780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Where I’ve Landed

Zoe reads her first newscast live on air

I don’t like beginnings.

Starting my year of service at KNOM as the outgoing volunteers were saying their goodbyes was particularly strange. I’m so glad I got to meet Lauren and Tyler, although it was somewhat bewildering to pop into their lives as they were rushing around to finish projects, revisit favorite Nome haunts, cross off final bucket list items, and see everyone who made their year here what it was. When I arrived three weeks ago, I mainly felt excited, nervous, and a little homesick. Seeing Lauren and Tyler move through their final days here I wondered, what will I possibly be feeling in a year?

I don’t like beginnings because I like to be up to my ears in an experience, and that takes time. But this beginning has been pretty excellent. Those three weeks have flown by, and in that time, I’ve learned how to use most of the equipment I’ll interact with at the station, taken over the late afternoon DJ shift, settled into reading the noon newscast live, and started writing my own news stories and daydreaming for Story49. I’ve also gotten to make s’mores at a couple beach bonfires, hike up Anvil Mountain (twice!), gather nice collections of sea glass and qiviut (super soft and warm musk ox wool you can find in clumps on the tundra), jump into the Bering Sea, change my hairstyle (and then give myself bangs), take part in zumba class and pick-up soccer at the gym, and go four-wheeling across the tundra. I even saw some moose!

Zoe and Karen show off their muskox wool beards. Photo: Trop/KNOM.

Zoe and Karen show off their qiviut beards, made from muskox wool gathered on the tundra atop Anvil Mountain. Photo: Trop/KNOM.

One of the best parts of my beginning here in Nome has been getting to know my new coworkers at KNOM. It’s a wonderful team of people, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. I am especially grateful to Karen, who is sticking around for a second year as a volunteer and has been my shepherd both in and out of the station. For my first audioblog, she interviewed me about my hopes for the year — and about my very first audio endeavor, circa 1998. You can hear our conversation, and some of that very special archival tape, by clicking the media player at the top of the page.

I am so excited to be here in Nome. I can’t wait to see what this year will hold.

Image at top: Zoe reads her first newscast, live on air. Photo: DeMaioribus/KNOM.


  1. localipblog on July 14, 2017 at 2:28 pm


  2. Mary L Giveen on July 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Five year old Zoe! One of my all-time favorite people!

  3. North on July 17, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    So excited for you! Love from your Northern California family