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“A call that changed my life”

Rolland and sled dogs

We continue to be amazed – both by the challenges that life in rural Alaska presents, and by the goodwill and hard work that those challenges bring forth from those within our KNOM family. This month, we conclude with the reflections of our volunteer engineer Rolland Trowbridge.

[box]The following is an excerpt; we encourage you to read Rolland’s full story (.PDF file).[/box]

The PrecipiceA year ago, I received a call from KNOM’s general manager, Ric Schmidt, asking if I knew anything about automatic generator controls. Little did I know that that call would be a call to mission – and a call that would change my life.

I came to Nome on my family’s sailboat in 2009 after sailing over Canada through the Northwest Passage. We started in Michigan after ten years of preparation to take an epic trip with no clue where we would end up… After completing the passage, a storm ripped away our life raft, and we put into Nome to make repairs… Soon, we settled in and made Nome home.

I signed on for a year, and what a year. Every day, Nome’s environment does its worst… with extreme elements trying to tear apart everything that exists. Fortunately, KNOM has decades of experience in dealing with this. It is a true pleasure to work on something that has been built and designed to handle the environment it is in… I think I will be staying a while.

There has been a razor-sharp focus at KNOM for more than 40 years to build and maintain a reliable, low-cost-to-maintain station. I am proud to be part of it.

In the coming months, look for more from Rolland in a new segment for the Static: an Engineer’s Corner, with updates on KNOM’s equipment. Photos: Rolland, a sled dog musher, with one of his dogs; Rolland and family aboard their sailboat, the Precipice.

Again, you can read more of Rolland’s incredible story here.


This article is part of the May 2013 edition of our newsletter, The Nome Static.

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Christmas 2023

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.

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