The young woman who was killed by a black bear in mid-June while working in Alaska had deep ties to Colorado.

Erin K. Johnson grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, but both her parents, Barb and Steve, are Colorado State University graduates.

Her uncle is the owner of JAX Outdoor Gear, Ranch, and Home.

Erin, 27, was a geologist and botanist, and she studied at the University of Montana and the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Her family says she was an “outdoors woman extraordinaire” who had a “wonderful energy, quirky sense of humor, dedication, sparkle, generosity, and talent” that touched everyone she met.

She loved to explore and had a deep passion to share her love for nature with others. Her family established The Erin K. Johnson Memorial Fund because of this love.

All contributions to the fund will support science education and outdoor youth activities.

Erin’s family left a message they want to share with others:

“In honor of Erin, please hug your family, friends, and coworkers. Tell them that you care and then take time to get outdoors together and enjoy and explore the wonderful natural world we share. If you can, share the joys of the outdoors with a friend or a child. Erin would approve of that!”