49 Voices: Shaylyn “Yosty” Storms of Unalakleet

Shaylyn “Yosty” Storms from Unalakleet. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

This week we’re hearing from Shaylyn Storms, though most people know her as Yosty. Storms is from Unalakleet, but she currently works in Anchorage as a regional director for ANSEP.

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STORMS: My responsibility is scheduling hours for our employees, making sure the logistics are taken care of and then I also get to work with the kids by doing the computer build and leading that in teaching them how to build computers.

I was involved in ANSEP in high school and I just continued with the program year after year. And through ANSEP, I was able to do a series of science internships. So right before I actually came to work for ANSEP, I worked for USGS, the U.S. Geological Survey, as a marine biology technician. And then before that, I worked up in Barrow, AK as a wildlife technician. And then before that, I worked in my hometown as a fisheries technician. So, doing a lot of biology work and having that type of background and doing science.

I actually wanted to be a veterinarian. But I thought, I didn’t really wanna go towards engineering ’cause it didn’t sound that interesting to me. But the science part interested me so I was like, “Huh. What else does the science have to offer.” So, I knew that UAA had a biology program and so I kinda went that route instead.

Anchorage is very convenient. Like we have Costco and all the big stores. And it’s less expensive, but then at home you know everybody. Everyone’s your family. You have a closer, tight community compared to Anchorage. But ANSEP does a good job of providing that community here.

Even though Anchorage is on the water, it doesn’t really feel like it all the time. And where I’m from, we’re right on the coast and so the ocean is just right there. And I think that’s why I like biology because my family… they participate in subsistence which is being able to go out a berry pick or go fishing. That also kinda sparked my interest in biology because I kinda wanna preserve those things for the future generations after me.