Meet the students

RAP students come from Alaska, across the United States and the world.  We currently have 45 active, full time students; 33 PhD and 12 Masters.  


Emilie Springer:  PhD, Anthropology

Email: esspringer@alaska.edu

Entered Program: 2007

Thesis Title: “Transitions in Community. Fishing: Comparing the Diverse Perspectives and Knowledge Systems of Industry, Community Organizations, Management. Agencies and Academics”

Advisor: Maribeth Murray

Lisa Strecker: PhD, Anthropology

email: lstrecker@alaska.edu

Entered Program: 2012

Advisor: Peter Schweitzer

Miranda Wright:  PhD, Anthropology

Email: mwright2@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2007

Thesis Title:  “How Is Leadership Operationalized in Indigenous Communities”

In many indigenous communities methods to maintain the socio-ecological balance are embedded in their social-linguistic cultural norms.  My research explores and analyzes how leadership in indigenous communities addresses concerns for the ecosystem.  

Advisor:  Craig Gerlach


Casey L. Brown:  PhD, Biological Sciences

BA Environmental Studies, Prescot College, 2004; M.S. Ecology Colorado State University, 2010 American University; Environmental Policy, American University, 2001.

Entered Program:  2011

Website: http://caseylynnbrown.weebly.com

Email: caseylynnbrown@gmail.com

Advisor:  Eugenie Euskirchen; Knut Klielland

La’ona DeWilde:  PhD, Biological Sciences

Bachelors, Masters in Biology, UAF

Email:  ldewilde2@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2005, MA; 2007 PhD
Thesis Title:  “Urban Surface Water Monitoring” 
Advisor:  Terry Chapin

Ross Dorendorf -  M.S. Biology and Wildlife Department

Degree: Wildlife Biology and Conservation

Department: Biology and Wildlife

E-mail address: rrdorendorf@alaska.edu

Entered Program : 2013

Thesis: Motivations and Drivers of Catch per Unit Effort in Interior Alaska

Advisor: Laura Prugh

Ian Johnson - M.S. Biology and Wildlife Department

Degree - Wildlife Biology and Conservation

Email address : iajohnson4@alaska.edu

Entered Program : 2013

Thesis : Evaluation of a Unique Social Ecological System with Implications for Subsistence Users and Wildlife Managers

Abstract : The Yukon Flats in the Interior of Alaska represent a unique social ecological system with a strong subsistence user groups. In the region moose are at low densities driven down by wolves, bears, and humans. My research will break down the relationship of humans and wolves when competing for moose. I will first examine how wolves use the landscape to use search for and kill moose. Next, I will analyze how humans use the landscape to harvest moose, and fulfill other subsistence needs. In my final analysis I will integrate to the results to examine temporal and spatial overlap (competition) for moose by humans and wolves. The research goals here will aid wildlife managers and subsistence users. The application of resource selection functions and selection difference functions to human data and a social ecological system are a novel contribution to the literature and may be extended to examine conflict in other social ecological systems.

Website : www.ianajohnson.com

Advisor : Todd Brinkman

Allison Butler Woodward:  PhD, Biological Sciences

B.S. Biology, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 1989; M.S. Biology, 1993; M.A. Teaching, Secondary Science, 1993

Email:  adbutler@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2007

Thesis Title: “Sustainable Village Relocation”

I have established a collaboration with the people of Shishmaref, Alaska to develop a community-led village relocation plan to maximize the cultural, social, economic and ecological sustainability of the new community.

Advisor:  Rich Boone

Betsy Young:  Masters, Biology

BS, Environmental Science, Alaska Pacific University, 2003

Email:  beyakk@yahoo.com

Entered Program:  2005


Matthew L. Springer:  MS Cross Cultural Studies

Liberation Theology/ herbalism, Evergreen State College, 2002; Community Psychology/Sustainable Agriculture, Findhorn Foundation, 2003; BA International Political Economy/Social Justice, Colorado College, 2006; Spanish/Boreal Forest Ecology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2006

