State Advisory Council
★ Extension council meetings, like many other meetings held by sub units of the university, are open meetings. Interested parties should call 907-474-7246 for information on how to connect to the meeting. ★
Minutes (files below are .docx)
State Advisory Council Duties
Members of Extension's State Advisory Council are advocates for funding and programming with the university, state government and agencies on behalf of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service.
As advocates for Extension's programming throughout Alaska, the council also provides an invaluable service by providing stakeholder input for Extension on a statewide level.
Voting and non-voting members of the council serve for three-year terms for a maximum of six consecutive years. Terms on the board are staggered so that not all the seats become vacant at the same time. If you are interested in serving on Extension's Advisory Council as seats become vacant, please fill out the application and submit it to the address listed.
The 11 members of the council are elected through a nomination process, with eight of the seats on the board filled by individuals representing a specific geographic region of the state. The other three seats are open and nominations to fill those posts can come from anywhere in the state. There are also non-voting Extension faculty and staff representatives on the council.
Contact Information and Profiles
[Term 2016 - 2019, Interior]
Dr. Rose Meier
Rose Meier grew up on a family farm in Illinois, and says she can still remember seeing her dad and the local farm Extension agent, heads bent over some problem weed or weakened crop plant, searching for a solution to this botanical dilemma under the blazing Midwestern sun. “This made a big impression on me, and I've been in love with plants ever since,” she said. She earned a Ph.D. in botany from University of Minnesota and, after a five-year postgraduate stint at the Smithsonian's Conservation and Research Center, came to UAF in 1997.
She helps steer a new program in ethnobotany, the study of the many and varied relationships between people and plants. The program helps students learn more about basic plant biology and reconnects them to local elders who share their knowledge of the important roles that native plants play. “I think my dad would be pleased to see me come full circle, back to that place where it's just you, a plant and some great sharing under the glowing midnight sun,” she said.
[Term 2016 - 2019, Interior]
Karen Norris has lived in Alaska nearly 40 years, the majority of it in Fairbanks. She and her husband, Raymond, built their home and still live on that homestead. They raised two children who also live in Fairbanks. “My life in the Interior has been an exciting and varied one,” she said. She was a competitive dog musher for over 30 years. The family raised a large variety of livestock for their own food source as well as for their children participating in the 4-H Market Program. She has been involved in many volunteer positions, from serving on the Alaska Dog Mushers Association Board of Governors and being a 4-H leader for seven years, to, most recently, getting the Fairbanks Community Museum and Dog Mushing Museum in its new location and taking a position on the board.
Norris says her current position as a visitor information specialist with Explore Fairbanks offers her the opportunity to share her love and knowledge of her and community with thousands of people. “I continue to learn about the people, history and culture of our great state.”
[Term 2010-2016, Southcentral]
Robert (Bob) Shumaker
Bob Shumaker is a part-time farmer, president of the Alaska Farmers Union, and father, and he also has a full-time job working for the local school district purchasing department. During the summer while working for the district, he also grows close to 3.5 acres of vegetables, and participates in the Eagle River, Southside, and sometimes 15 and Cordova Markets.
Bob has been a resident of Alaska since April of 1989. “There was still snow on the ground and I was living in my car out at Chickaloon and driving everyday to JC Penneys for work,” says Bob. “It was a big change considering that just a few months prior I had been to the Florida Keys after attending Purdue University. Then I moved up to no running water or electricity, at least I had a roof over my head.” Bob can tell you from experience that no longer is he a cheechako! “One time while driving back from UAF (I had purchased some pigs and one big boar from Fred Husby) someone fell asleep at the wheel and we ended up in the ditch. The snow was almost to the top of the truck. But of all the trials none beats good times with 4-H, FFA, or sleeping out with the Boy Scouts at who knows way below zero."
Bob was born in Arizona, and raised mostly in Indiana. He has five children and five grandchildren. Bob partners in a farm business in Indiana with his three brothers. He holds a bachelor’s in general communication from Purdue. Bob is hoping to move into the material stage soon and get a snow machine so he can get out and trap. He loves dealing with people, markets, growing things, and hiring young people so he doesn’t have to work as hard. Currently Bob’s favorite tool is a mulch layer, making life easier for everyone.
Julie was born in Portland, Ore., and she spent most of her youth living on a small farm southwest of Portland, where she participated in several 4-H clubs. She moved to Fairbanks in 1983 to attend UAF and used the services and advice offered by the UAF Cooperative Extension to adjust to living in the cold North. When Julie moved to Colorado in 1995, she continued her support and use of the local Cooperative Extension. She raised three children in Colorado and participated in several 4-H clubs with her children.
