My interest in arctic ecosystem ecology and climate change is rooted not only in the scientific significance and vulnerability of the arctic, but also my personal affinity for Alaska where I was born and raised. My non-traditional undergraduate experience allowed for me to attend several different and diverse institutions including Northeastern University in Boston, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University (also in Pittsburgh) and Colorado State University. With the support and encouragement of my husband, who is also my greatest fan, I completed my B.S. in biology here at CSU in summer 2009 and am excited to be beginning my M.S. in summer 2010. I have been fortunate enough to gain valuable lab experience working in various capacities over the last year in the NREL. I will continue working in the NREL and be co-advised by Matthew Wallenstein and Heidi Steltzer working with them studying the seasonality of nutrient dynamics in arctic ecosystems and how climate change may affect these dynamics and ecosystem processes. This unique research opportunity will allow for me to conduct field work in my home state and gain broad research experience studying both soil enzyme dynamics and vegetative phenology.