Email:  aegolius@gmail.com

Entered Program:  2011

Advisor:  Craig Gerlach


Perrin Teal-Sullivan MFA , Fne Art Department

Email : fyart@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2013

Advisor:  Jim Brashear


Aurora Roth :  PhD Geophysics

Email: rothaurora@gmail.com

Entered program:  2014

Advisor:  Dr. Regine Hock

Joanna Young :  PhD Geophysics

Email: joanna.young@gi.alaska.edu

Entered program:  2015

Joanna Young is a PhD student in Geophysics, where she studies the glaciers ringing the Gulf of Alaska to determine how they are losing mass in a changing climate. She has been exploring the glaciers of Alaska since 2010, and has carried out field studies on the expansive Juneau Icefield, the coastal glaciers of Southeast, and even halfway up Mount McKinley. Before beginning her PhD, Joanna obtained a Masters in Geophysics at UAF, and before that completed a BS in Astrophysics and a BA in Philosophy of Science at the University of British Columbia. Her current work focuses on synthesizing field, airborne, and satellite data to refine estimates of current rates of Alaska glacier mass loss in a changing climate, work that has consequences for sea level rise, freshwater availability, and the health of downstream ecosystems. She is also interested in how we can leverage the dramatic changes in Alaska’s glaciers to promote better climate literacy and environmental advocacy in the public. With that in mind, she spends a great deal of her time on education and outreach, including acting as a lead instructor of Girls on Ice Alaska, a backcountry science and mountaineering program for high school girls. 


Judith D. Ramos:  PhD Indigenous Studies

BA Anthropology, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1981; MA Teaching, Adult and Community Education, Alaska Pacific University 1985.

Email:  daxootsu@hotmail.com

Entered Program:  2011

Advisor:  Michael Koskey



Hassab Ali:  PhD,  Interdisciplinary Studies

Ms Biology Bsc.,Geology , Msc., Petroleum Technology, University of Poona, India, 1990 and 1992 ; MA, International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, 2001
Entered Program: 2006
Thesis Title: “Oil Development and Wealth in Plural Societies: a Curse or a Blessing?”
I'm interested in knowing if the Sudan can develop its recent commercial oil discovery in a sustainable way. I am exploring the potential quantitative and qualitative impacts of oil development and wealth on the socio-ecological life in the Sudan and will present my findings to the stakeholders.
Advisor:  Jonathan Rosenberg

Archana Bali:  PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies

M.Sc Wildlife Biology and Conservation, National Centre for Biological Sciences & Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, India, 2006 

Email:  archana.bali@alaska.edu

Entered Program: 2007

Thesis Title:Effects of long-term climate on the Human-Caribou Systems in Alaska: Assessment of past, present and future.

My current research uses analysis of climate data for past decades to assess patterns and significance of on-going and potential future effects of climate change on the habitat of Alaskan barren ground caribou herds, and associated harvest systems. I am also working with the indigenous communities of the north who refer to themselves as "Caribou People" to make videographies about their way of life in wake of a rapidly changing world.  This video project is an effort to document local observations of perceived changes about caribou as well as caribou hunting and uses, and concerns regarding their future.  

Advisor: Gary Kofinas

Dixie Dayo:  PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies

BA 1994;   MA, UAA College of Rural Development, 2004

Email: dmdayo@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2007

Thesis Title:  “ Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: an Act of Resilience, Adaptive Management and Sustainability”

Advisor:  Gary Kofinas

Kevin Hillmer-Pegram:  PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies

Email: hillmerpegram@yahoo.com

BA Arisona State University, Religious Studies, 2004; MS Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, 2011.

Dissertation title: The working title of my thesis is  Climate change impact on tourism in Alaska: A meeting of ecosystem services and human perceptions .   

My research revolves around the topics of tourism and global change in Alaska and the Arctic.  On the biophysical side, I am interested in assessing the impacts of climate change on the cryospheric ecosystem services that draw tourists to our state (e.g., glaciers, polar bears).  On the social science side, I am investigating the phenomenon of last chance tourism to determine if it is occurring in Alaska.  I hope that my research will contribute to sustainable tourism in the region.  

Advisor: Amy Lovecraft

Yasmeen Hossain:  PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies

BA, Environmental Studies, Alliant International University, 2002: MSc, Environment & Development, London School of Economics, 2006

Email: yhossain@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2010

Dissertation title:  Adapting to global change: the Economic, social and environmental dimensions of energy-efficient green homes in a subarctic climate

The objective of my research is to conduct an assessment of  energy-efficient green buildings in a subarctic climate.  Specifically, the research will  determine the viability of energy-efficient green buildings in Alaska taking into consideration climate, material supply, social expertise, economic cost, payback period, environmental effects and social and cultural acceptability and demand.   Through incorporating a cost-benefit analysis, t he research results will provide a tool for community members and policy makers alike to appraise one of the adaptation options to global change affecting the supply of fossil fuels and overall energy security.

