately felt a deep and unquestioning connection to the people and places that JIRP brought together. Since then he has been returning as a member of the field staff most years since 2010, playing roles ranging from Safety Staff to Carpenter to Operations Manager. Newt graduated from Colby College with a degree in Geology. He worked for several years in the sciences, first doing research and field work for the NY State Geological Survey, and later teaching earth science to middle schoolers. Currently Newt works as a carpenter/woodworker, and spends as much time as he can in the outdoors hiking, biking, skiing, motorcycling, and travelling.
Newt on JIRP: "JIRP to me is about the ultimate combination of learning, the environment, and most importantly the community. Getting a chance to share these aspects with folks each summer is a privilege I do not take lightly, and I continue to enjoy immensely."
Ibai has been the Safety Manager at JIRP since 2015. He's been climbing and skiing since he was young, and has explored several new ice climbing routes in Patagonia and the Himalayas. When not at JIRP Ibai works as a mountain guide in the Pyrenees, Alps, Norway and the Greater Caucasus. He also teaches courses in snow/avalanche safety, expedition logistics and risk management. In his free time Ibai combines mountain guiding with carrying out glaciology research on the glaciers of the Pyrenees and Tierra del Fuego, addressing questions related to Glacier Change, Glacial Geomorphology, Permafrost, and Geo-Hazards; he also teaches Geography and recently defended his Ph.D. at the University of the Basque Country. His last expedition to the Chilean Patagonia was focused on exploring the Cloue Icefield, understanding glacier change and ascending previously un-climbed summits in an expedition sponsored by the National Geographic Society.
Ibai on JIRP: "Guiding JIRP has been one of the most fulfilling experiences; the combination of Nature, Books and Action makes it a completely unique and unforgettable experience for every person in the program and I feel privileged to be part of it."
Dixie Dog, a four-year-old mutt, loves skiing, hiking, porcupines, and getting her ears scratched. She spends most of the summer in town, but loved her stint at Camp 17 in 2018. She doesn’t know what kind of dog she is, except that she’s black and white, about 50 pounds, and has very soft ears. If she remembers what she did before landing the shelter in Maine, she’s never told us.
When Dixie isn’t keeping spirits up at JIRP, she hangs out with the graduate students at the University of Maine. Her work in Orono, ME mostly involves swimming in the Penobscot River and chasing squirrels during the spring and fall, breaking up on the ice at the edge of the Penobscot River so she can go swimming during the winter, and lifting the spirits of graduate students year-round.
Dixie on JIRP: Yes, please.