Erica McCall Valentine Introduction

Hello, my name is Erica McCall Valentine.  My apologies for starting this class a wee-bit late.  I wear a number of “hats” and over the course of much of last week I was attending to a doula client.  Yes, you read that right, I said “much of last week”.  The woman I was assisting was active labor for three days so I was focused on her instead of this class.  Supporting women in pregancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding isn’t my full-time job.  I’m also a social scientist focused on contemporary uses of subsistence (wild) foods and a (sometimes) adjuct instructor for the UAF ethnobotany (EBOT) program.  My interest in plants began when I first moved to Alaska at the age of 14.  That first summer up here I recieved Verna Pratt’s “Alaska Wildflowers” guidebook as a birthday present.  I spent a lot of time in the woods around our new house in Palmer, Alaska, and this book was my constant companion.  Over the years, my interest in plants continued to grow.  Not only do we – my family – harvest and use wild plants, my work also touches on human use of plants as food and medicine.  Currently, my husband and I live in Fairbanks, Alaska, with our two kids who are 13 and 10. Over the years, we’ve lived in a number of communities throughout Alaska – Palmer, Fairbanks (twice), Kodiak (twice), Cordova, Girdwood, and Talkeetna (my husband’s hometown- Hi Jayme!!).  I’m taking this class because I want to know more about the plants that the people I work with use, and as an adjunct instructor for the EBOT program I want to know what the EBOT students are learning as well.  Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself.  I look forward to learning more about and from each of you as this class continues.


My macrolens set up and loupe to aid in closer plant inspections


  1. Jayme

    Hello friend! I was wondering where you were & now, I know! Wow! Once again, I’m impressed by you & all you do! I look forward to being in touch a little with you this way & really hope to talk about an EBOT minor option soon! 🙂

  2. Hello Erica,
    Happy to see your post and to have you as a fellow student. I was just thinking about what was going on about a year ago. I was frantically trying to get those EBOT100 assignments done and planning my first trip to Alaska. I miss the elders in Hooper Bay and have been wondering how they’re doing. I’ve also been thinking about the great memories of hanging out on the tundra and learning about plants with you and Lisa. Hope all is well with you and your family.

    Sooooo, boy or girl?

    1. Erica McCall Valentine

      Hi Rachel! I can’t believe HPB was a year ago! Time flies! I, too, am glad to continue to learn along side you. 🙂

      My doula client had a girl. Thanks for asking. I visited with them on Thursday and they’re doing very well!

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