Arctic and Northern Studies Alumni

Peter Burkhart

Hometown: Acworth, GA. But now claims Fairbanks, AK
NORS Concentration: Arctic Policy
Thesis Title: International and Domestic Drivers of Military Shifts in Alaska
Current Employment:  Student at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Yu (Kimmy) Cao

Hometown: Shenjang, in northeast China
NORS Concentration: Environmental Politics and Policy
Thesis Title: Communities’ Reflections on Oil Companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility Activities in Utqiaġvik, Alaska
Current Employment:  Ph.D. student, Department of Politics and International Affairs, Northern Arizona University

Carolyn Kozak Loeffler

Hometown: Libertyville, IL
NORS Concentration: Visual Culture Analysis
Thesis Title: Arctic Paradox: The polar bear and American environmentalism
Current Employment:  Adjunct Faculty, UAF; Program Coordinator, AK Center for Energy and Power; Conservation Coordinator, Interior Alaska Land Trust

Emiko Furuya

Hometown: Yokohama, Kanagawaken, Japan
NORS Concentration: Alaska Native Studies and Cultural Tourism 
Thesis Title: Xunaa Shuká Hít, the Tribal House, in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, AK
Current Employment:  An intern at Chena Hot Springs Resort, Fairbanks, AK 

Forest Wagner

Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
NORS Concentration: Landscape and Place Identity
Thesis Title: Cowboy Professionalism: A Cultural Study of Big-Mountain Tourism in the Last Frontier
Current Employment: Assistant Professor and Program Director of Outdoor Studies, University of Alaska Southeast

Addley Fannin

Hometown: Odessa, TX
Nors Concentration: Northern Literature, Independent Study
Thesis Title: Black Phase: A Novel of Alaskan Alchemy
Current Employment: Freelance writer/ editor with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and Yukon College's "Northern Review"

Kelsey Aho

Hometown: Marietta, GA
Nors Concentration: Transboundary Policy, Individual Study
Thesis Title: Transboundary Agreement: Case Studies of Marine Mammal Management in the Lower Bering Strait
Current Employment: Program Coordinator for the Center for Arctic Policy Studies, UAF

Irmelin Gram-Hanssen

Hometown: Vrads, Denmark

NORS Concentration:  Individualized, Indigenous Peoples and Community Sustainability

Thesis title: Youth Creating Sustainable Communities in Rural Alaska

Current Employment: PhD fellow with the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo

Publications: Gram-Hanssen, Irmelin. "Leaving, staying or belonging: exploring the relationship between formal education, youth mobility and community resilience in rural Alaska" Polar Geography Vol. 0 (2017): 1-25.

Troy Bouffard

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

NORS Concentration:  Arctic Policy

Thesis title: Joint Stewardship of the Barents Sea: Russian and Norwegian Policy Expectations for Preventing Offshore Oil Spills

Current Employment: Full-Time Faculty, UAF School of Management, Homeland Security and Emergency Management program (BEM, MSDM). Department of Defense Contractor - Arctic Regional Instruction

Angela Schmidt

Hometown: Springville, Iowa

NORS Concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title: Compendium for Alaska Review, Alaska's first statewide public affairs television program, 1976-1987

Current Employment: Film Archivist, Alaska Film Archives, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library

Ulyana Korotkova

Hometown: Razdolnoye, Crimea

NORS Concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title: Rare Books as Historical Objects: A Case Study of the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library Rare Books Collection

Current Employment: Travel Clerk, State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Children Services

Deb Corso

Hometown: Sitka, Alaska

NORS Concentration:  Anthropology and Creative Writing

Thesis title: Tales of Well-Seasoned Women: A Literary Exploration of Gendered Experience in Alaska's Commercial Fishing Industries, 1980s-2005

Current Employment:  Personal Education Planner, Behavioral Health & Advocacy in Student Services at University of Alaska Southeast

Vanessa Raymond

Hometown: Marion, MA

NORS Concentration:  Arctic Governance

Thesis title: "Projecting Absence: a decade of U.S. Arctic intelligence, policy and perceptions of Russia"

Current Employment: IT Project Manager for Resource Data, Inc., Anchorage, AK

Evgeniya Sidorova

Hometown:  Yakutsk, Russia

NORS concentration:  Arctic Policy

Thesis title:  Extractive Leviathan: The role of the government in the relationships between oil and gas industries and indigenous communities in the Arctic regions of Canada, United States and Russia

Current employment:  Ph.D. student in Political Science at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Chris Cannon

Hometown:  Helena, MT

NORS concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title:  Alaska Athabascan Stellar Astronomy

