2013/2014 Scientist in Residency Fellows

Nancy Huntly

Utah State University

Nancy grew up in rural Michigan and graduated from Kalamazoo College with a BA in Biology. She earned a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Arizona, where she studied how small plant-­‐eating mammals (pikas, pocket gophers, voles) affected the diversity and species of plant communities, especially in subalpine meadows. She was a post-­‐doctoral researcher at University of Minnesota with a Long Term Ecological Research project, then joined the faculty of Idaho State University, where she was a founder of the Center for Ecological Research and Education. Her research is on ecological diversity and, more recently, human ecology and the ways in people have influenced landscapes and biological diversity. She has studied the ecology and diversity of sagebrush steppe, deserts, old-­‐fields, alpine, subalpine, and montane areas and, since 2004, the human ecology of the northern Gulf of Alaska region. Her interests in Alaska are particularly in landscape legacies, food webs, and sustainable resource use. Nancy also is interested in the use of ecology in land, water, fish, and wildlife management, and served on the Independent Scientific Review Panel and Independent Science Advisory Board for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, NOAA Fisheries, and the Columbia River Tribes for 16 years. While here Nancy will be working on writing for publication some of the research she has done in the Sanak Archipelago and lower Alaska Peninsula region of Alaska. She will be the morning interview on KCAW Sitka, Monday morning August 25, and will give a public presentation on her Sanak Island work as the first Natural History Series talk of the season. Nancy will also give presentations at Sitka High School and Mt Edgecumbe High School. She will be in residence from August 22 through September 21. 

KCAW INTERVIEW

Matt Bracken

University of California, Irvine

grew up in Petersburg, Alaska, and spent time in the current SSSC facilities while attending the Sitka Summer Fine Arts Camp in the 1980s. He is excited about returning to the area to work with citizen scientists to gain long-term perspectives on how marine biodiversity has changed in the Sitka area over the past 70 years. Matt is currently an Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine, where his research evaluates the causes and consequences of biodiversity changes in marine ecosystems, including studies showing how nutrients, consumers, stress, and invasive species modify diversity in marine communities and how changes in species diversity and composition affect the services and functions provided by intact marine systems. Dr. Bracken was  in residence from early July through early August, 2014. 

KCAW INTERVIEW

Publication - "Warming and Elevated CO2 Interact to Drive Rapid Shifts in Marine Community Production"

Cascade Sorte

University of California, Irvine

Cascade is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of California-Irvine. She is interested in how climate change will influence the compositions of local communities and the distributions of species across broad regions. Her recent projects include exploring potential “coping mechanisms” that will allow species to persist in a changing climate. Cascade is looking forward to studying historical changes in the rocky intertidal and shallow subtidal communities around Sitka with an eye for predicting effects of future climate changes. (July 2014). 

KCAW INTERVIEW

Publication - "Warming and Elevated CO2 Interact to Drive Rapid Shifts in Marine Community Production"

Lucy Vlietstra

United States Coast Guard Academy

Lucy is Associate Professor at the United States Coast Guard Academy. In 2003, she received her Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of California-Irvine after completing an undergraduate program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and graduate work at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse. She served as a postdoctoral teaching fellow at the United States Coast Guard Academy before taking a faculty position at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. In 2009, she returned to the United States Coast Guard Academy, where she teaches courses in marine ecology, atmospheric and marine sciences, and coral reef ecology. Lucy conducts collaborative research in the field of marine ecology and conservation. Her research explores changes in the physical marine environment caused by human activities and associated impacts on marine consumers and their food webs. Most recently, she has conducted studies addressing environmental considerations in coastal and offshore wind energy development, climate-related shifts in the ecology of gelatinous consumers native to New England estuaries, and habitat use by demersal fishes of conservation interest in estuaries on Long Island Sound. (June 2014)

KCAW INTERVIEW

Joe Roman

University of Vermont

Joe is a conservation biologist, writer, and researcher at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Whale and Listed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Act, winner of the 2012 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award. His research has appeared in Science, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and other journals. He has written for Audubon, New Scientist, The New York Times, Slate, and other publications. Editor ‘n’ Chef of eattheinvaders.org, a site dedicated to “fighting invasive species, one bite at a time,” Joe recently completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Brazil. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2003 in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and his Master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. He was born and raised in New York and counts King Kong as an early conservation influence. (MAY 2014) 

KCAW INTERVIEW

Alex Werth

Hampden-Sydney College

Alex is a professor and chair of the Department of Biology at Hampden-Sydney College, a small liberal arts college in Virginia, where he teaches anatomy, physiology, evolution, and ecology. He earned a BS in zoology from Duke University and an AM and PhD in evolutionary biology from Harvard University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Barrow, AK, with the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management. In 2013 he was a visiting professor at UBC in Vancouver. His research focuses on the functional morphology and biomechanics of marine mammals, especially of the Arctic, and he is currently studying the material properties and fluid dynamics of the oral baleen filter of humpback and other mysticete whales for a project in biomimicry (creating new technology and industrial applications from the study of design in nature). He is working with a team of Dutch engineers to create 3D printed models of the baleen filter for virtual and physical flow testing. He is broadly interested in science education and conducts outreach programs for people of all ages on topics ranging from evolution and the human genome project to rising sea levels, which he experienced as a Fulbright Scholar in the Indian Ocean in Maldives. He is working on a book about marine conservation and how people of different cultures and occupations relate to the sea and who its resources belong to. (April 2014) 

KCAW INTERVIEW

Lee Cooper

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Lee is a Research Professor at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. He received his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1987 following undergraduate and graduate work at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Washington. His research interests include biogeochemical cycling in high-latitude ecosystems through the use of isotopic and elemental tracers.  Applications of this work include understanding how arctic marine ecosystems are responding to climate change. Lee has extensive polar shipboard research experience on all three current U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers, including service as chief scientist coordinating several multidisciplinary research programs. He also served as a member of a National Academy of Sciences study committee on designing an Arctic Observing Network that has improved capabilities for detecting climate change in the Arctic. Lee has also been active in working to improve collaborative bi-national research in the Russian Arctic through participation as the U.S. representative in an International Arctic Science Committee specialist group that exchanges information with other arctic countries on multinational research activities in the Russian Arctic. He has been the lead or co-author of approximately100 peer-reviewed publications including high-impact journals such as Science, Nature, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Ecology, Marine Ecology Progress Series and Geophysical Research Letters.  (MARCH 2014). 

KCAW INTERVIEW

Jacqueline Grebmeier

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Jacqueline is Research Professor and a biological oceanographer at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.  Dr. Grebmeier earned a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from the University of California, Davis in 1977 and went on to receive Masters Degrees in Biology from Stanford University in 1978, and in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington in 1983, specializing in applications of Arctic science to Arctic policy.  Dr. Grebmeier earned a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1987.  She has played a leadership role in coordinating and promoting national and international arctic research. She is the U.S. delegate to, and a vice-president of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), a current member of the U.S. Polar Research Board of the National Academies, and served formerly as a Commissioner of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission following appointment by President Clinton.  She has contributed to other coordinated international and national science planning efforts including service on the steering committee for U.S. efforts during International Polar Year. Over the last thirty years she has participated in over 45 oceanographic expeditions on both US and foreign vessels, many as Chief Scientist, and she was the overall project lead scientist for the U.S. Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions project, which was one of the largest U.S. funded global change studies undertaken in the Arctic. Her research includes studies of pelagic-benthic coupling in marine systems, benthic carbon cycling, benthic faunal population structure, and polar ecosystem health. She has published approximately 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has also served as editor of several books and journal special issues.  Her research is focused on understanding of how arctic marine ecosystems respond to environmental change, particularly efforts to illuminate the importance of benthic biological systems. Dr. Grebmeier is collaborating with Dr. Cooper (MARCH 2014). 

KCAW INTERVIEW