Wednesday, October 26, 2016

National Sea Grant Office

NOAA’s National Sea Grant Office administers funding to the Sea Grant colleges throughout the nation and oversees several national funding competitions. They also facilitates both the Department of Commerce designation of Sea Grant College Programs and the Sea Grant program assessment process.

Find contact information for our staff in the directory below, learn more about the people who work here in our staff biographies, see assignments for Federal Program Officers, and view our organizational chart.


Jonathan Pennock, PhD
Deputy Director: Nikola Garber, PhD

Mailing Address / Directions

Phone / Fax
Phone: 301-734-1066
Fax: 301-713-0799

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Staff Directory

Click on a staff members name to see their picture and bio in the Staff Biographies section below the Directory.

Browse records in that    Search     
Last NameSorted By Last Name In Ascending OrderFirst NameTitlePhoneEmail
BerksonJimNMFS Liaison to Sea Grant (301)
BradyPegSenior Program Manager(301)
BriggsRebeccaProgram Officer(301)
BrownJoshuaChief Focus Area Officer (301)
CarlsonDornAssistant Director for Programs(301)
CarneyBrookeCommunication Lead(301)
ChanSamNational Extension Program
ChorneyDavidProgram Manager(301)
EarlyLauraCoastal Specialist
[Sea Grant Knauss Fellow]
EigenJonathanAssistant Director for Operations(301)
EllisChrisNOS Liaison to Sea Grant(843)
FornaceKyrstinIntegrated Water Coordinator
[Sea Grant Knauss Fellow]
GalkiewiczJuliaFellowship Coordinator
GarberNikolaDeputy Director(301)
GarlicMary AnnExecutive Assistant to the
HayesChrisSoutheast Regional Lead(301)
HindenJenniferAdministrative Officer(301)
HolmesSusanProgram and management
LilleyJonathanProgram Officer and Education
LurieMatthewNational Ocean Council Fellow, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
[Sea Grant Knauss Fellow]
McCartyAmandaAssistant Director for Partnerships(301)
PiankaKarenAquaculture Fellow, NOAA Office of Aquaculture
[Sea Grant Knauss Fellow]
RobinsonMaryProgram Assistant(301)
RohringElizabethEngagement Lead(301)
ShewErinClimate Preparedness Fellow, White House Council on Environmental Quality
[Sea Grant Knauss Fellow]
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Jim Berkson, Ph.D., is the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Liaison to Sea Grant in the National Sea Grant Office.  Jim facilitates the creation of new partnerships between NMFS and the National and State Sea Grant offices around the country. 
Jim received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at San Diego, his Master of Science from the University of British Columbia, and his Ph.D. from Montana State University.  Jim has worked for federal, state, and tribal fisheries management agencies. He has also been an academic, teaching at the University of Oregon, the University of South Florida, and the University of Florida and earning tenure at Virginia Tech.  Utilizing both his agency and academic backgrounds, Jim has a long history of creating new partnerships.  Since joining NOAA in 2003, Jim created and led the NMFS Recruiting, Training, and Research program, designed to recruit outstanding undergraduate and graduate students into the field of population dynamics and into jobs with NOAA.

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Margaret M. (Peg) Brady is currently on a 12-month detail with Sea Grant as a senior program manager focusing on planning, implementation, and evaluation (PIE), and is the program officer for Maine, MIT, New Hampshire, and Woods Hole Sea Grant Programs.

Since 2008 Peg served as the NOAA senior policy liaison to the National Invasive Species Council and Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and concurrently served as NOAA Fisheries Division Chief for planning and program evaluation. She continues to chair the Interagency National Ocean Policy Ecosystem-based Management Interagency Work Group. Peg joined NOAA in 2003 as the NOAA Habitat Program Coordinator. Prior to joining NOAA, Peg served as the Assistant Secretary within the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Director of the Commonwealth’s Coastal Zone Management Program, and as a marine research scientist and instructor at a variety of labs and institutions in the Northeast.

Peg holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Rhode Island and participated in M.I.T.’s Environmental Policy Group, the U.S. Federal Executive Institute, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Senior Management Program.

