Hello! I’m Mary Kate Repetski, also go by MK. I live on Dena’ina lands in Anchorage, AK. I’m currently in the Ethnobotany occupational endorsement program and this is my second class. I work full time for the National Park Service but really look forward to the opportunity to take time to learn more about the world around me and the place I feel so grateful to live. My family changed our consonant-riddled last name when they immigrated to the US many years ago, but it stems from the Polish word “Rzepa” which means turnip, so I joke that plants are ‘rooted’ in my blood. Having fruit and vegetable plants was always a fixture in my childhood but it was not until I was an adult living in Alaska that I found a love and appreciation for foraging. I have my master’s degree from Alaska Pacific University where my thesis work was in garlic production in Alaska. Very stoked to be here and learn more during our short time together!
I don’t think I could possibly choose a favorite plant, but this oxytropis nigrescens brought me a lot of joy when hiking last weekend.
Welcome Mary Kate,
great to have you in class, and I hope we can add a little more to your botanical knowledge base in this class. Garlic production sounds like a lot of fun. I have not tried them in my garden yet, but maybe next year I will give it a try. I have worked a bit on Oxytropis and had a M.S. student working on the Arctobia complex that includes Oxytropis nigrescens, some people prefer the name Oxytropis bryophila for this species. I too came across it last weekend on our hike at Bison Gulch, near Denali. It is a very cute little cushion plant and the pods have lots of hairs, which makes it stand out in the fall too. Great you are following your “roots”!