Arctic and Northern Studies Alumni


Melanie Olson (BA 2020)


 Hometown: Livonia Center, New York
Current Employment: 
Technology Support Technician, Digital Services, Fairbanks North Star Borough 


Lauren Baranik

Lauren Baranik

 Hometown: Sioux Lookout, Ontario and Bracebridge, Ontario
ACNS Concentration: Indigenous Governance
Thesis Title: Indigenous-Crown Relations in Canada and the Yukon: The Peel Watershed Case, 2017

Brenda Dow, Ph.D.
brenda dow

Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
Ph.D. Concentration: Interdisciplinary Studies: Arctic & Northern Studies
Dissertation Title: Quality of Life for Alaskan Individuals with FASD and their Families

Kerstin Schley

Kerstin Schley

Hometown: Düsseldorf, Germany
ACNS Concentration: Arctic History and Politics
Thesis Title: Germany's Interest in the Arctic as Exemplified by its Arctic Council Engagement
Current Employment: Commercial airline pilot for the German carrier TUI

 Lex Treinen

 Lex Treinen

Hometown: Anchorage, AK
ACNS Concentration:  Russian Nationalism
Thesis Title: Indigenous Russians in the Kremlin Political Narrative
Current Employment: Web writer for KTUU Channel 2 in Anchorage, AK

 Leanna Prax Williams


Hometown: Fairbanks, Alaska
ACNS Concentration: Northern History
Thesis Title: Flying the Frontier: a case study comparison of newspaper coverage of early northern plane crashes
Current Employment: Co-owner, Mammoth Marketing


Peter Burkhart


Hometown: Acworth, GA. But now claims Fairbanks, AK
ACNS 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
ACNS 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

Katie Hayden
Katie Hayden

Hometown: Lake Minchumina, AK
ACNS Concentration: Oral History and Culture
Thesis Title: Perspectives on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence in Rural Alaskan Communities
Current Employment: Wildlife Technician IV for ABR, Inc.

Victoria Smith

Victoria Smith

Hometown: Pe Ell, Washington
ACNS Concentration:  Cultural History  and Higher Education
Thesis Title: Knowledge is Power: Student Driven Strategies for Success in Alaska's Challenging Postsecondary Context
Current Employment: Director, Student Support Services (TRIO)

 Carolyn Kozak Loeffler

Kozak Loeffler

Hometown: Libertyville, IL
ACNS 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


Addley Fannin


Hometown: Odessa, TX
ACNS 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"

Emiko Furuya


Hometown: Yokohama, Kanagawaken, Japan
ACNS Concentration: Alaska Native Studies and Cultural Tourism
Thesis Title: Xunaa Shuk Hit, the Tribal House, in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, AK
Current Employment: ManpowerGroup Japan, Transcriber

Emily Main


Hometown: Portland, Oregon
ACNS Concentration: Alaska History and Culture
Thesis Title: An Analysis Of One Community In The Far North Simply Core Alaska: A Case Study Beyond The Studio
Current Employment: Foster Care & Diligent Relative Searches Specialist at the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC)

Forest Wagner


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS 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


Kelsey Aho


Hometown: Marietta, GA
ACNS 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

Troy Bouffard


Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
ACNS 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

Vanessa Raymond


Hometown: Marion, MA
ACNS Concentration: Arctic Governance
Thesis Title: "Projecting Absence: a decade of U.S. Arctic intelligence, policy and perceptions of Russia"
Current Employment:  Senior Data Coordinator and Product Owner, Axiom Data Science,  Fairbanks, AK


Deb Corso


Hometown: Sitka, Alaska
ACNS 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

Ulyana Korotkova


Hometown: Razdolnoye, Crimea
ACNS 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

Emily Russell


Hometown: Queensbury, NY
ACNS 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

Angela Schmidt


Hometown: Springville, Iowa
ACNS 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

 Evgeniya Sidorova


Hometown: Yakutsk, Russia
ACNS 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

 Aaron Spitzer


Hometown: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
ACNS 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

Matt Robinson


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS 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


Chris Cannon


Hometown: Helena, MT
ACNS Concentration: Northern History
Thesis Title: Alaska Athabascan Stellar Astronomy
Current Employment: Ph.D. student in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks

David Kreiss-Tomkins


Hometown: Sitka, Alaska
ACNS Concentration: Alaska Native Culture and Identity
Thesis Title: Use of Tlingit Art and Identity by Non-Tlingit People in Sitka, Alaska
Current Employment: Dept. of Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife Technician

 Melanie Lindholm


Hometown: Urem, Utah
ACNS 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.

