Monica ZappaHometown: Kasilof, Alaska
Monica Zappa, 34 was born and raised in Wisconsin, where she lived until she went to graduate school in Oklahoma. After finishing grad school in 2010, Monica moved to Alaska to try mushing and fishing. She says she sort of began mushing as a kid but started for real in 2010 and decided she wanted to run the Iditarod when she watched the 2012 start. She says, “I feel beyond fortunate to be participating in my fifth Iditarod and am excited to hopefully see the southern route for the first time. I love nothing more than the serenity of being out in the wilderness for days on end with my canine companions. The trail is the only place my mind can be quiet, away from the endless chatter of modern society. In addition to taking in wild Alaska from the back of a dog sled, I take pride in doing what I can to protect the Alaskan wilderness and its precious resources from exploitation. My partner, Tim Osmar, and I commercially salmon fish in the summer and we care deeply about protecting the wild salmon habitat in Alaska. Over the past six years, we have collaborated with various advocacy groups including Trout Unlimited, Renewable Resource Coalition, Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet Keeper, Earth Justice, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Stand for Salmon, Northern Center for the Environment, and more.” Last year, Monica was recognized as Alaska’s Activist of the Year for her persistent commitment to challenging foreign mining companies that threaten our Alaska way of life.