Growing up as the youngest of four on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, Kristina had a rough and tumble childhood of riding horses, wrestling calves and building barbed-wire fence. The open expanse and isolation of the prairies cultivated her limitless curiosity. It wasn’t just the world at hand she craved to explore, but all the corners of the globe. To this day Kristina can attest that the first map she ever bought still hangs upside-down on the ceiling of her room at the farm where she used to fall asleep staring at far off countries in wonder.
Kristina moved to Montreal and attended McGill University, where she double majored in biology and physical geography. Taking every field opportunity that came her way, she studied marine mammals in New Brunswick and glacial till in Quebec, and spent three months living out of an army tent and a Land Rover while traveling across East Africa. Remote fieldwork would become her passion for the years to come. She worked on carbon dioxide and methane emissions in the subarctic and nitrogen fixation in Sphagnum moss. Her work in the latter would go on to be published in the scientific journal Botany
. University also marked the beginning of guiding for Kristina. She became a tour guide and science outreach facilitator at Redpath Natural History Museum.
After graduation, Kristina went on to do more remote fieldwork in northern Alberta for a biodiversity monitoring company. She also worked for Grasslands National Park as a heritage presenter. However, the North was still calling. Before anyone could talk her out of it, she moved to the Yukon and became a handler for a long-distance dog sledding kennel. Her third time on a dog sled was a 100 mile race. She learned quick and loved it all the more for the harsh northern lifestyle.
Before returning to fieldwork, Kristina moved to Manitoba and completed her private pilot’s license. She also took some time off for personal development and lived in a Shaolin temple in the south of China. If you’re looking for Kristina in the summer, you can find her soil sampling in Labrador or the Yukon. Come fall, you'll find her in Churchill with the polar bears. No matter the season she is criss-crossing Canada’s north and making it home.