Current employment:  Ph.D. student in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Emily Russell

Hometown:  Queensbury, NY

NORS concentration:  Arctic Policy

Thesis title: Bounty in the Bering Strait: A case for proactive regulation in the world's next chokepoint

Current employment:  Post-Graduate Fellow at KCAW, in Sitka, Alaska, owned by Raven Radio Foundation

Matt Robinson

Hometown:  Fairbanks, AK

NORS concentration:  Northern History and Environmental Policy

Thesis title: The Common Good: Salmon Science, the Conservation Crisis, and the Shaping of Alaskan Political Culture

Current employment:  Fisheries Quota Manager with the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation in Dillingham, Alaska

Aaron Spitzer

Hometown:  Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

NORS concentration:  Arctic Governance

Thesis title: Confronting 'Kymlicka's Dilemma': Settler voting rights, Indigenous representation and the 1998 electoral reapportionment in Canada's Northwest Territories.

Current employment:  Ph.D. student in Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen on its Arctic Indigenous Governance Ph.D. fellowship

Melanie Lindholm

Hometown:  Urem, Utah

NORS concentration:  Nutritional Health

Thesis title: Alaska Native perceptions of food, health, and community well-being 

Current employment:  UAF/CTC Adjunct Faculty; Subcontractor (with SideTracks LLC) for Tanana Chiefs Conference & Fairbanks Native Association; PCA with Access Alaska.

Brittany Retherford

Hometown:  Colorado Springs, CO

NORS concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title:  Memory on Trial: The Manhunt for Alaska's Most Elusive Mass Murderer

Current employment:  Subsistence Division Specialist, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Hild M. Peters

Hometown:  Ellsworth Township, Minnesota

NORS concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title:  Where the Rivers Meet:  The Life Story of the Reverend Helen Peters of Tanana

Current job:  Executive Officer, College of Natural Science and Mathematics, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Annette Freiburger

Hometown:  Fairbanks, AK

NORS concentration:  Oral History

Thesis title:  The Life History of Effie Kokrine Through Personal Recordings

Current job:  Director of Rural Student Services; UAF, Retired

Chris Wizda (BA 2014)

Hometown:  Anchorage, AK

Current job:  Passport and Visa Specialist at Inc in Los Angeles, CA

Anke Hildebrandt

Hometown:  Waupaca, WI

NORS concentration:  Environmental Policy

Project title:  Improving the Renovation, Repair and Painting Training Course to Help Eliminate Childhood Lead Poisoning--Wisconsin Observations

Current job:  Public Health Educator for the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services

David Kreiss-Tomkins

Hometown: Sitka, Alaska

NORS concentration:  Alaska Native Culture and Identity

Thesis title:  Use of Tlingit Art and Identity by Non-Tlingit People in Sitka, Alaska

Current job:  Dept. of Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife Technician

Michael Bach

Hometown:   Staples, Minnesota

NORS concentration:  Language Policy and Planning

Thesis title:  Community Space for Decolonization and Resistance:  Kodiak Alutiiq Language Club Participant

Current job:  Collections Manager, Kodiak Historical Society & Baranov Museum

Fatima Ochante

Hometown:  Lima, Peru (currently Fairbanks, AK)

NORS concentration:  Global Environmental Policy

Thesis title:  Rural water and sanitation in Alaska Native villages

Current job:  Program Coordinator for the Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Michael Letzring

Hometown:  Kasilof, Alaska (currently Greenville, NC)

NORS concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title:  The 1791 Spanish Malaspina expedition to Alaskan waters and the role of european cartography in colonial Alaska's development

Current job:  Ph.D. program in Cultural Resource Management:  Maritime History at Eastern Carolina University

Danielle Bennett Redmond

Hometown:  Seattle and Cordova

NORS concentration:  Ethnography and Epistemology of Birth

Thesis title:  Birthing Change:  An Ethnographic Study of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center

Current job:  Operations and Outreach Coordinator, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

Chad Cook

Hometown:  Warminster, Pennsylvania

NORS concentration:  Indigenous and Western Notions of Conservation

Thesis title:  Ataam Taikina: Traditional Knowledge and Conservation Ethics in the Yukon River Delta, Alaska

Current job:  Research Assistant, Stephen R. Braund & Associates, Anthropological Research and Consulting

Diane Scoboria (BA 2003)

Hometown:  Bellingham, WA - Juneau, AK

Current job:  Program Manager, Marine Conservation Alliance.  Juneau, Alaska

Corinna Cook

Hometown:  Juneau, AK

NORS concentration:  Literature

Thesis title:  Letters as Literature: Semantic and Discursive Features of Irony in Letters to Howard.

