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Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Susan Fredricks first arrived in Alaska in 1978. She first lived in Haines, and then moved to Skagway in 1986. She has held a variety of jobs, including jewelry store sales, running a daycare facility, and providing wildlife tours for summer visitors. In the 1980s, when Skagway was faced with possible lead contamination from ore trucks passing through town to the docks, Susan was an active participant in the community's response with the "Get Out The Lead" group. She retired from being a tour operator and guide in 2016, and continues to reside in Skagway, where she is an avid gardener, a keen observer of and protector of the natural environment, and enjoys outdoor recreational activities. As a long term Skagway resident whose life has focused on the natural world, Susan has observed and is concerned about environmental and climate change in her community.