STAFF MEMBERS

Lisa Busch

Executive Director

lbusch@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878 ext. 5

Lisa Busch is the Executive Director of the Sitka Sound Science Center. She is responsible for operations and organizational development and health. She has extensive informal science education and community organizing experience. A graduate of Tufts University, she majored in geology and environmental studies. She also holds a masters degree in Northern Studies from University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lisa also produces the award winning natural history radio series Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North. She was a AAAS Science and Engineering in the Mass Media Fellow and a Ted Scripps Fellow for Environmental Journalism. She is a hiker, a runner and a mother of two girls.

Victoria O’Connell

Research Director

voconnell@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878 ext. 7

Victoria O’Connell is the Research Director of the Sitka Sound Science Center. Ms. O’Connell served as Groundfish Project Leader for the Southeast Region groundfish project of Alaska Department of Fish and Game and was responsible for research and management of state managed groundfish in Southeast Alaska. Tory’s work has been funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Undersea Research Center, Alaska State Department of Fish and Game and the North Pacific Research Board. She has worked extensively as a scientist in the schools presenting and developing unique hands-on activities for the Sitka School District, Sheldon Jackson College, and University of Alaska Southeast. She is the mother of two grown daughters and enjoys visiting them in the far corners of the world where they live.

Mia Kuartei

Sitka WhaleFest Director & Science Outreach Coordinator

mkuartei@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878 ext. 2

Mia Kuartei is the Sitka WhaleFest Director and Science Outreach Coordinator for the Sitka Sound Science Center.  She has an M.Ed. in Learning Design & Technology from the University of Alaska Southeast and earned her undergraduate degrees in International Studies and Secondary Education - Social Studies from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.  After teaching and working in curriculum development, Mia spent more than 10 years working in Community and Youth Development Programs in South Seattle and San Francisco.  Mia loves the island life in Sitka, being on or under the sea, and exploring the outdoors with her husband, Truman, an active duty U.S. Coast Guard member.

Brooke Volschenk

Finance Director

bvolschenk@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878 ext. 4

Brooke Volschenk is the Finance Director of the Sitka Sound Science Center. She came to the Science Center from around the corner, previously working as the accountant for Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services. Brooke was born in South Africa, but spent most of her childhood in Sitka and returned as a young adult to continue her studies in Accounting at University of Alaska Southeast. She spends her spare time hiking, playing tennis (when it’s dry enough) and reading anything she can get her hands on.

Angie Bowers

Aquaculture Director

abowers@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878 ext. 6

Angie Bowers is the Aquaculture Director of the Sitka Sound Science Center. Before coming to the Science Center, she worked in aquaculture on Baranof Island for almost 10 years with NSRAA and spent several years as the manager of Medvejie Hatchery. She studied Biology and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and recently got her Graduate Certificate in Fisheries Management from Oregon State University. When not at the Science Center, she can be found playing with her 5 year old daughter Wren, camping, fishing, or wandering in the woods looking for mushrooms or things to photograph.

Lauren Bell

Research Biologist, Director of Scientist in Residency Fellowship Program

lbell@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878 ext 9

Lauren Bell is a Research Biologist and the Director of the Scientist in Residency Fellowship (SIRF) Program at the Sitka Sound Science Center. She grew up playing on the ocean around her hometown of Homer, Alaska, and after receiving her bachelor of science in marine biology from Stanford University in California she returned to Alaska to study Arctic marine systems for her master's degree in marine biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lauren is especially enamored of intertidal and subtidal marine systems, and has used her training as a scientific diver to study marine life under the Arctic sea ice as well as along Alaska's more temperate shores.

Janet Clarke

Education Director

jclarke@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878 ext. 3

Janet Clarke is the Education Director at the Sitka Sound Science Center and coordinates the Scientists in the Schools Program. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech and Secondary Teaching Certificate from UAA; she has over 30 years of experience teaching science and math for middle and high school students.

Janet has another passion that is rather unique – racing sled dogs! For 15 years, Janet and her family raced and maintained a sled dog kennel in Eagle River, Alaska. Janet holds the top finishing spot (3rd place!) from South Central Alaska in the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race! While she no longer runs sled dogs, Janet is the Race Marshall for sled dog races and is currently the only Alaskan certified by the International Federation of Sled Dog Sports, as a race marshall!

Blake Conaway

Maintenance Manager

bconaway@sitkascience.org

(907) 747-8878, ext 6

Blake Conaway is the Maintenance Manager of the Sitka Sound Science Center. Blake moved to Baranof Island in 2009 to start work at Medvejie Hatchery as a Hatchery Technician.  After several rearing seasons with NSRAA, Blake traveled to the southern tip of the island to work at Port Armstrong Fish Hatchery as a Fish Culturist.  Most recently before joining the Science Centers team, he was the Engineer/Deck boss aboard the F/V Valle Lee, a Longline/ Freezer Troll vessel that operates out of Sitka.  If Blake is not out fishing, he can be found at home with his newborn son discovering the wonders of the world.

