Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Jennifer "Jen" Raffaeli

Jennifer "Jen" Raffaeli

Jennifer "Jen" Raffaeli manages the sled dog kennels at Alaska's Denali National Park. She was born in Minnesota in 1975, and as a child loved animals and the outdoors, and as a teenager competed in horse jumper competitions. In 1998, she came to Alaska for a summer job at a ecotourism lodge in Cooper Landing. She became interested in dog mushing when taking tourists to visit Jeff King's Husky Homestead near Denali National Park. In the winter of 1999, she worked for Arleigh Jorgenson in northern Minnesota helping take visitors on dog sled adventures. Here she learned about dog mushing, as well as about cold weather camping and survival. She also spent a winter training dogs for Ed Iten near Kotzebue, Alaska and then was a dog handler for musher Ken Anderson in Fox, Alaska. In 2010, Jen ran a team of dogs in the Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race. She was hired as the kennel manager in April 2010, where she operates Denali National Park's sled dog education program, maintains the health and welfare of the Park's sled dogs, and uses the dogs on service projects throughout the Park. See the Denali National Park website for more information about the sled dog kennels and the role of sled dogs in cleaning up the wilderness (including a short video clip of a clean up effort in Gates of the Arctic National Park). To keep up with the kennels' current activities, see their blog, "Runnin' With the Kennels."

Take a guided tour of Denali National Park's sled dog kennels with kennel manager, Jennifer Raffaeli (April 27, 2015; 19:41 min.).

Jennifer "Jen" Raffaeli appears in the following new Jukebox projects: