Zoë Rom is ready to face the challenges of the Yukon Quest as KUAC’s reporter. Throughout the 1,000-mile sled dog race, she’ll be on the lookout for engrossing, compelling and captivating stories to share with KUAC FM listeners.
The race starts Feb. 3 in Fairbanks, with Rom arriving a week in advance in time for the “Meet the Mushers” party, the kickoff banquet and other preliminary events.
Rom grew up on a farm in Arkansas, climbing apple trees and backpacking the Ozark Mountains. After high school, she moved to New Mexico to be a backpacking guide, then returned to her home sate to get a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Arkansas. Her emphasis was on eco-poetics and she studied the writings renowned environmental authors, continuing to guide in New Mexico over the summers.
Currently, Rom is a student at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she is studying for a master’s degree in environmental journalism. Her work has appeared on KUAF public radio, and in the Arkansas Times, Arkansas Wild, Eat Arkansas Blog, Food & Farm Magazine, Rock & Ice, Trail Runner, Backpacker and Threshold Podcast.
When she’s not writing or studying, Rom explores the great outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, ice climbing or fishing. She is also an ultra-runner and huge fan of dogs.
“The Yukon Quest is totally up my alley,” Rom said. “I’m excited to learn about another winter sport and becoming a part of this race that is so embedded in the community.”
Rom is passionate about telling good stories, especially about people who are chasing their obsessions. “I hope to capture that and put the KUAC listeners in the field with me,” she said. “I want them to feel like part of the race.”
Since Rom spent time in northern Norway last year writing about the history of sea ice exploration for Discover magazine, she knows that preparing for the Yukon Quest requires serious preparation. “I’m stocking up on long underwear,” she said. “And I’m researching this race. I’m amazed at the effort it takes to maintain dog teams.
“I love dogs, being outside, holding a microphone and meeting people. This feels like a dream job.”
Listen to KUAC’s Yukon Quest reports beginning Feb. 2 and continuing throughout the race on FM 89.9 weekday mornings at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 following the local news and at 12:30 p.m. Weekend reports are at 7:35 and 8:35 a.m.