Julie holds a related master’s degree as well as a bachelor’s degree in business management. She moved back to Alaska in 2008 and works at the Anchorage Pioneers Home. She lives in Eagle River with her husband Bart, daughter Libby, three dogs, two cats and a black bunny.
[Term 2013-2019, Southeast]
Jeste grew up in New York about two hours north of New York City, on 100 acres with a lake and streams that were surrounded by another couple thousand acres that were largely undeveloped. She says she grew up in a more rural setting than many here even in Alaska. She adds,“People have regularly underestimated me by my accent and proclivity for stylish accessories but have consistently been dismayed by my proficiency in fire building, wood splitting and stacking, construction, gardening and a general battery of domestic skills.”
Jeste came to Alaska to stay with friends’ parents to play, for what was supposed to be a part of a summer. Five years later, she is still here and has traveled around the state and “had the good fortune to have access to a great many quintessentially Alaska experiences.” She has been working as a chef. Through her work in many kitchens here, she says she has fed nearly everyone in Juneau at some point or another.
Carrie originally moved to Alaska with her parents in 1955 when her father was a Russian language translator for the US Army. They fell in love with the state, and after her father's tour of duty, her parents finished college and returned to teach in Southwest Alaska villages starting in 1962. Since then, she has lived in a variety of Southwest Alaska communities (Emmonak, Nunapitchuk, Kwigillingok, Bethel, Takotna, Grayling, Aniak). In addition, she homesteaded forty acres on the Holitna River in 1972.
Her professionarl career has been as a secondary teacher in Bethel, Alaska. A few years after she retired from teaching there, Carrie and her husband moved from Bethel to Aniak, Alaska in order to live in the same town as my grandchildren. Living in Aniak has allowed her to pursue several passions - participating in family activities, doing community service (for example: volunteering in schools, serving on the Kuspuk School District board, volunteering for the K-300 and Aniak 150 dog races), engaging in outdoor activities (boating, fishing, snowmachining, hiking). She has no plans to leave the rural area she has called home for most of her life.
At-Large Seats (3)
[Term 2011-2017, At-Large, Southwest]
Alice Ruby is from Dillingham and has served as city mayor for the past five years. She graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in urban and regional planning. She is the program manager for the Economic Development and Permit Brokerage for the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. Prior to that, Alice devoted 20 years as land manager and then as director of operations for Choggiung Ltd., the Native corporation for Dillingham, Portage Creek and Ekuk. She has been active with several local organizations, as a firefighter and emergency medical technician, rescue squad director and fire chief. She also served on the board of the local domestic violence shelter.
In her personal time, she is a reader, cook and crafter. Many of her favorite activities are done with sisters, brother, nieces and nephews. She says, “My sister, Amy, and I are avid ‘canners’ and have been great fans of the Cooperative Extension Service for techniques. We love to surprise our family and friends with an almost never-ending variety of home-canned gourmet fish.
[Term 2014-2017 At-Large]
[Term 2011-2017 At-Large]
Paul McIntosh, Chair
Paul grew up in an agricultural community in central Illinois where the prairie soil is deep and black, and the land is very flat. When he was old enough, he worked summers for farmers and was a member of a crew that painted and reroofed houses and farm buildings. Following his forestry studies at the University of Illinois and the University of Washington, he began a 35-plus year career with the USDA Forest Service which took him to New Hampshire, Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, West Virginia and Southeast Alaska. His work on the national forests progressed from visitor center interpretive planning to public affairs to rural community assistance. Paul’s last USFS assignment was a detail to the Denali Commission in Anchorage where he managed the Economic Development Program.
Paul believes in the university’s “community college” mission through its extended campuses around Alaska, and its outreach mission through the Cooperative Extension Service and the Marine Advisory Program. He served nine years as a member or chair of the UAS Ketchikan Campus Advisory Council as well as two three-year terms on the CES State Advisory Council. Paul and his wife have a married son
Mara Bacsujlaky, Youth, Family & Community Development
Extension State Advisory Council Support
Fred Schlutt, Director
Fred has served as the vice-provost for Outreach and the director of the Cooperative Extension Service for the University of Alaska since May 2009. Fred has a Ph.D. in adult and extension education, a master's in horticulture, and a bachelor's in sociology all from Texas A&M University.
He began his career in the Texas Agricultural Extension Service in 1979 as a county Extension agent. Prior to joining the University of Alaska, he worked in Extension administration at the University of Wyoming and the University of Maine.
He and his wife, Ann, have three children: LuAnn who is a high school special education teacher and softball coach; Trey who is attending Husson College; and Laura who is a student at the University of Alaska.Melody Hughes, Assistant to the Director