Current job:  Ph.D. student in Creative Writing at the University of Missouri

Kate Ripley

Hometown:  Juneau, AK

NORS concentration:  Individual Study

Thesis title:  Weekend Wilderness:  The Cultural and Spiritual Necessity of the White Mountains National Recreation Area

Current job:  Executive Director, UAF Alumni Relations

Kenneth Woldstad

Hometown:  North Pole, AK

NORS concentration:  Alaska History and Government

Thesis title: A Comparative Analysis of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement in Alaska From the Passage of the 1902 Alaska Game Law to 2011

Current job:  Alaska Fish and Wildlife Protection Trooper (commissioned retired Sergeant) and private investigator

Birte M. Horn-Hanssen

Hometown:  Oslo, Norway -- Fairbanks, AK

NORS concentration:  Northern Art

Thesis title:  Visualizing the Present: Current Issues Within Contemporary Visual Sami Art - An Analysis of Sami Artists and Their Art in Oslo, Norway

Current job:  Project Coordinator at "BI - Norwegian Business School".

Chris Behnke (BA 2012)

Hometown:  Alaska

Current job:  Northern Studies MA student

Artem Zhdanov

Hometown:  Chishmy, Russia

NORS concentration:  New Media Journalism

Project title:  Website Design for Creating Alaska Website

Current job:  Video conferencing specialist for Online with Libraries (OWL), State of Alaska

Salena Bias

Hometown:  Fairbanks, AK

NORS concentration:  Russian-Alaska History and Museology

Thesis title:  Displaying Conflict:  The Visitor's Experience at the Kolmakovskii Blockhouse

Current job:  Data Technician for the Center for Alaska Native Health Research

Tracey Smith

Hometown:  Edmonton, Alberta

NORS concentration:  Local Food Systems and Northern Wildlife Governance

Thesis project:  "Is Buying Local Better?"  A Literature Review and Comparison of Production Locations and Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Chicken Eggs Consumed in Fairbanks, Alaska

Current job:  Owner of Beanstalk Honey, a beekeeping and honey packing operation on North Cooking Lake in Strathcona County, Alberta

Heidi Kristenson (BA 2006)

Hometown:  Camrose, Alberta

Current job:  Hydrologic Technician, National Park Service

Amanda Foote

Hometown:  Calgary, Alberta

NORS concentration:  Individualized Study - Tourism, Culture & Indigenous Issues

Thesis title:  Fishing for Tourists:  Cultural Tourism and its Origins in Teslin, Yukon Territory, Canada

Current job:  Museum School Coordinator at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta.

Eleanor Wirts

Home town:  Fairfield, VT

NORS concentration:  Individualized Study - Cultural Anthropology

Thesis title:  Changes in Traditional Gender Roles Among Alaska Natives: Their Effects on Sense of Purpose, Direction, Identity, and Family and Community Stature

Current job: Owner: Just Short of Magic, Fairbanks, Alaska 

Russell Vander Lugt

Hometown: Fairbanks, AK

NORS concentration:  Historical Geography

Thesis title:  Discovering Alaska's Interior - A Historical Geography of the 1885 Allen Expedition

Current job:  Ph.D. Fellow, School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS/ASP3), US Army Combined Arms Center; Arctic and Northern Studies Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Amy Russell-Jamgochian

Hometown:  Fairbanks, AK

NORS concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title: A Storm Like No Other: Changes that shaped Seward Peninsula communities at the turn of the 20th century

Current employment:  Project director at the Beringia Center of Culture and Science in Nome, Alaska

Lynne Snifka

Hometown:  Milwaukee (now Fairbanks)

NORS concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title:  The Doctor, The Publisher and The Curmudgeon: How Personalities, Politics and the Press Set the Stage for Alaska Statehood

Current Job:  Assistant Professor of Journalism at UAF

Lillian Anderson-Misel

Hometown:  Fairbanks, AK

NORS concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title:   “I Wonder When We’ll be in Civilization Again”:  Women, Alaska, and the Diary of Cinthia “Addie” Rieck

Current job:  Executive Office, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Krista Katalenich

Hometown:  Higgins Lake, MI

NORS Concentration:  Cultural Identity and Expression

Thesis Project:  Climate Change and Creative Expression

Current Job:  Dance teacher at Dance Theatre Fairbanks

Leighton Quarles

Hometown:  Emigrant, MT
NORS concentration:  Northern History
Thesis title:  Roles of Journalists and the Media in World War II
Current job:  Ph.D. student in History at University of Utah

