Alistair Gardiner

Alistair Gardiner, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner's new Outdoors section editor/reporter, pauses for breath during a hike along Marin Ridge on Kodiak Island in spring 2019.

Greetings, Outdoors section readers. My name is Alistair (I go by Ali, Al or really any variant you wish to conjure) and I recently moved up north to commandeer the News-Miner’s Outdoors section for the foreseeable future. As you can probably tell by my name, I’m not from here — but having spent almost three years in Alaska, I like to think I’m creeping ever closer toward sourdough status.

Born and raised in Devon, England, I spent my youth exploring the bogs, tors and abandoned tin mines of Dartmoor National Park. The area’s feral horses and polecats — as well as the River Dart’s humble salmon run — left a great impression on me and, in retrospect, primed me to fall in love with Alaska.

I moved to the states in 2014 and have been living and working in Alaska for a collective 2 1/2. Following a year in New York City, I moved to Cordova and spent the summer of 2015 reporting for the Cordova Times. It was there that I got the bug — and it wasn’t long after my return to NYC in the fall of that year that I began pining for The Last Frontier.

In 2017, circumstances allowed me to find my way back after I got a job writing for the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Two years covering the fisheries, Alaska Native issues, crime, and local and state government for the daily newspaper — not to mention hiking the Emerald Isle’s glorious mountains and kayaking its Sitka spruce-lined shores — reaffirmed my ardor for the 49th state.

Life in Alaska, seemingly more so than most places, is dictated by nature’s own circadian rhythms: returning salmon, the hibernation patterns of wild game, the phenology of edible plants, the varying levels of daylight and so on. In Kodiak, the importance of knowing, for example, when the bears wake up and start looking for a meal was an integral part of day-to-day life.

Having never lived more than 10 miles from the coast, I’m excited to get to know the natural cycles that mold life in Fairbanks and how recreation and subsistence activities ebb and flow with the changing seasons.

I intend to throw myself into all and any outdoor-based opportunities that present themselves and will do my utmost to produce informative, accurate and interesting articles for you, the readers.

If you have a tip for an outdoors story (or advice on how to survive my first Fairbanks winter) you can contact me at agardiner@newsminer.com.