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Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Heidi Schoppenhorst moved to Wiseman, Alaska in 1971 with her parents, Rick and June Reakoff, and her brother, Jack, and sister, Missy. She was home schooled and grew up living a subsistence lifestyle based upon hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering. When they first moved to Wiseman, the Dalton Highway had not yet been built, so the only way to access the community was by airplane. Her father was a hunting guide and pilot so they also lived at Chandalar Lake, where he based some of his guiding operations. As an adult, Heidi has worked a variety of jobs from commercial fishing to postmaster, cook, assistant hunting guide, lodge owner, and interpretive ranger. She and her husband, Scott Schoppenhorst, operate Boreal Lodge in Wiseman, and in the summertime she works at the Arctic Inter-Agency Visitor Center in Coldfoot, Alaska where she shares her experiences of living off the land and knowledge of the region's natural and cultural history.