The Sitka Sound Science Center, through funding from the National Science Foundation, has established a Scientist in Residency Fellowship (SIRF) at the Center in Sitka. Since 2012, fellowships have been awarded to preeminent marine scientists from across the country. The SIRF program brings scientists to Sitka for one month sabbaticals to allow them time to work undisturbed by their usual daily routine. The program also provides community engagement opportunities for scientists to share their research and to help improve ocean literacy in our community.

2017 SIRF Applications Now Available!

2017 PSIRF poster Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 11.22.11 AM

PRESS RELEASE – PSIRF Application Announcement

SIRF Fellowship Letter and Application

Frequently Asked Questions about the SSSC Scientist in Residency Fellowship


2015/2016 Scientists

Allen Pope

NSIDC, University of Colorado & Polar Science Center, University of Washington

Allen is a postdoctoral research associate working at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado and the Polar Science Center in Seattle, Washington. Originally from Newton, Massachusetts, he earned his BA from Harvard University in 2008 (Chemistry and Earth & Planetary Sciences, citation in French), as well as a Masters and PhD in Polar Studies from Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute in 2009 and 2013, respectively. As a glaciologist and remote sensing specialist, Allen has been lucky enough to work with satellite imagery from around the world and conduct fieldwork in Alaska (Juneau Icefield), Canada, Nepal, Antarctica, Iceland, Svalbard, and even Namibia. You can see a video of some of Allen's earlier work here in "What Color is a Glacier?".  Allen has been extensively involved in organizations such as the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, the American Geophysical Union, and the Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces. His current research projects include studying Landsat 8 applications to the cryosphere as well as investigating drivers of elevation change in West Antarctica. In his free time, Allen likes hiking, skiing, (acro)yoga, and baking with as much chocolate as possible.

You can see more about Allen's research here. He also tweets about his science @PopePolar.    (February 2016)

Colleen Duncan

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University

Colleen Duncan is an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins, CO.  Colleen obtained her veterinary degree from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon, Canada and went on to study epidemiology in at both the WCVM and CSU followed by an anatomic pathology residency at CSU.  In her current position, Colleen works as a pathologist at the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, teaches veterinary students and is involved in a variety of research projects.  Colleen likes to combine her skills as a diagnostician with her training in epidemiology to investigate health events in groups of animals, particularly wildlife.  Colleen is on sabbatical with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative for 2015-2016 and working on tools to better study the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on the health of wild animals. (March 2016)

Jennifer Purcell

Shannon Point Marine Center of Western Washington University

Jennifer (Jenny) Purcell received her PhD in 1981 from the University of California, Santa Barbara, followed by postdoctoral appointments at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and Assistant Professor at Oregon State University to Full Professor the University of Maryland. She currently is a Marine Scientist at the Shannon Point Marine Center of Western Washington University. She is the author of over 115 publications, editor of four symposium volumes, and associate editor of Marine Biology. She has studied the trophic interactions and population dynamics of pelagic cnidarians and ctenophores in many regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans. She explores the roles of jellyfish as predators and competitors of zooplanktivorous fish and climate effects on the formation of jellyfish blooms. (April 2016)

Read more about her work here.

Heather Ward

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, Geospatial Research Laboratory

Dr. Heather Ward works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’, Engineer Research and Development Center, Geospatial Research Laboratory. Her environmental security research helps commanders and strategic planners understand the environment as ‘cause and cure’ for conflict and navigate the many interconnected social-ecological systems (SES) they need to consider during full-spectrum operations. Current research interests involve formulating arctic and subarctic social-ecological schemas, outlining unique vulnerabilities and resiliencies of coastal megacities, and exploring ‘senses of place.’ Dr. Ward also serves as adjunct faculty in East Carolina University’s Department of Geography, Planning and the Environment and as editor of the Journal of Military Geography.  (October - November 2016)

Past Scientists

For more information, contact SIRF Director, Lauren Bell at