 Hild M. Peters


Hometown: Ellsworth Township, Minnesota
ACNS Concentration: Northern History
Thesis Title: Where the Rivers Meet: The Life Story of the Reverend Helen Peters of Tanana
Current Employment: Executive Officer, College of Natural Science and Mathematics, University of Alaska Fairbanks

 Brittany Retherford


Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
ACNS 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

 Chris Wizda (BA 2014)


Hometown: Anchorage, AK
Current Employment: Passport and Visa Specialist at Inc in Los Angeles, CA


 Michael Bach


Hometown: Staples, Minnesota
ACNS Concentration: Language Policy and Planning
Thesis Title: Community Space for Decolonization and Resistance: Kodiak Alutiiq Language Club Participant
Current Employment: Collections Manager, Kodiak Historical Society & Baranov Museum

 Danielle Bennett Redmond

Bennett Redmond

Hometown: Seattle and Cordova
ACNS Concentration: Ethnography and Epistemology of Birth
Thesis Title: Birthing Change: An Ethnographic Study of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center
Current Employment: Operations and Outreach Coordinator, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

 Chad Cook


Hometown: Warminster, Pennsylvania
ACNS Concentration: Indigenous and Western Notions of Conservation
Thesis Title: Ataam Taikina: Traditional Knowledge and Conservation Ethics in the Yukon River Delta, Alaska
Current Employment: Research Assistant, Stephen R. Braund & Associates, Anthropological Research and Consulting

 Annette Freiburger


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS concentration: Oral History
Thesis Title: The Life History of Effie Kokrine Through Personal Recordings
Current Employment: Director of Rural Student Services; UAF, Retired

 Anke Hildebrandt


Hometown: Waupaca, WI
ACNS concentration: Environmental Policy
Project Title: Improving the Renovation, Repair and Painting Training Course to Help Eliminate Childhood Lead Poisoning--Wisconsin Observations
Current Employment: Public Health Educator for the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Fatima Ochante


Hometown: Lima, Peru (currently Fairbanks, AK)
ACNS Concentration: Global Environmental Policy
Thesis Title: Rural water and sanitation in Alaska Native villages
Current Employment: Program Coordinator for the Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation


 Chris Behnke (BA 2012)

Hometown: Alaska
Current Employment: Arctic and Northern Studies MA student

 Irmelin Gram-Hanssen


Hometown: Vrads, Denmark
ACNS 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.

 Michael Letzring


Hometown: Kasilof, Alaska (currently Greenville, NC)
ACNS 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 Employment: Ph.D. program in Cultural Resource Management: Maritime History at Eastern Carolina University


 Corinna Cook


Hometown: Juneau, AK
ACNS Concentration: Literature
Thesis Title: Letters as Literature: Semantic and Discursive Features of Irony in Letters to Howard.
Current Employment: Ph.D. student in Creative Writing at the University of Missouri

Birte M. Horn-Hanssen


Hometown: Oslo, Norway -- Fairbanks, AK
ACNS 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 Employment: Project Coordinator at "BI - Norwegian Business School".

 Lisbet Norris (BA 2011)


Hometown: Willow, Alaska
Current Employment: Dog musher and manager at Underdog Feeds

 Kate Ripley


Hometown: Juneau, AK
ACNS Concentration: Individual Study
Thesis Title: Weekend Wilderness: The Cultural and Spiritual Necessity of the White Mountains National Recreation Area
Current Employment: Executive Director, UAF Alumni Relations

Kenneth Woldstad


Hometown: North Pole, AK
ACNS 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 Employment: Alaska Fish and Wildlife Protection Trooper (commissioned retired Sergeant) and private investigator


Lillian Anderson-Misel


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS Concentration: Northern History
Thesis Title: “I Wonder When We’ll be in Civilization Again”: Women, Alaska, and the Diary of Cinthia “Addie” Rieck
Current Employment: Executive Office, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

 Salena Bias


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS Concentration: Russian-Alaska History and Museology
Thesis Title: Displaying Conflict: The Visitor's Experience at the Kolmakovskii Blockhouse
Current Employment: Data Technician for the Center for Alaska Native Health Research

 Berill Blair


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS 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 Employment: Research Assistant on a project examining key developments in polar bear policy.

 Amanda Foote


Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
ACNS Concentration: Individualized Study - Tourism, Culture & Indigenous Issues
Thesis Title: Fishing for Tourists: Cultural Tourism and its Origins in Teslin, Yukon Territory, Canada
Current Employment: Museum School Coordinator at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta.

 Leighton Quarles


Hometown: Emigrant, MT
ACNS Concentration: Northern History 
Thesis Title: Roles of Journalists and the Media in World War II 
Current Employment: Ph.D. student in History at University of Utah

 Tracey Smith


Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
ACNS 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 Employment: Owner of Beanstalk Honey, a beekeeping and honey packing operation on North Cooking Lake in Strathcona County, Alberta

 Russell Vander Lugt

Vander Lugt

Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS Concentration: Historical Geography
Thesis Title: Discovering Alaska's Interior - A Historical Geography of the 1885 Allen Expedition
Current Employment: Ph.D. Fellow, School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS/ASP3), US Army Combined Arms Center; Arctic and Northern Studies Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks

 Eleanor Wirts


Home town: Fairfield, VT
ACNS 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 Employment: Owner: Just Short of Magic, Fairbanks, Alaska


