Chantelle Carter Introduction

Hello everyone! I was a classroom teacher before taking a position with the Ohio Department of Education. I taught Biology for a few years about 24 years ago…so as I watched the videos for this week, I had a sense of familiarity. I taught nomenclature, using dichotomous keys and my students had to complete a leaf collection. Our school had a land lab for outdoor learning. They also had to learn the Latin names for our most common trees. This was in Ohio where I suspect there was a greater diversity in the types of trees than here in Alaska. I also taught biomes in Environmental Science. Growing up in a temperate deciduous forest, I am so very happy to be exploring the boreal forest on the peninsula where we have purchased property.

I was fortunate enough during my teaching career to have been selected as a PolarTREC teacher which is what brought me to Alaska. I fell in love and have been making plans for the past 10 years to come back permanently. My two daughters have graduated from college and we are finally building our retirement cabin on the peninsula. I am super excited about this course because I want to know ALL the plants that we have on our property. For me, it is like a fairytale dreamland with the mosses and lichens and berries. I can’t wait to learn all the things! I love to berry pick – both here and in Ohio. I am looking forward to learning when and where to find the best berries. Right now, my trips sees to always be in alignment with crowberry and low bush cranberry season. I also love to hunt mushrooms – but have not yet done that in Alaska. Our family is a very active, outdoor family. We love to explore nature, camp and really have a passion for learning new things. I am on the Board of Directors for the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska and believe this learning will yield itself to some exciting learning experiences for students on the peninsula. I would like to write a grant to bring this vision into reality. I am very excited to be in this class!

I plan to use my iPhone 11 ProMax and I have asked my husband to build me the cute little microscope stand. I can’t wait to “meet” all of you.


  1. Welcome Chantelle,
    wow, it sounds like you have a long history with education and biology. So excited to have you in class, and I hope the class can fulfill some of the gaps in your flora knowledge of Alaska. Not sure how much we can contribute to directing you to the best berry spots, but we will try to guide you towards figuring out with ones are the good ones and which lookalikes to avoid. When I talk about poisonous plants, we often end up talking about baneberry and it can be tricky for little kids to recognize the red berries of baneberry and tell them apart from the edible high-bush cranberries. Of course the leaves of these two look very different and baneberry has an elongate infructescence with red berries, but the berries are both red and almost of the same size. Baneberries have a little notch in the berry that high-bush cranberries lack. The flowers of baneberry are just gorgeous, despite the plant being poisonous. Lots of fun things to learn, but this class will only scratch the surface.

  2. Blake Spears

    Welcome Chantelle, I agree that any patch of land you wander here in Alaska you can find so many different plants and wildlife that thrive alongside each other. It’s amazing to see.

  3. Chantelle Carter

    I am leaving a comment to my own post. I am travelling from Ohio to Kenai tomorrow and will be in Alaska for the rest of the class. Check out this new “pocketbook” I bought. Regular laptop for reference!! So far – I LOVE it!

Comments are closed.