Colin Beier


Non Forest Service

Photo of Colin Beier, standing on top of large roots in a forest.

My favorite science experience was the first time I visited Chichagof Island in southeast Alaska. We left Juneau and flew across the islands and ocean channels in a four-seat floatplane, circled, and landed in a beautiful green-water cove. We spent the next 2 weeks camping and doing fieldwork.

We were studying why Alaska’s yellow-cedar trees were dying across southeast Alaska and collecting samples from the cedar trees to measure their rings. While doing fieldwork, we encountered several big coastal brown bears. We had one very close call with a mother and her cubs. It was scary at the time, but also an amazing experience. I was deep in the ancient rainforest surrounded by two of my favorite things – huge trees and huge bears.

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