Advisor:  Philip Loring

Charles Jones, PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies

AS, Sauk Valley College, Dixon, Ill. 1993; MS, Environmental Sciences and Policy, Northern Arizona University, 2003.

Email:  chas@chasjones.com

Entered Program:  2009

Thesis Title:   “Integrating Remote Sensing and Local Knowledge to Asses Hazardous River Conditions”

My research uses scientific collaborations and knowledge exchange to gain a comprehensive understanding of hazardous river conditions facing subsistence users in rural Alaskan communities. We are using remote sensing, field studies, and local knowledge to examine the seasonal nature of river conditions from freeze-up through break-up on the Tanana River.  My integrated research on hazardous river conditions brings us closer to a comprehensive understanding of how global changes may impact Alaskan rivers and the rural residents that rely upon rivers for subsistence activities.

Advisor:  Larry Hinzman

Joshua Ream, PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies

BS, Animal Science, Penn State University, 2006; MS, Biology Austin Peay University, 2008.

Email: jtream@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2009

Thesis Title:  "An Analysis of Traditional and Local herpetological Knowledge in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

I am investigating the availability and extent of knowledge pertaining to amphibians and reptiles in culture and on the landscape while promoting public outreach and citizen science initiatives.

Advisor: Andres Lopez & Craig Gerlach

Eleanor Wirts:  PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies

B.S., Animal Science, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, 1998;  ME, Secondary Education, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, 1999: MA, Northern Studies - University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 2010.

Email:  ewirts@alaska.edu

Entered program:  2010

I am interested in studying the role of males in the changing north. 

Advisor:  Mary Ehrlander


 Christopher Behnke: M.S. , Natural Resource Management

Masters in Natural Resource Management and Geography. Natural Resource Management.

Entered Program : 2013
Thesis title--if you have one and Managing under Conditions of Rapid Change: Designing Adaptive Management of A Subsistence Harvest of Gull Eggs in Glacier Bay National Park
Advisor : Dr. David Valentine

Tara Callear:  MS Natural Resources Management

BA Environment, population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2001; Millersville University, 1994-97.

Email:  taracallear@gmail.com

Entered Program:  2011

Advisor:  Susan Todd

KattiJo Deeter: MNRM, Natural Resource Management

BS Therapeutic Recreation, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, 2008
Entered program: 2014
Advisor: Peter Fix
Thesis subject: Indigenous Tourism Development - a Road Map for Igiugig, Alaska

John Duffy, PhD Natural Resources Management

Email:  jduffy@alaska.edu

BA Political Science, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1979; MS Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1983; Certificate of Public Performance Measurement, Unviersity of Illinois at Chicago, 1987; Non degree coursework, Rutgers University, 2006; Non degree coursework University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010.

Dissertation title: What variables foster the adoption and implementation of sustainable practices by local governments?

Local governments influence sustainability and the creation of resilient and adaptive communities through their planning responsibilities, building codes, and infrastructure investments.   Yet most local governments are not actively and formally pursing sustainability.  Casting more light on the variables that foster sustainability will enhance our understanding of how to foster sustainability at the local government level which may result in more widespread sustainable practices throughout our nation.

Entered program:  2011

Advisor:  Susan Todd

Marion Glaser: Masters, Natural Resources Management

Colorado College, BA, Biology, 2006

email: marionglaser@gmail.com

Thesis title: Calculating the carrying capacity of moose habitat on the Seward Ranger District, Chugach National Forest

Assessments of habitat quality are useful to agencies who have a responsibility to manage land and wildlife populations. To accomplish this, I am using remote sensing techniques to estimate cover of browse species, biomass estimates to determine food resources available in each cover class and nutritional analyses to determine the quality of browse species to moose. 

Entered Program:  2009

Advisor:  Don Spalinger

Gabriela Halas:  MSc, Natural Resources Management

email: ghalas@alaska.edu

Entered Program: 2012

Advisor: Gary Kofinas

Research subject: Caribou Traditional Knowledge - Western Arctic Herd

Josephine-Mary Sam:  PhD, Natural Resources and Sustainability

BA English/History, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, 2005; MS Natural Resources Management, 2011.

Email:  josie.sam@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2009 (MS) 2011 (PhD)MS

Advisor: Susan Todd


Becky Warren: PhD, Natural Resources Management

BS Political Science, Santa Clara University, 1998

Email:  becky.warren@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2008

Thesis Title:  “Responses to Rural Alaska Energy Crises: Opportunities to Build Cross-scale Resilience”

This investigation of community-level and cross-scale responses to energy issues in rural Alaska focuses on the capacity of these responses to build long-term resilience within rural Alaska communities.   The analysis will focus on a handful of projects and policies and the processes by which these are developed.  I seek a model for quantitative analysis of capacity building in rural Alaska.