 Stacey Baldridge Carkhuff


Hometown: Champion, OH
ACNS Concentration: Oral History
Thesis Title: ChangingCommunities: The Alaska Highway Project Jukebox
Current Employment: Assistant Archivist for the Alaska Native Language Archives

Krista Katalenich


Hometown: Higgins Lake, MI
ACNS Concentration: Cultural Identity and Expression
Thesis Project: Climate Change and Creative Expression
Current Employment: Dance teacher at Dance Theatre Fairbanks

 Jesse Logan


Hometown: Austin, TX
ACNS Concentration: Global Environmental Policy
Thesis Title: Renewable Energy in Rural Alaska: Two Case Studies and their Implications
Current Employment: Chief of Staff to Alaska Representative Dean Westlake of Kotzebue

Rudy Riedlsperger


Hometown: Austria
ACNS Concentration: Environmental Politics and Policy
Thesis Title: Jay Hammond: The Conservationist Governor
Current Employment: Ph.D. student in Human Geography at Memorial U in St. John's Newfoundland

 Amy Russell-Jamgochian


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS 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)
ACNS 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 Employment: Assistant Professor of Journalism at UAF


 Talis Colberg, Ph.D.


Hometown: Palmer, AK
ACNS Concentration: Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Northern Political History and Culture
Dissertation Title: M.D. Snodgrass: The Founder of the Alaska State Fair
Current Employment: Director, Matanuska-Susitna Campus, UAA

 Mikayla Saito


Hometown: Kotzebue, AK
ACNS Concentration: Environmental Policy
Thesis Title: The Extent to which Traditional Ecological Knowledge is Included in the Alaska Resource Management System
Current Employment: Program manager for Dept. of Educational Leadership at UAA

 Erik White


Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
ACNS Concentration: Northern History
Thesis Title: Bob Bartlett and Ernest Gruening: The Relationship That Helped Alaska to Become a State

 Artem Zhdanov


Hometown: Chishmy, Russia
ACNS Concentration: New Media Journalism
Project Title: Website Design for Creating Alaska Website
Current Employment: Video conferencing specialist for Online with Libraries (OWL), State of Alaska


Sean Bledsoe


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS Concentration: Russian Alaskan History and Anthropology
Thesis Project: Documentary Film on St. Herman of Alaska

 Jessica Brooks


Hometown: Cleveland, OH
ACNS Concentration: Oral History
Thesis Project: Friends on the Road: An Oral History of Trucking on the Dalton Highway

 Sigrid Ekran


Hometown: Sparbu, Norway
ACNS Concentration: Northern Psychology
Project Title: Rocky Raccoon: Sixteen Dogs, One Girl, 1122 Miles from Anchorage to Nome

 Sabine Hugger


Hometown: Heilbronn, Germany
ACNS Concentration: Environmental Education
Thesis Project : An Environmental Education Curriculum for Fairbanks for 7th and 8th Grade Students

 Amy Taylor:


Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
ACNS Concentration: Creative Writing
Thesis Project: Awake Walking: Three One-Act Plays on the Human Condition


 Justin Andrews


Hometown: mostly Virginia (Navy brat)
ACNS Concentration:Higher Education
Thesis Project: The Ant and the Grasshopper: The Mindsets Behind the College Gender Gap in the Millennial Generation

 Aaron Doyle


Hometown: Rhinelander, WI
ACNS Concentration: Rural Education
Thesis Title: Drifting and Directed:The Aspirations of High School Seniors from Three Communities in Rural Alaska
Current Employment: Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics in the Centre for Applied English Studies at Hong Kong University.

Heidi Kristenson (BA 2006)


Hometown: Camrose, Alberta
Current Employment: Hydrologic Technician, National Park Service

 Neva Sherman Hickman

Sherman Hickman

Hometown: Keweenaw Peninsula, MI
ACNS Concentration: Northern History
Thesis Title: The Illusion of Knowledge: Evolution of Early Cartographic Conceptions of Alaska

Steve Mitchell


Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
ACNS Concentration: Alaska Historical Drama
Thesis Project: “James Wickersham: A Judge on the Last Frontier” (a play)

Jane Reilly


Hometown: originally from Florida; now Fairbanks
ACNS Concentration: Biopsychology
Thesis Project: “Northern Stressors and Alcohol Abuse: Is Serotonin Dysfunction a Factor in Self-Medication” (Annotated Bibliography)

 Reija Shnoro


Hometown: Mieslahti, Finland
ACNS Concentration: Global Environmental Policy
Thesis Title: The Kyoto Protocol and the Arctic Region: A Case Study of Finland and Canada
Current Employment: International Student Program Coordinator for UAF

 Lauren Krueger Sill

Krueger Sill

Hometown: North Andover, MA
ACNS Concentration: Global Environmental Policy
Thesis Project: Community Development Quota: Community Sustainability and the Bering Sea


 Diane Scoboria (BA 2003)


Hometown: Bellingham, WA - Juneau, AK
Current Employment: Program Manager, Marine Conservation Alliance. Juneau, Alaska