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Layton J. "LJ" Lockett

12th Grade, Nelson Lagoon School,
Shumagin Islands, Alaska


Salah "L.J."Aboulhada

"L.J." Lockett
When asked to describe L.J., one teacher called him "a 'techie' with heart." It is an apt description of the 17-year-old senior who lives in the remote village of Nelson Lagoon, in Alaska's Shumagin Islands region. L.J. is the school's webmaster, responsible for, among other things, steerable web camera photography, web site and sophisticated video editing software. "I had a chance to talk with a Discovery Channel production team when they were filming the wreckage of a fishing vessel nearby," he says. "I was surprised to learn that they use the same software I do."

But his technical sophistication does not stop him from connecting with his fellow students. "I am especially grateful when someone offers to teach me something new, and, in turn, I like to motivate others to learn." It is this combination of skills that earned him a berth on the Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced.

There are few activities outside of school for teenagers in this small, isolated community, but L.J. manages to keep himself very busy. He oversees the Bering Sea Beach Ball Company, a business that sells glass floats on the Internet. He's organized fund-raising events for the student council, fixed computers in the school district, and, during summer vacation, cooked in a local restaurant. "I haven't traveled in other parts of Alaska," he says, "but I love the Mat-Su Valley. I like to hike in spots that haven't been touched by development, particularly on dense forest trails that end at a quiet stream." A science fiction and mystery fan, he recommends The Testament by John Grisham as a good read. "But anyone interested in the Harriman Expedition should definitely read Looking Far North."

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For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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