Advisor:  Josh Greenberg


Berill Blair:  PhD Natural Resources and Sustainability


Entered Program:  2012

Advisor:  Dr. Amy Lovecraft and Dr. Gary Kofinas

Maureen Bosire : PhD, Natural Resources and Sustainability

Title: Comparative analysis of water shortages and it's economic implications between a developed country and a developing country.(Case of Kenya versus US,Alaska)
The objective of  this research is to demonstrate the effectiveness of policy instruments by analyzing the role of the institutional framework in sustainable water management. The main aim will be to focus on the vulnerability assessment of the two countries to show how poverty trap is enhanced by water shortage and what possible measures can be taken to eliminate the poverty cycle.
Entered Program : 2013
Advisor: Joe Little

Merben Cebrian: PhD Natural Resources and Sustainability

BS Wildlife Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2001; MS Wildlife Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2005.

Email: merben_c@hotmail.com

Entered Program:  2011

Advisor: Chanda Meek, Peter Fix

Doug Cost:  PhD, Natural Resources and Sustainability

BA Creative Writing, University of Southern California, 1995; MA Educational Administration, California State-Northridge, 2005; MFA Creative Writing, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2010.

Email: dscost@alaska.edu

Entered Program: 2010

Thesis Title:  Designing Adaptive Schools for Rural Northern Communities: A comparative study of secondary school systems in circumpolar social-ecological systems

Advisors:  Elena Sparrow, Diane Hirshberg

Tracie Curry:    PhD, Natural Resources and Sustainability

Email: tncurry3@alaska.edu

Entered Program: 2014

Advisors:  Gary Kofinas

Jim Magdanz: PhD; Natural Resources and Sustainability

Email: jmagdanz@alaska.edu

Entered Program: 2012

Dominique Pride:  PhD, Natural Resources and Sustainability

Email: djpride@alaska.edu

BBA Economics, Marshall University, 2007; MS Resource and Applied Economics, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2010.

Entered Program:  2011

Advisor:  Joseph Little

Alyssa Rodrigues: PhD, Natural Resources and Sustainability

BA Forest Management, Oregon State University, 2005; MS Forest Economics, Oregon State University 2008.

Entered Program: 2014

Email: alyssavsrodrigues@gmail.com

Website:  http://alaska.edu/alyssa-shanks-rodrigues/

Advisor: Dr. Joseph Little

 Colette de Roo:  PhD, Natural Resources and Sustainability

MSc Water Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands, 2002; Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies, Bodø University College, Norway, 2009; Exchange semester at Denmark’s Technical University, Lyngby, Denmark, 1999.

Email: cderoo@alaska.edu

Thesis Title:  “Modeling Subsistence Trade-offs in a Rapidly Changing World”

I am studying the effects of different forces of change on subsistence harvesting systems. My objective is to model these systems and thus better understand the trade-offs associated with subsistence harvesting under rapidly changing conditions (climate change, fuel costs, etc.).

Advisor:  Gary Kofinas


Kelsey Aho:  MS Northern Studies with concentration in Arctic Policy

Email: ahokelsey@gmail.com

Entered program:  2014

Advisor:  Dr. Amy Lovecraft


Kelly Cates :  Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, M.S.

Email:  cateskann@yahoo.com

Entered program:  2014

Advisor:  Shannon Atkinson

Jenell Larsen :  M.S. Fisheries

School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

Email:  jtlarsen@alaska.edu

Entered program:  2014

Advisor:  Shannon Atkinson

Bradford M. Marden:  Masters, Oceanography

BA Biology, Dartmouth College, 2004

Email:  Brad.m.marden@gmail.com

Entered program:  2009

Advisor:  Brenda Norcross


Sue Hazlett:  PhD, Biological Sciences

B.A., Business Management/Psychology, University of Maryland, 1985

Email: sdhazlett@alaska.edu

Entered Program:  2002

Thesis Title:  "An Analysis of Two Spatially Explicit Models to Establish Marine Protected Areas Applied to Glacier Bay National Park and a Virtual Map”

I am examining the use of Marxan and ALCES for creating marine protected areas that are based on both socioeconomic inputs and environmental inputs.

Advisors:  Alan Springer, Falk Huettman

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