Every class taught by Andrea Bersamin, professor in the Department of Biology and Wildlife at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, begins with a rundown of her favorite childhood reading materials.

At a young age, she begged her mother for a subscription to Bon Appétit, a monthly cooking and culinary arts magazine, and had a unique fascination with the world’s best-selling medical textbook, the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. She and her sister reveled in a series of detective books, which instructed the reader on how to become a skilled sleuth.

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