Ryan's Story

After more than five years of living in Seattle, Washington we have returned to Alaska.  I am an Alaskan at heart and feel that I have returned home.  Most anyone who grew up in Alaska or has spent a significant amount of time in "The Great Land" can understand.  In fact, before I met Molly I never would have considered living anywhere else, but things change and I really enjoyed my time in The Pacific Northwest.  Living out of state exposed me to a wonderful breadth of opportunities and made be a better person.  For now we are back in Alaska, starting a new chapter of our lives together, this is our story.

I was born and raised in Palmer, Alaska.  Palmer has changed a lot over the last three decades but the natural beauty of the Matanuska Valley has remained.  The mountains and glaciers inspired both my career choices and my lifestyle.

Weekends spent at our family cabin north of Talkeetna were also a big influence.  My parents built the cabin on a remote lake in the early 70's when they first moved to Alaska.  To get to the cabin in the summer, we would ride the flagstop train a short distance north of town.  Through my childhood eyes the walk through the woods to the cabin was an epic adventure.  With Dad leading the way down a wet and entirely overgrown trail, I was always impressed when we would stagger out of the woods right on target.  Winter was an always an equally impressive adventure - a family of four on a 1982 Yamaha ET snow-machine and an old stand up sled.  These are memories I hold dear.

By the time I graduated from high school I knew I wanted to be a Geologist.  I didn't really understand what geologist did but I knew I loved being in the mountains and I knew I liked science and I saw this as a way to bring those two things together.  In the fall of 1999 Mom and I took a road trip to Fairbanks to visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  I will never forget my meeting with the ecstatic Dr. Rainer Newberry, never before had I meet someone who was so excited and passionate about their work. After that trip attending UAF was an easy decision.

After four years and many adventures, I obtained my BS in Geology.  By then I had fallen in love with a beautiful and amazingly bright young woman.  Molly was still at least a year away from graduating and I was not ready to move on.  I applied to graduate school at the Geophysical Institute and was accepted to work with Dr. Jeff Freymueller.

Working with Dr. Freymueller was a privilege.  Our work together using GPS to analyze the tectonics of the Western Alaska and the Bearing Plate was fascinating.  By 2007 everything seemed to be coming together for a monumental year.

Over the course of a just a few months I finished my thesis, graduated with my MS is Geophysics, climbed Denali with two incredible friends, married the love of my life, and moved to Seattle.

In Seattle I landed an interesting job as a marine geophysicist.  Over the five years at my job with Tetra Tech I traveled to every corner of the nation and beyond.  Perhaps the best thing about my job was that it is always different.  New location, new client, new purpose for the survey and changing equipment.

Molly and I settled into Seattle, bought a house and came to love the temperate climate and great people.  In the fall of 2012 I came across a job advertisement for a Marine Geophysicist with TerraSond in my hometown on Palmer, AK.  I thought to myself, "this job was made for me... could this be my calling that it is time to return to Alaska?"  I applied for the job and knew I was in for some big changes.  Over the course of many months we moved our belonging, sold our house in Seattle, and purchased a lovely townhouse condo in Eagle River.  Clearly this is a big new chapter in our lives together.