Tyler Andrew Eggen graduated May 6 from the University of Indiana with a Master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. Eggen attended kindergarten through 11th grade in Haines and graduated Sitka High School in 2004. He graduated University of Alaska Anchorage in 2009 with a degree in sociology. Tyler’s parents, Andy and Kathy Eggen of Sitka, attended the graduation ceremony with his sister Sarah Roper of Fort Worth, Texas.

 

Jenny Wren St. Hilaire graduated nursing school at Seattle Community College with several of her family in attendance, including her children, Kaya Ramirez, 13, and Faith St. Hilaire, 9; her mother, Kay MacCready and step-father, Dan Fleissner; and aunt, Beth MacCready. Wren is currently applying for hospital positions and hopes to work in oncology.

 

The Asper family home is full of excitement this summer. Linn and Mary Asper’s three children, Deborah, Leif and Gabe, are all in Haines with their families. Deborah and her son Alex, 7, live in Haines. Leif and his wife Erika Johnson brought up their children Eli, 3, and Leah, 1, from their home in Berkeley, Calif. Gabe traveled from his home in Saipan with sons Mark, 5, and Ace, 2, while his wife Preciousa spends the summer working towards her nursing degree. The family has been busy boating and hiking. They are also spending time with Mary’s sister Julie Folta and her husband Dick at their home on Lutak Inlet. The Foltas’ grandson Sean is working in Haines this summer. Their son Nick Folta recently arrived in Haines and son Greg Folta joins the group this week from Guam with his daughters Kristina and Anna.

 

Pat Annis enjoyed her first visit to Haines since her son, Bill Annis, moved here in 1996. Pat lives in Lafayette, Ind. She had a great time walking around town with Bill, visiting the Eagle Foundation and Alaska Indian Arts, and talking with Fred Shields at his gift shop. Local guide Don Poling took Pat and Bill on a driving tour of the eagle preserve. Pat, who is 86 and an avid gardener, especially enjoyed identifying the native plants along the highway and walking trails. The trip was a gift from Pat’s brother, and included four nights on the ferry from Bellingham.

 

Jean and Ron Smith are hosting friends Glenn and Pam Moffatt, who live in Missoula, Mont. Glenn worked as a special education teacher and basketball coach in Haines from 1985 to 1987. Glenn’s last visit to Haines was in 1995.   Glenn and Pam took a trip to Juneau to catch up with Steve and Jan McPhetres last weekend. Steve is the former school superintendent and hired Glenn. One of the first students Glenn met was James Sage, who turned out to be one of his key players on the boys’ basketball team. Glenn enjoys catching up with the “kids” he coached, including James and Doug Olerud. He also is looking forward to seeing Ed Hays, who was a colleague at the school. The Moffatts are in Haines through the Fourth of July.

 

Rowan Huff was the center of attention at his first birthday party, hosted at the home of his grandparents Lauren and Lyle Huff. Rowan and his parents, Kelly and Renee Huff, live in Fairbanks and spent four days in Haines visiting family and friends. Ryan and Jen Huff came up from Juneau with their son Cayman for the celebration.

 

Tim Shields is home in Haines following a “full spring of herpetology (the study of amphibians).” Tim spent two months in the Mojave Desert studying tortoises before heading down to Jamaica for two weeks of research work. He met his daughter Iris Holmes to assist with her last field trip collecting data on the island’s frog population. Iris graduated from Cornell University in 2010 and has spent the past 10 months in Jamaica as part of a Fulbright grant. Tim and Iris set out on nighttime hunts with headlamps to spot the tiny amphibians. Once she collected her final samples she headed back to Ithaca, N.Y. to analyze the data. Iris will return home to Haines Saturday for the summer. Tim stayed in Jamaica an additional week to assist with a separate project documenting the nesting behaviors of the Jamaican Iguana. Only a few dozen mating females remain of the species, which exhibit fierce territorial behaviors around their limited nesting grounds. Tim is developing a system for recognizing individual iguanas in order to track their habits. He will create a photographic field guide that includes every female of the critically endangered iguana. Tim also helped tag American Crocodile. He caught four croc hatchlings while their mother surveyed the work from the water. Later in the day he chased a five-and-a-half-foot crocodile through the swamp to tag the animal. Tim was given the chance to subdue the animal himself by straddling its back and clamping his hands over its snout. After an exciting moment when he lost his grip, with the crocodile between his legs, Tim did manage to capture the animal.

 

Anne Hanssen enjoyed a mini college reunion at Black Butte Ranch near Sisters, Ore. with six of her classmates from Scripts College. Following the get together she headed down to Chico, Calif. to visit her brother Rob Lambert and his wife Barbara Heidinger. She timed her trip to coincide with a classical music festival in Fulsom, Calif. organized by pianist Tien Hsieh, who performed in Haines in February. Anne got to know Tien during her Haines visit and was delighted to be able to attend a Master Class performance of “absolutely amazing” young pianists. Tien, who has fond memories of her Haines trip, was happy to see a friendly face.

 

                Emily Figdor and her husband Steven Biel are in Haines for two weeks to visit Emily’s uncle George Figdor. Emily and Steven were in Haines last summer with their daughter Bella and returned this summer with Bella, 3, and her sister Harper, who is 2 months old. They are planning a backpacking trip in Kluane National Park. George hooked them up with Kim Phillips, who is a certified car seat technician. Kim lent the family car seats and instructed the family on proper installation.