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Briggs, Rebecca

Rebecca Briggs Ph.D., is the Program Officer for Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia Sea Grant programs. 

Becky joins us from the University of Hawaii (UH) where she was the Program and Laboratory Manager for the SOEST Laboratory for Analytical Biogeochemistry.  In this role she built a state-of-the-art analytical laboratory that provides carbon and nutrient data to environmental researchers.

Becky received a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Chemical Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island (URI) followed by a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the UH Manoa. Her doctoral research examined nutrient biogeochemistry in marine environments, focusing primarily on understanding the role marine sediments play in controlling coastal nutrient availability. This work contributed to the restoration of He’eia Fishpond, a historical Hawaiian fishpond, and highlighted the importance of cultural understanding and mutual respect between science, tradition, and conservation.

Prior to her time in Hawaii, Rebecca was a Marine Research Specialist at the Office of Marine Programs (OMP) at URI.  While working with OMP education and outreach programs, she strived to promote science education, marine conservation and environmental stewardship.

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Brown, Joshua E.

Joshua E. Brown, Ph.D., is the Chief Focus Area Officer and Research Lead for the National Sea Grant College Program.  He is the Program Officer for Alaska, California, Guam, Hawaii, Oregon, University of Southern California and Washington Sea Grant Programs and the regional lead for the Western and Pacific programs.

Joshua joined the National Sea Grant Office as a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, working on sustainable coastal development and community resilience. He stayed with Sea Grant after his fellowship, continuing to focus developing programs to support community resilience. Joshua has continued his focus on resilience and participates in many cross-NOAA and interagency resilience teams.

Joshua received his Ph.D. in 2009 in Earth, Ecology, & Environmental Sciences from the University of Toledo, his MS in Integrative Biology in 2004 From Brigham Young University, and his BA in Biology in 1999 from Wabash College.  


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Carlson, Dorn

Dorn Carlson is the Assistant Director for Programs as well as the Program Officer for the National Sea Grant Library.

Carlson is a long-time Federal bureaucrat, formerly regulation developer for the EPA, Environmental Manager for an R&D Facility, Supervisory Research Chemist for the Navy, and Powder Monkey. Starting in 1979, he worked for 10 years as a research chemist for the Navy, then another seven years as the Environmental Compliance manager of a Naval Sea Systems Command Research facility in Silver Spring, Maryland. He then helped develop joint Navy-EPA environmental regulations, first for the Navy, then for EPA.

Since 2000, Carlson has worked for NOAA as a Sea Grant Program Officer. In 2007, he became the Research Director of Sea Grant.

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Carney, Brooke

Brooke Carney is the Communication Lead for the National Sea Grant Office and is currently focused on coordinating the 50th Anniversary of Sea Grant.

Prior to joining NOAA, Brooke worked with the National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring Program, Alaska Region as the Science Communication Specialist for the region. She has also served as both Coastal Training Coordinator and Education Coordinator for Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Florida where she specialized in developing and delivering education and training programs for diverse audiences and facilitating management and policy development processes. Brooke holds Master’s degrees in Biology from the University of Alaska Anchorage and in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Chan, Sam

Sam Chan PhD, is the National Extension Program Lead for the National Sea Grant Office. In this role, Sam will work with Sea Grant network's extension leadership in identifying issues and impacts of national/regional significance and facilitating solutions through collaboration. Sam is also the Program Officer for Illinois-Indiana, Ohio, and  Pennsylvania Sea Grant programs.

Sam comes to us on an Interagecy Personnel Agreement (IPA) with Oregon Sea Grant, where he serves as the Statewide Watershed Health and Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist where he focuses on the nexus of biophysical and social sciences to address complex issues of water sustainability, water quality and bioinvasion pathways. Sam has a PhD in physiological ecology, a master's in forest ecology, and a bachelor's in bioresource sciences from the University of California at Berkley and Oregon State University.

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Chorney, David

David Chorney is a Program Manager for the National Sea Grant Office and will be working with PIER, contracts, partnerships with the National Weather Service, the resilient communities focus area and water activities.

