Alaska Sea Grant Annual Report

Year in review

Welcome to our 2017–2018 annual report! In the stories collected here, we share highlights of Alaska Sea Grant’s work this past year and invite you to share your feedback. During the year, we’ve furthered our mission to sustain Alaska’s healthy coasts, ecosystems and economies, through research education and outreach. We continue to support future leaders in science and marine policy through our traineeship and fellowship programs and K-12 learning initiatives.

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

Alaskans depend on healthy coastal ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems maintain structure and function over time in the face of external stress and change. They are biologically productive and resilient to physical forces and to the social, political, and economic drivers that dictate human interactions. Humans are a part of Alaska’s coastal ecosystems, using seasonally abundant resources to meet subsistence, cultural, and economic needs. Many Alaskans have a deep knowledge and engagement with their natural surroundings.

Resilient Communities and Economies

Most coastal communities in Alaska are accessible only by boat and air. While valued by local residents, this remoteness results in higher costs for goods and services and fewer economic opportunities. Challenges in coastal communities include high energy costs, low margins for businesses, limited municipal revenues, limited Internet capability, decreasing state financial support, and other factors that can make it difficult to attract business, create employment opportunities for residents, sustain community services, and provide for community well-being.

Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

Alaskans depend on the harvest of fish, shellfish, and other marine resources including marine mammals, invertebrates, plants and seabirds, for food, and in the case of fish and shellfish, for jobs and income. Alaska’s waters provide over half of America’s commercial fisheries landings each year. Subsistence harvest of marine resources for food occurs across the state, serving as the base of a mixed cash-subsistence economy and lifestyle in many coastal communities.

Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

In Alaska, the context of environmental literacy is a diverse population, with varying degrees of access to educational resources, challenged by a rapidly changing natural environment. The need for current, relevant information gleaned from research and the long-term perspectives of local knowledge is becoming more urgent for Alaskans. Environmentally literate citizens able to participate in public policy decisions that affect Alaska’s coastal resources are crucial.

k-12 students educated in marine science
k-12 educators trained
graduate students worked on Alaska Sea Grant–funded research
publications distributed
businesses sustained or created
fishermen/processors trained
jobs sustained or created

Alaska Sea Grant Fellows

Nyssa Baechler
Marguerite Tibbles
Kayla Schommer
Dianna Perry
Alicia Schuler
Amy Krikham

Our People

Alaska Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sea Grant has been working in Alaska for over 46 years supporting healthy coastal resources, strong economies and vibrant communities through research, education, and outreach via 12 Marine Advisory agents who live and work in eight coastal communities.

Program Administration

Heather Brandon, Director
Tara Borland, Program Manager
Beverly Bradley, Marine Advisory Program Manager
Jared Jeffery, Fiscal Coordinator
Astrid Rose, Program Assistant
Terri Schimmack, Administrative Assistant


Ginny Eckert, Associate Director for Research

Education and Communications

Paula Dobbyn, Communications Manager
Dawn Montano, Publications Specialist
Dave Partee, Communications and Web/Database Developer
Marilyn Sigman, Marine Education Specialist

Marine Advisory Program

Sunny Rice, Program Leader/Marine Advisory Agent, Petersburg
Torie Baker, Associate Leader/Marine Advisory Agent, Cordova
Gabe Dunham, Marine Advisory Agent, Dillingham
Quentin Fong, Seafood Marketing Specialist, Kodiak
Gary Freitag, Marine Advisory Agent, Ketchikan
Melissa Good, Marine Advisory Agent, Unalaska
Davin Holen, Coastal Community Resilience Specialist, Anchorage
Julie Matweyou, Marine Advisory Agent, Kodiak
Chris Sannito, Seafood Technology Specialist, Kodiak
Gay Sheffield, Marine Advisory Agent, Nome
Download our 48-page annual report PDF to print or share.

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