Audra Van Ekeren

Audra Van Ekeren

Department: Environmental Compliance

Position: Environmental Scientist

Location: Rapid City, SD


What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read or watched? Outlander – both the book series and the TV show!
What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it? Sewing historical garments using historical methods.
What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue? Thru-hiking major national and international trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail or the Camino de Santiago.
What have you created that you are most proud of? My long exposure photograph of comet NEOWISE.
What’s the most amazing place in nature you’ve been? Isla San Jose in Murcielago Bay of the coast of Costa Rica. The island is a 2 hour boat ride around the tip of Guanacaste National Park which is completely closed off to the public except for park rangers and researchers. There were bioluminescent plankton in the water and fireflies on the island. There was a new moon while I was there, so I could see all of the Milky Way. Quite literally everything was sparkling on this island at night. Olive ridley sea turtles and green sea turtles would nest on the beach at night. During the day I would go do fish surveys in the bay, and I got to snorkel with a massive eagle ray for a couple minutes. The porcupinefish were really curious about us and would nibble our clipboards. There was a sleeping nurse shark that we could dive down and observe. It was a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience!