Join the Sitka Sound Science Center team as we welcome Dr. Joe Cook as our current Scientist in Residency Fellow (SIRF). Dr. Cook is Professor of Biology at the University of New Mexico where he also serves as Director, Curator of Mammals, and Curator of Genomic Resources at the Museum of Southwestern Biology. Previously, he was Professor of Biology and Chief Curator at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and was Chair of the Biology Department at Idaho State University. His research focuses on conservation, molecular evolution and systematics of mammals and associated parasites. Most recently, he has worked to engage local communities, resource managers, and scientists in building archival observatories to explore the relationships between environmental change, natural resource management, and human health at high latitudes. Joe has spent decades studying mammals and parasites of the coastal islands of Southeast Alaska and we are excited to have his participation in SIRF.
The Sitka Sound Science Center, through funding from the National Science Foundation, is hosting the Scientist in Residency Fellowship Program (SIRF) here at our Center. Each year fellowships are awarded to preeminent scientists from across the country. The SIRF program brings scientists to Sitka for month long sabbaticals allowing for undisturbed research, free from the interruptions of their daily routine. The program provides scientists the opportunity to engage our town in science, sharing their research and career pathways, while also benefiting from the important local knowledge of residents.
Joe will be working with Sitka High School, Mt Edgecumbe High School, and University of Alaska Southeast students during his outreach here. He is heavily involved in efforts to encourage greater participation of underrepresented students, especially Native Americans, in biology. He will introduce students to the ISLES Project, a specimen-based field project aimed at understanding the biogeography of the Alexander Archipelago.
Dr. Cook will be in residence from October 6 through November 4. He will be interviewed on Raven Radio, KCAW on Monday October 7 at 8:10 AM and he will give a talk as part of the Natural History Seminar Series on October 10th at 7 PM at UAS in Sitka. His talk is entitled “Island Life: A Mammalogist’s Perspective on What’s Cool About Living in Isolation on the Western Edge of North America”
Please welcome Joe Cook into our community by participating in one of our public events or by stopping by the Sitka Sound Science Center to meet Joe. He will also be a participant in Sitka WhaleFest October 31- November 3.