David joins us from the Ocean Prediction Center in Camps Springs. Prior to that position, David worked the National Hurricane Center in Miami and the Hartford, CT, Weather Service Office. David was in the US Air Force on active duty from 1989 to 1993, and is a veteran of Desert Storm.

David has his Masters Degree from Air University in Leadership, a Masters Certificate in Homeland Defense from the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, a Bachelors Degree in Meteorology from Florida State University, and an Associated degree in Computer Science from St. Petersburg College.  

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Early, Laura

Laura Early is the Coastal Specialist in the National Sea Grant Office. She is a recipient of the 2016 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Laura is pursuing her M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development at the University of Georgia, and received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Clemson University. In between degrees, Laura contributed to field research, education, and outreach at Little St. Simons Island, GA. She also monitored sea turtle nesting with the Georgia Sea Turtle Cooperative and Cumberland Island National Seashore, as well as worked to inspire young ocean advocates at Sanibel Sea School. Laura's Master's thesis work utilizes ecosystem services modeling to inform local decision-makers about potential impacts of land use change in coastal Georgia.

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Eigen, Jonathan

Jonathan Eigen is the Assistant Director for Operations for the National Sea Grant Office.  He is also Designated Federal Officer for the National Sea Grant Advisory Board.

Jon graduated from the University of Maryland in 1988 with a BS in Marketing and Finance.  He completed his Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis of Business Economics and Public Policy from The George Washington University.   His duties with the National Sea Grant College Program include all aspects of the Budget and Grants administration as well as serving as Program Officer for the Great Lakes Region.   Prior to joining NOAA in 1991 he worked in television sports for the now defunct Mizlou Sports News Network. His hobbies include basketball, reading science fiction/fantasy and board games. 

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Chris Ellis, PhD, is a social scientist with NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, in Charleston, SC and currently on detail to the National Sea Grant Office as the NOS Liaison.

Chris has training in environmental sociology, survey design and implementation, recreation and tourism choice behavior, organizational behavioral networks, and social-psychological interaction with the coast. He has extensive experience in working with state and local municipalities to build capacity in coastal conservation, and community resilience. He also has a growing portfolio of projects that lend technical assistance to the National Weather Service to build social science capacity within the Office. Working currently for NOAA, and formerly for both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, he has gained unique perspectives of how the public and institutions understand, perceive, and use natural resources, particularly in coastal areas. He is an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston, where he works with students on an array of human dimensions-based research topics. Chris completed his PhD in Coastal Resources Management from East Carolina University in 2005.

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Fornace, Kyrstin

Kyrstin Fornace, PhD is the Integrated Water Coordinator, a joint position between the National Sea Grant Office, Climate Program Office, and Office of Weather and Air Quality. She is a recipient of the 2016 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Kyrstin received a PhD in chemical oceanography from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in 2015 and a B.S. in chemistry from MIT in 2009. Her dissertation research focused on past monsoon variability and the effects of past climate change on the terrestrial carbon cycle in tropical South America. As a graduate student, she participated in the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) program and several other Earth science education activities. Outside of research, she also spent time developing her skills as an amateur graphic designer. 

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Galkiewicz, Julia

Julia Galkiewicz, Ph.D, is the Fellowship Coordinator, managing the Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship program and the NMFS Sea Grant Fellows program.

Julia was previously a Communication Specialist with the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, where she also spent a year as a 2012 Knauss Fellow, managing projects that allowed scientists to share their cutting-edge research with other scientists, Congress, and the public. Julia also worked at the American Geophysical Union on the Thriving Earth Exchange, a new effort to connect communities with Earth and space scientists to solve global challenges on a local level. Julia received her Ph.D. in Marine Science at the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science and her B.Sc at the College of William and Mary.

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Garber, Nikola

Nikola M. Garber, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director of the National Sea Grant College Program.