Jesse Logan

Hometown:  Austin, TX

NORS Concentration:  Global Environmental Policy

Thesis title:  Renewable Energy in Rural Alaska: Two Case Studies and
their Implications

Current Job:  Chief of Staff to Alaska Representative Dean Westlake of Kotzebue

Rudy Riedlsperger

Hometown:  Austria

NORS Concentration:  Environmental Politics and Policy

Thesis title:  Jay Hammond:  The Conservationist Governor

Current Job:  Ph.D. student in Human Geography at Memorial U in St. John's Newfoundland

Berill Blair

Hometown:  Fairbanks, AK

NORS Concentration:   Environmental Policy

Thesis title:  Risk Society on the Last Frontier:  Indigenous Knowledge and the Politics of Risk in Oil Resource Management at Alaska’s North Slope

Current Job:  Research Assistant on a project examining key developments in polar bear policy.

Lisbet Norris (BA 2011)

Hometown:  Willow, Alaska

Current job:  Dog musher and manager at Underdog Feeds

Stacey Baldridge

Hometown: Champion, OH

NORS concentration: Oral History

Thesis title:  ChangingCommunities: The Alaska Highway Project Jukebox

Current job:  Assistant Archivist for the Alaska Native Language Archives

Aaron Doyle

Hometown:  Rhinelander, WI

NORS Concentration: Rural Education

Thesis title:  Drifting and Directed:The Aspirations of High School Seniors from Three Communities in Rural Alaska

Current job:  Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics in the Centre for Applied English Studies at Hong Kong University.

Amy Taylor:

Hometown:  Los Angeles, CA

NORS Concentration:  Creative Writing

Thesis Project:  Awake Walking: Three One-Act Plays on the Human Condition

Erik White

Hometown:  Los Angeles, CA

NORS Concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title:  Bob Bartlett and Ernest Gruening: The Relationship That Helped Alaska to Become a State

Jessica Brooks

Hometown:  Cleveland, OH

NORS Concentration:  Oral History

Thesis Project: Friends on the Road: An Oral History of Trucking on the Dalton Highway

Justin Andrews

Hometown:  mostly Virginia (Navy brat)

NORS Concentration:Higher Education

Thesis Project:  The Ant and the Grasshopper: The Mindsets Behind the College Gender Gap in the Millennial Generation

Lauren Krueger Sill

Hometown:  North Andover, MA

NORS Concentration:  Global Environmental Policy

Thesis Project: Community Development Quota: Community Sustainability and the Bering Sea

Mikayla Saito

Hometown:  Kotzebue, AK

NORS Concentration:  Environmental Policy

Thesis title:  The Extent to which Traditional Ecological Knowledge is Included in the Alaska Resource Management System

Current job:  Program manager for Dept. of Educational Leadership at UAA

Neva Sherman Hickman

Hometown:  Keweenaw Peninsula, MI

NORS Concentration:  Northern History

Thesis title:The Illusion of Knowledge: Evolution of Early Cartographic Conceptions of Alaska

Steve Mitchell

Hometown:  Fairbanks, AK

NORS Concentration:  Alaska Historical Drama

Thesis Project:  “James Wickersham: A Judge on the Last Frontier” (a play)

Reija Shnoro

Hometown:  Mieslahti, Finland

NORS Concentration:  Global Environmental Policy

Thesis title:  The Kyoto Protocol and the Arctic Region: A Case Study of Finland and Canada

Current job:  International Student Program Coordinator for UAF.

Jane Reilly

Hometown: originally from Florida; now Fairbanks

NORS Concentration:  Biopsychology

Thesis Project:Northern Stressors and Alcohol Abuse: Is Serotonin Dysfunction a Factor in Self-Medication” (Annotated Bibliography)

Sabine Hugger

Hometown:  Heilbronn, Germany

NORS Concentration:  Environmental Education

Thesis Project :  An Environmental Education Curriculum for Fairbanks for 7th and 8th Grade Students

Sean Bledsoe

Hometown:  Fairbanks, AK

NORS Concentration:  Russian Alaskan History and Anthropology

Thesis Project:  Documentary Film on St. Herman of Alaska

Sigrid Ekran

Hometown:  Sparbu, Norway

NORS Concentration:  Northern Psychology

Project Title:  Rocky Raccoon: Sixteen Dogs, One Girl, 1122 Miles from Anchorage to Nome

Talis Colberg

Hometown:  Palmer, AK

NORS Concentration:  Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Northern Political History and Culture

Dissertation title: M.D. Snodgrass: The Founder of the Alaska State Fair

Current Job: Director, Matanuska-Susitna Campus, UAA

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