Dane McFadden

Electronic Monitoring Program Coordinator

dmcfadden@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878, ext 10

Dane grew up in southern California, working on his family's orange and avocado farm. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Earth Systems and then decided to move to Alaska to experience the colder climate. After exploring interior Alaska for a few years, Dane moved to Sitka and promptly fell in love with the mossy mountains and fish-filled ocean, and now calls this place home.

Ashwin Sreenivasan

Fisheries Fellow

asreenivasan@alaska.edu

Ashwin is originally from India and lives in Juneau, Alaska.  He got his B.S. degree in Chemistry, Botany, and Zoology from St. Joseph’s College in Bangalore, India.  He then moved to Florida, where he obtained another B.S. degree in Biology from Florida Atlantic University.  He received his M.S. in Biology from Northern Michigan University.  His thesis focused on comparing growth-related metabolic enzymes between river-resident and lake-resident brook trout.  To continue fisheries research, he moved to Alaska, obtaining a Ph.D. in Fisheries from the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2011.  His dissertation was on the growth physiology of juvenile Pacific herring, larval Pacific cod, and larval walleye pollock, using cellular nucleic acid ratios as a growth index.  He started working for the Sitka Sound Science Center in 2012.  His current research interests include studying growth rates, assimilation efficiencies, and consumption rates of juvenile rockfish, sablefish, and Pacific cod held at different temperatures and nutritional levels, using natural biomarkers.

Kristina Tirman

Science Education Coordinator

ktirman@sitkascience.org

(907) 747.8878 ext. 11

Kristina Tirman is the Science Education Coordinator at the Sitka Sound Science Center.  She grew up in the mountains of Truckee, California where she spent her time hiking, skiing, and paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe.  She headed south to the beach, for her B.S. in Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She moved to Sitka in October of 2015.

Matt Barr

AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer & Field Course Coordinator

vista@sitkascience.org

(907) 747-8878, ext 11

Matt (Mateyo) Barr is the AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at the Sitka Sound Science Center, where he works on increasing capacity within the education and research programs of the SSSC. Matt arrived to Sitka in November of 2016, just 4 months after living in Zambia, Africa for 13 months.  Matt is originally from Cleveland, Ohio where he obtained his B.S. in Biology and Chemistry at Cleveland State University. He has visited 12 countries in his life and loves experiencing new cultures and life styles.

Jarrod Yelton

Fish Culturist

jyelton@sitkascience.org

(907) 747-8878, ext 6

Jarrod Yelton is a Fish Culturist at the Sitka Sound Science Center (SSSC).  Jarrod previously worked for SSSC with the Chum Project for three seasons on field crews.  Originally from Wyoming, he has been involved in fish health inspections and tooth aging for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.  Most recently, Jarrod worked as a fish culturist for Armstrong Keta Inc. on the southern tip of Baranof Island.  He earned his Bachelors in Wildlife Management and Fisheries Biology from the University of Wyoming.  Jarrod is very excited to be at the Sitka Sound Science Center and for the amazing adventures Southeast Alaska has to offer.

Alexandra Lyons

Fisheries Technician

Alex is a Fisheries Technician at the Sitka Sound Science Center.  Alex earned her A.A.S. in Fisheries Technology at the University of Alaska Southeast and plans to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology. Originally from the Oregon Coast, she finds Sitka is the most beautiful place in the world! Alex loves anything that has to do with the ocean, hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, dancing and singing! Since her favorite sound is singing whales, it's safe to say she's found the perfect home in Sitka!

Connor Buxton

Interpretive Guide

Connor Buxton is a summer interpretive guide at the Sitka Sound Science Center.  He is a soon-to-be a senior at Sitka High School.  As a U.S. Coast Guard family member, Connor has moved many times and the ocean has always been a major part of his life.  He enjoys fishing, learning about marine biology and ecosystems, and participating in extra-curricular activities like track and field and cross country - as part of the state champion team!  Connor plans to attend college for electrical engineering and return to Alaska as an electrician.

Sonja Briles

Interpretive Guide

Sonja Briles is an interpretive guide at the Sitka Sound Science Center.  She started as a Sitka High School Work Experience Volunteer in Spring 2016 working with the Aquarium Manager in a variety of roles and projects to support the Molly O Alhgren Aquarium.  This summer, she joined our team to gain a broader experience during the busy summer season.  Sonja recently moved to Sitka from LaPine, Oregon and has been interested in marine biology for a long time.  When the opportunity came along to gain work experience towards her career goals, she was eager to join the SSSC team.  Sonja loves reading and the ocean - she can swim for hours without getting out of the water!

Summer Staff Members