In her role as the Deputy Director of the National Sea Grant College Program, Kola administers funding to the 33 Sea Grant colleges throughout the nation and oversees several national funding competitions, facilitates both the Department of Commerce designation of Sea Grant College Programs, and the Sea Grant program assessment process.  Kola joined NOAA Sea Grant in 2000 as the Sea Grant Knauss fellowship manager and has since held positions as the Assistant Director for Administration and most currently as the Deputy Director.   In 1999, Kola was a recipient of the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship working as a legislative fellow for Senator Ron Wyden. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Bowling Green State University, a Master of Science degree in marine science/molecular biology and a Ph.D. in International Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her dissertation researched NOAA’s response to Hurricane Mitch and formulated a plan for Reconstruction Planning in NOAA. 

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Garlic, Mary Ann

Mary Ann Garlic is the Executive Assistant to the Director, supporting the work of both the Director and Deputy Director of the National Sea Grant College Program.

Prior to joining Sea Grant, Mary Ann worked as a grants management specialist for several federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health , and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  She recently earned certificates in Field Production, Field Technician, Studio Technician, Production, and Directing and is finishing up a B.A. in Communication from Pennsylvania State University.


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Hayes, Chris

Chris Hayes is the Southeast Regional Lead and Program Officer for the Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi-Alabama, National Sea Grant Law Center, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Texas Sea Grant programs. He is also the Program Officer for the National Sea Grant Law Center.

Chris started with Sea Grant as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in 2008 and worked in the NMFS Partnerships and Communications office. After some time with the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program, Chris joined the National Sea Grant Office in 2010 and led development of the PIER database and initiated the Sea Grant Social Science Community of Practice.

Chris has a B.S. in Ecology from the University of Georgia and an M.S. in Fisheries Sciences from Virginia Tech. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Fisheries Science at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences.


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Hinden, Jennifer

Jennifer Hinden is the Administrative Officer for the National Sea Grant Office where she supports the many needs of the office. Jennifer also works with the Designated Federal Officer and the National Sea Grant Advisory Board.

Prior to joining Sea Grant, Jennifer was the Public Information Officer for Jefferson County Homeland Security and Emergency Management. There she provided information to media outlets by generating news, releases, holding press conferences, and acting as department spokesperson and media liaison to disseminate agency related information to inform and educate the public. She also spoke with various public schools and Senior Citizen groups on emergency preparedness and weather safety.

Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership.  

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Holmes, Susan

Susan Holmes is the Program and Management Analyst for the National Sea Grant Office leading planning, implementation, and evaluation (PIE) efforts.

Susan joins us from the NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) Management and Budget Office, where she provided planning, assessment, and coordination support for NOS’s involvement with NOAA strategy planning and execution, performance management, and budget formulation. While with NOS, Susan also co-led the NOAA Energy Team, and worked as part of a team to support and coordinate NOAA's National Ocean Policy and marine spatial planning efforts. Prior to her time in the National Ocean Service, Susan was worked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinating the Council of Large Aquatic Ecosystems and conducted program reviews of National Estuary Programs (NEPs).

Susan has a B.S. in marine biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a M.S. in marine resources management from Oregon State University, and a graduate certificate in geographic information sciences from Oregon State University. 

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Krepp, Alison

Alison Krepp is the Program Officer for Connecticut and Rhode Island Sea Grant programs.

Prior to joining Sea Grant, Alison worked with NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System where her roles included national strategic planning lead, social scientist, and regional coordinator to the northeast research reserves. Alison also worked with the state of South Carolina where she served as a planner in the Department of Natural Resources. Her state agency work was focused on river corridor conservation with landowners and community groups. Alison holds a Bachelor of Science in natural resource management from the University of Maine and a Master of Science in environmental policy and behavior from the University of Michigan.

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Lilley, Jonathan

Jonathan Lilley, Ph.D. is the Program Officer for the Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Sea Grant programs and the Education Coordinator for the National Sea Grant Office.

