Q: Are you originally from Alaska?
Trey: I was born and raised in Anchorage.
Q: What is your favorite part about Alaska?
Trey: Easily the best aspect of Alaska is the bountiful trails through our national and state parks. The great thing about them is they are well maintained but go straight into the heart of Alaskan nature, providing a first-hand view of the wild. Sometimes this view is a little too close for comfort but that has just made me a faster runner (laughing).
Q: What are a few of the differences between Alaska and other states that you have noticed? Similarities?
Trey: There are few political decisions upon which the majority of Alaskans agree. Unlike many states, Alaska has a dichotomized political spectrum—radical liberals and right-wing conservatives make their opinions known. This provides an always interesting, or at least heated, debate on almost every issue. The wildlife and nature enthusiasts of Alaska are particularly passionate because of the plethora of available opportunities to engage. Similar to the west coast, Alaska has an active population, amongst youth and adults.
Q: Why is conservation in Alaska so important to you?
Trey: The significance of conservation here derives from Alaska’s past as well as from the potential of the future. In the mid and late 1900s, our state was exploited for her resources. I don’t think it’s unfair to say our land was pillaged by the pursuit of wealth. We have a chance, and dramatic steps have already been taken, to enact policy and a lifestyle that will sustain Alaska’s wildlife and natural resources. It’s exciting to potentially be a part of this movement. The stakes here are very high due to the beauty and magnitude of what Alaska offers.
Q: What other issues are you passionate about?
Trey: I have always been particularly disturbed by youth warfare—children under 18 fighting for rebels, a cartel, or a dictator. As a young person myself, I can’t imagine growing up only knowing extreme violence, having to fight for my own safety, even killing to provide food for my siblings. Every time we read an article about another revolution in Africa, the lives of many children are in peril. Even if they are not killed or maimed, I feel their lives are forever stained by the experience. It is alarming that in the twenty-first century there are countries where children must fight for their freedom, a freedom with which I was born.
Q: What attracted you to the Alaska Conservation Alliance?
Trey: The ideals pursued by the Alliance, namely energy efficiency, have always been important to me. As a non-profit the organization also offers a glimpse into a new field. I’m hoping to learn about the day-to-day workings of a non-profit in the politics and advocacy realm.
Q: Which parts of being an Alliance intern do you like the best?
Trey: Well, it’s a little soon to know this one for sure. Two weeks in I would say the coolest aspect so far has been crafting literature, such as the blog and the action alert, that people all over the state will read. I think that sort of statewide connection is exciting.
Q: Tell us one interesting, previously unknown, fact about yourself.
Trey: In 1994 I lost the majority of my vision. At two years old I had suffered an allergic reaction to the MMR shot, rendering me legally blind. I now have a corrected vision of 20/200. Despite this impairment, I have succeeded academically and athletically with a dedication to not be harnessed by my vision. I’ve descended from the slopes of Alyeska and hiked mountains in Washington. Doctors wondered how I would learn to read and my father worried I wouldn’t be able to count my money. I may trip over a few more misplaced objects than the average person, but with a determined smile I continue forward.
Read more about Trey on our website by clicking here.