Valerie Kern

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Originally from the Central Coast of California, Valerie joined Alaska Public Media in July 2017. Before moving to Alaska, Valerie worked as an ENG Editor at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also served in the U.S. Air Force as a TV/Radio Broadcast Journalist where she got the opportunity to travel around Europe, Africa, The Baltics, and Australia reporting on military events, exercises, and missions. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, skiing, backpacking, learning piano, yoga, and trying new foods.
A colorful building stands in the distance with a parking lot of boats in the foreground.

I Lived in Whittier, Alaska: A Town Under One Roof | INDIE ALASKA

Erika Fitzgerald jumped at the opportunity to teach in Alaska after graduate school. She didn't expect she'd be living and working in Whittier, a town where nearly all residents live in the same building, and the only way in and out is through a tunnel that closes each night.
A man stands in front of a green valley with his daughter in a hiking backpack

His Daughter Was Diagnosed with a Fatal Disease. Now He’s Taking Disabled Kids on Epic Adventures | INDIE ALASKA

When Ava was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs, taking her outside became more challenging. It inspired her dad to start a nonprofit called Adventure for Ava, where he takes Alaska families with disabled children on adventures.
A woman sits at a piano

A day in the life of a Russian pianist | INDIE ALASKA

https://youtu.be/mfNoZkhY7nI Russians have a long history in Alaska, with some Siberian migrant groups dating back as far as the early 1700s. The first European settlement in Alaska was in Kodiak in 1784 during the Russian...
Two people speed riding in the snowy mountains

Speed riding: Extreme skiing in the sky | INDIE ALASKA

https://youtu.be/L1lf9RoWmfY Josh Randich lives a pretty quintessentially Alaska lifestyle. Grind in the summer and play in the winter. And the activity occupying most of his winters these days is speed riding. While the sport has...
A woman eats kelp while a farmer harvests kelp in the background.

Could Alaskan Seaweed Help Save the Planet? | INDIE ALASKA

https://youtu.be/LhbRCzxaqoE Seaweed and kelp are a billion-dollar industry with the potential to help alleviate the pressures of climate change. Currently, the biggest players in the kelp industry are out of Asia, but Seagrove Kelp Co....
An athlete rides a ski bike and a ski bike lays in the snow.

What is ski biking? And why is it so fun?! | INDIE ALASKA

https://youtu.be/q2vS340GbqA Ski biking is becoming more common at ski resorts across Europe and in some parts of the U.S., but Claudine Haynes is on a mission to bring it to Alaska. Inspired by her love...

Where are they now? The 100 Stone Project | INDIE ALASKA

https://youtu.be/CvbI0WObZOE Five years ago, INDIE ALASKA featured Sarah Davie's 100 Stone project, a massive sculpture installation in Anchorage that was used to shed light on individuals dealing with depression and suicide. We caught up with...
Founder of Moose Mamas bottle feeds a baby. moose.

Rescuing baby moose may be the best job in Alaska | INDIE ALASKA

https://youtu.be/t9eirCrD4M8 For 6 years now, Dana Debernardi has been running Moose Mamas, a nonprofit committed to rescuing, raising, and releasing orphaned moose calves in interior Alaska. To learn more about the Moose Mamas and to...

Debate for the State 2020 – U.S. House and Senate

https://youtu.be/ZzNCfp4XCLU The U.S. House Debate between Rep. Don Young and Alyse Galvin happened at Alaska Public Media on Thursday Oct. 22, 2020. https://youtu.be/GFl-oFc44YM The U.S. Senate Debate between Sen. Dan Sullivan and Dr. Al Gross happened...
Boat Captain looks off in the distance. Boat moves on water. Man holds halibut.

An Alaska Fisherman’s Guide to Tragedy and Redemption | INDIE ALASKA

https://youtu.be/HBgW-kWTPSQ Jody Mason has been a halibut fishing guide out of Whittier, Alaska for over 20 years with his company, Alaskan 4 Star Charters. After a traumatic boating accident in 2019, Jody was overwhelmed by...
Two bearded men pose in the Mr. Fur Face Beard Competition.

What’s it take to win Alaska’s fiercely contentious beard competition? | INDIE ALASKA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To2JBuFR2VQ Bearded men and women from around the country gather in Anchorage every winter during the Fur Rendezvous to compete in the Mr. Fur Face competition. Adam Bruck is one competitor who hopes to take...

Making Music with Glaciers and Snow | INDIE ALASKA

Matthew Burtner is using his experience as a music composer to raise awareness of climate change by making avant-garde soundscapes from Alaska's wilderness. Matthew, like most other Alaskans, has a front-row seat...

Where are they now? – The Shrimp Whisperer | INDIE ALASKA

Al Laudert's shrimp photography was first featured on Indie Alaska in 2016 and has been one of the most-asked-about episodes in the series among Alaskans. We decided to catch up with Al...

Running the largest commercial farm in rural Alaska | INDIE ALASKA

Tim Meyers and his wife Lisa run Meyers Farm in Bethel, Alaska. What started as a small produce stand for local residents has now turned into a large-scale commercial farm, which allows...

A community discussion on immigration in Alaska | Alaska Insight Web Extra

Alaska is home to some of the most diverse neighborhoods and schools in America. Immigrants play a large role in expanding the state’s cultural identity, economy, and community....

Reviving the art of making Iñupiat Mukluks | INDIE ALASKA

Mukluks are traditional boots worn by indigenous Arctic people around the world. Their successful design allows airflow, which prevents perspiration from causing frostbite in extremely cold conditions. Mukluks are very versatile though...

Living off the Land in an Alaskan Iñupiaq Community | INDIE ALASKA

About 60 miles North of the Arctic Circle is the small village of Noatak. The majority of the residents there, including Lonnie Arnold, still live a traditional subsistence lifestyle and rely on...

Exploring Alaska Through Pottery | INDIE ALASKA

What started as a fun, childhood hobby has now turned into a blooming business for potter, Marta Elaine Zegzdryn. Her company, MEZ Pottery, can often be found at festivals and fairs across...

Finding the Skateboard Scene in Alaska’s Largest City | INDIE ALASKA

With long, dark winters and temperatures often dipping below freezing, most people might not consider Anchorage to be a location with a growing skateboarding community. But Garrett Swenson, a lifelong Alaskan and...

Making Delicious Jelly from Spruce Trees | INDIE ALASKA

Alaska in the spring is a blossoming green wonderland to harvest and forage for wild edible plants. Lisa Brandstetter takes advantage of many of these spring treats, but a favorite for her...