Prior to joining Sea Grant, Jon worked in NOAA’s Office or Education where he coordinated the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center Network. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Nottingham, a master’s degree in Coastal and Marine Resource Management from the University of Portsmouth, and a doctorate in Marine Studies (Policy) from the University of Delaware. After graduating from Delaware, Jon conducted post-doctoral research at Hawai‘i Sea Grant and at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

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Lurie, Matthew

Matthew Lurie is the National Ocean Council Fellow, supporting both the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Sea Grant Office. He is a recipient of the 2016 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Matt is a trained ecologist and science educator. He received a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from the University of California at Los Angeles followed by an M.S. and Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His research focused on plant invasion ecology in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. As a science educator Matt is passionate about promoting science literacy. He served as an undergraduate instructor for biology and natural history courses, co-wrote the online marine science curriculum Exploring our Fluid Earth, and facilitated professional development workshops for Teaching Science as Inquiry: Aquatic Science through the Curriculum Research & Development Group at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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McCarty, Amanda

Amanda McCarty is the Assistant Director for Partnerships at the National Sea Grant Office.

Amanda works with the Sea Grant network to build national level partnerships, implement new Sea Grant initiatives, and increase awareness of Sea Grant's capabilities. Amanda came to Sea Grant from NOAA’s Climate Program Office where she worked on domestic and international climate policy, negotiations, and partnerships. Amanda is originally from Minnesota, a place she still thinks of as home. She received her B.S. in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington and her M.S. in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She was a 2008 Sea Grant Legislative Fellow with the Democratic Staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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Pennock, Jonathan

Jonathan Pennock, PhD, is the Director of the National Sea Grant College Program.

Prior to joining NOAA, Jon was the director of the New Hampshire Sea Grant Program and the deputy director of the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. Jon is a nationally-known coastal scientist with expertise in oceanography and estuarine sciences. His research has focused on understanding human impacts on coastal marine food webs. Jon has a PhD in oceanography and master's in marine studies from the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s in biology from Earlham College.

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Pianka, Karen

Karen Pianka is the Aquaculture Fellow in NOAA's Office of Aquaculture, supporting both the Office of Aquaculture and the National Sea Grant Office.  She is a recipient of the 2016 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Karen is finishing her dual Master's degrees in Marine Policy and Marine Biology from the University of Maine at Orono. Her marine policy research has focused on shellfish and seaweed aquaculture as an income diversification opportunity for commercial lobstermen, and her marine biology research has explored the development of ecologically friendly treatments for blister worms in Eastern oysters. Karen's background includes experience working in the aquarium industry as well as serving as the Wildlife Permits Coordinator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Both of these experiences afforded her the opportunity to work close to the interface between science and policy, which she is looking forward to continuing.

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Robinson, Mary

Mary Robinson is the Program Assistant for the National Sea Grant Office. 

Mary is originally from North Carolina, and studied data programming at Rockingham Community College. While working at Annie Penn Memorial Hospital as  data analyst, Mary decided she wanted to become a nurse and returned to school to study nursing and worked at the hospital for nearly 7 years. Mary has been with Sea Grant since 1990.

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Rohring, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Rohring is the Engagement Lead for the National Sea Grant Program Office.  She is also the coordinator for the Sea Grant Social Science Community of Practice, and the Program Officer for Lake Champlain, Sea Grant Program.

Elizabeth joined us from the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History Sant Ocean Hall, where she was the Senior Ocean Science Education Specialist.  She has worked with the NOAA Ocean Service International Programs Office on socioeconomic issues relating to Caribbean MPAs and also as a Sea Grant Extension Agent in the U.S. Virgin Islands, focusing on engagement with the local fishermen.

Elizabeth has a Master’s degree from Yale University in conservation biology and social ecology and a B.A. in philosophy from William Smith College. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at George Mason University in climate change outreach and engagement.

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Shew, Erin

Erin Shew is the Climate Preparedness Fellow, supporting both the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the National Sea Grant Office. She is a recipient of the 2016 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Erin is concurrently pursuing an MA in Arctic and Northern Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her research looks at the ways in which natural resource management systems promote or detract from resilience in fishing communities. Prior to beginning her fellowship, she worked as an anthropologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Subsistence conducting research on the use of wild foods in rural Alaska. Erin has also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in the Native Village of Eyak's Department of Environment and Natural Resources and a communications intern for Renewable Energy Alaska Project. She has a deep love of cold places and a passion for helping communities implement practical solutions to build resilience and sustainability

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