Courtney Carothers

Courtney Carothers


Commercial Fisheries
Human Dimensions and Community Development
Fisheries Management

College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
1007 West 3rd Avenue
Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99501-1936


University of Washington
Ph.D. Anthropology

University of Washington
M.A. Anthropology

Cornell University
B.A. Biology and Society


Curriculum Vitae



Selected Publications

* = student author

Carothers, C., J. Black, S.J. Langdon, R. Donkersloot, *D. Ringer, *J. Coleman, *E.R. Gavenus, W. Justin, M. Williams, F. Christiansen, C. Stevens, *B. Woods, S. Clark, P.M. Clay, *L. Mack, *J. Raymond-Yakoubian, A. Akall'eq Sanders, B.L. Stevens, and A. Whiting. 2021. Indigenous peoples and salmon stewardship: a critical relationship. Ecology and Society 26(1): 16. 

Donkersloot, R., J.C. Black, C. Carothers, D. Ringer, W. Justin, P.M. Clay, M.R. Poe, E.R. Gavenus, W. Voinot-Baron, C. Stevens, M. Williams, J. Raymond-Yakoubian, F. Christiansen, S.J. Breslow, S.J. Langdon, J.M. Coleman, and S.J. Clark. 2020. Assessing the sustainability and equity of Alaska salmon fisheries through a well-being framework. Ecology and Society 25(2): 18.

Zanotti, L., C. Carothers, *C. Apok, *S. Huang, *J. Coleman, and C. Ambrozek. 2020. Political ecology and decolonial research: Co-production with the Iñupiat in Utqiaġvik. Journal of Political Ecology 27(1): 43–66.

Charnley, S., C. Carothers, T. Satterfield, A. Levine, M.R. Poe, K. Norman, J. Donatuto, S.J. Breslow, M.B. Mascia, P.S. Levin, X. Basurto, C.C. Hicks, C. Garcia-Quijano, and K. St. Martin. 2017. Evaluating the best available social science for natural resource management decision-making. Environmental Science & Policy 73:80–88.

Carothers, C. 2015. Fisheries privatization, social transitions, and well-being in Kodiak, Alaska. Marine Policy 61:313–322.

Carothers, C., C. Brown, K.J. Moerlein, J.A. López, D.B. Andersen, and B. Retherford. 2014. Measuring perceptions of climate change in northern Alaska: pairing ethnography with cultural consensus analysis. Ecology and Society 19(4): 27.

Carothers, C., and C. Chambers*. 2012. Fisheries privatization and the remaking of fishery systems. Environment and Society 3(1): 39–59.



* = student

2021. Alaska's Salmon and People: Synthesizing Knowledge Systems and Dimensions. Carothers, C., P. Westley, J. Black, and *D. Ringer, guest editors for special feature. Ecology and Society

2018. Sea change in fisheries governance. D.G. Webster, E. Cardwell, C. Carothers, and F. McCormack, guest editors for special issue. Elementa. 

2016. Considering communities in fisheries management. C. Lyons and C. Carothers, guest editors for special issue. Marine Policy 74:1–350.

2014. Conceptual, methodological, practical, and ethical challenges in studying and applying indigenous knowledge. C. Carothers, M. Moritz, and R. Zarger, guest editors for special issue. Ecology and Society 19(4): 43.

2012. Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change. C. Carothers, K.R. Criddle, C.P. Chambers, P.J. Cullenberg, J.A. Fall, A.H. Himes-Cornell, J.P. Johnsen, N.S. Kimball, C.R. Menzies, and E.S. Springer, eds. Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

2008. Enclosing the Fisheries: People, Places, and Power. Symposium 68. M. Lowe and C. Carothers, eds. American Fisheries Society


  • Environmental anthropology
  • Political ecology
  • Marine policy
  • Fishing communities


Research Overview

I am an environmental anthropologist with broad interests in human-environment relationships, particularly in marine and fisheries systems. In one central area of study, I explore the shifts in fishing livelihoods as fishing rights become privatized. In another, I partner with indigenous communities in the Arctic to study social-ecological change and traditional ways of life and work toward decolonizing science.


Current Research Projects

  • Tamamta (All of Us): Transforming Indigenous and Western Fisheries and Marine Sciences Together 
    (Funded by National Science Foundation, Lead Project Team: University of Alaska Fairbanks: Courtney Carothers, Jessica Black [Gwich’in], Charlene Stern [Gwich'in], Peter Westley, Seth Danielson)

    Tamamta, a Yup’ik and Sugpiaq word meaning "all of us," is centered on elevating 14,000+ years of Indigenous stewardship and bridging Indigenous and Western sciences to transform graduate education and research in fisheries and marine sciences. 

  • Atautchikkun Iḷitchisukłuta: Coming Together to Learn
    (Funded by National Science Foundation, Key Project Team: University of Alaska Fairbanks: Courtney Carothers, Jessica Black [Gwich’in], Peter Westley, Seth Danielson; First Alaskans Institute: Liz La quen náay Kat Saas Medicine Crow [Haida and Tlingit], Barbara‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Blake [Ahtna, Haida and Tlingit])

    Project Objectives:
    • Build and strengthen the relationships necessary to ethically and meaningfully engage western and Indigenous scientists fully in collaborative research to holistically understand Arctic change.
    • Develop a mutually respectful process for co-creating research questions and conceptual models that will guide and form the centerpiece of a grant proposal.
    • Provide a safe space for mutual learning through the inclusion and mentorship of Indigenous youth as the next generation of scientists and community leaders.

  • Indigenizing Salmon Science and Management 
    (Funded by National Science Foundation & Salmon Connect Partnership, PI: Jessica Black [Gwich'in Athabascan] and Co-PI Rachel Donkersloot)

    Inequities in the salmon system are paramount. These inequities stem from a historical context of colonialism, and are perpetuated in current management systems. These inequities are evident in many dimensions of the salmon system, including: the criminalization of subsistence, the dramatic loss of Alaska Native fishing rights, and the exclusion and marginalization of Tribes, Alaska Native fishing families and communities and Indigenous values and ways of knowing from science and management processes. These inequities have had significant effects on community health and well-being on multiple levels and affect the ability of future generations to learn, grow, and continue traditional lifeways. These issues will not be reconciled until Indigenous voices are meaningfully heard and given power to enact and participate in the decision-making processes. The goal of Indigenizing Salmon Management is to use a deeply participatory approach to document the breadth and depth of Indigenous values, knowledge, management and governance systems connected to salmon across Alaska and to use this wisdom to improve the current salmon management systems in Alaska.