CRRC employs a staff of 27 people, who are located at the central office in Anchorage, at the Alutiiq Pride Marine Institute in Seward, and at several remote locations around the Chugach region. Depending on specific projects, CRRC has over 15 seasonal workers at the local level throughout the Chugach region.
Education & Outreach Specialist
Robin was born and raised in Seward, Alaska. She received her Environmental Studies and Geography undergraduate degree at Flordia State University. Robin spent two years in the Westfjords of Iceland, attending grad school for Coastal and Marine Management before returning to Alaska. Before working for CRRC, Robin was an Alaska Sea Grant Fellow working on mariculture outreach and development.
Tribal Fish Biologist
Maddy Lee, the Tribal Fish Biologist at CRRC, is responsible for supporting the rights of the Chugach Region Tribes to have subsistence, cultural, and economic opportunities with their local fisheries. Her primary role as the Tribal Fish Biologist is to support the current fisheries projects that are in the villages of Eyak, Nanwalek, and Port Graham. In addition, she will build a vibrant Chugach fisheries program that includes salmon enhancement and monitoring projects throughout the whole region. Maddy will use her M.S. to support the Fisheries Program in scientific research and apply traditional knowledge from the Chugach region Tribes to provide greater access to their fish resources.
Maddy received her B.A. from Colorado College in Environmental Science with a minor in Computer Science. She received her M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and has published her thesis research assessing adult Chinook salmon heat stress and reproductive consequences in Southcentral Alaska. In addition to fisheries, Maddy has a strong background in GIS and is passionate about making science easy to understand using story maps. She also serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the American Fisheries Society Alaska Chapter.
Mr. Case Estes is the Hatchery Technician and is responsible for maintaining facility equipment and supplies. Case also serves as a diver for APMI’s collection and maintenance needs and provides videography support during field trips.
A lifelong resident of Moose Pass, Alaska, Case is an experienced diver in coldwater environments. Case also owns his own aerial videography business, Bird’s Eye View Advertisement.
Chemistry Laboratory Technician
Cora McKean is the Chemistry Laboratory Technician and assists in the daily tasks in the APMI’s ocean chemistry lab, which includes testing seawater samples, setting up and conducting experiments, and procuring and maintaining laboratory equipment and supplies.
Cora holds a bachelor’s degree in marine science and mathematics from the University of Miami. She is passionate about oceanography and understanding how and why the ocean moves.
Biology Laboratory Technician
Jacob Cohen is the Biology Laboratory Technician. He supports the various research and monitoring programs at APMI through his laboratory and field work. He analyzes seawater samples from coastal communities and identifies phytoplankton and tests for shellfish toxins in the biology lab.
Jacob previously worked as a physical science technician in a paleoclimate lab at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia, before moving to Seward to work for APMI. In this role, he sampled Arctic sediment cores to assist in research on historical changes in ice, and he conducted microscope analyses on ostracod specimens. Jacob has a bachelor of science degree from Georgetown University, where he majored in science, technology, and international affairs with a concentration in energy and the environment and a minor in biology.
& Travel Coordinator
Richelle Donovan is the Accounts Payable/Receivable and Travel Coordinator for CRRC. She is responsible for performing all clerical duties in relation to financial affairs and for proper recordkeeping and reporting for all types of revenue–philanthropic and government grants, individual contributions, and earned–across the CRRC’s system. She corresponds with team members as necessary regarding revenue and provides overall assistance to the Finance Department. Additionally, Richelle ensures all travel needs are met for the CRRC staff.
Richelle started her career in the medical billing field, but after 10 years she decided to change gears and return to her passion, accounting. She is currently attending school where she hopes to further her knowledge and career. Richelle has also worked as an Accounting Technician for the State of Alaska and completes all her personal books for the business she owns. Richelle is no stranger to Alaska. Raised in Anchorage, she has grown up to love the great outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and exploring new places.
Sarah Farmer is the Staff Accountant for CRRC. She supports all the programs and administration and conducts payroll, provides financial reports, plans budgets and forecasting, and assists in conducting strategic planning. She is key to maintaining the grant information databases and individual grant files.
Sarah is Iñupiaq and was born and raised in Kotzebue, Alaska. She earned her bachelor’s in accounting while living in Anchorage. Her background includes pharmaceuticals, helping locals with scholarships, law enforcement, and accounting. Sarah grew up living off the land, preparing caribou, plucking ptarmigan, fileting salmon, harvesting blueberries and salmonberries, and gathering other Native foods. In her free time, she enjoys the simple things in life like hiking, enjoying all seasons, making blueberry and fireweed jams, crafting, sewing and baking with her daughter, and frequent camping and fishing trips with her friends and family.
Sean Den Adel
Prince William Sound
Sean Den Adel is the Mariculture Liaison for the Prince William Sound region at CRRC. He supports the Tribes within the region through outreach, education, and coordination of efforts related to seaweed and shellfish farming. Sean is an active kelp farmer and shares his knowledge with the region while supporting others in regenerative ocean farming. He is responsible for working with the Alaska Mariculture Alliance, while assisting with all mariculture-related projects within the Exxon Valdez oil spill area.
Sean was born and raised on the Salish Sea, where he grew up digging clams with his family. Sean attended Huxley College of the Environment, bachelor of science degree in environmental science in 2015. He draws on over a decade of experience as an environmental scientist for Tribes, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Japan.
Grants & Contracts Manager
Diana Hinton joined the CRRC in 2022 as Executive Assistant and was promoted in 2023 to the position of Grants Manager. She oversees government grants, manages relationships with private and public foundations, and works with the Executive Director and Board to create a development strategy. Diana’s primary responsibility is to ensure compliance with funder requirements as outlined in each grant agreement, which includes developing reports, data tracking, processing and analyzing grants, and coordinating with the Finance Department regarding the invoicing process related to cost-reimbursable grants. She prepares all contracts and grant reports and collaborates with respective partners and stakeholders. Diana assists in developing and submitting grant applications and is available for technical assistance in grant management to all Tribal governments in the Chugach region.
With over 9 years of experience in managing business operations, providing financial management, and working with organizations of various sizes, Diana is a versatile and seasoned professional. Her practical experience has helped her hone her skills in working in cross-functional and cross-institutional research center environments, collaborating with diverse teams, coordinating research efforts, managing communication channels, and providing comprehensive financial support to ensure organizational success. Diana’s expertise enables her to navigate complex research environments and deliver successful project outcomes.
Fish & Wildlife Coordinator
Christine DeWeese is the Fish and Wildlife Coordinator at CRRC, where she works on regulatory advocacy on behalf of the seven CRRC Tribes with the Board of Fish, Board of Game, Federal Subsistence Board, Southcentral Regional Advisory Council, and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The mission is to protect Alaska Native hunting and fishing rights and ensure traditional land and resource management.
Christine has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and environmental studies from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is currently working on a master’s degree in applied cultural anthropology at UAA. Her thesis is titled “Who Is Rural Alaska? A Case Study of Rural Community Practice,” and her research focuses on the perception of community and ruralness within the Moose Pass area of Southcentral Alaska. Christine has interned for the National Park Service, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, and the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Subsistence Management.
Climate Change Coordinator
Erin Shew is the Climate Change Coordinator at CRRC and works to understand how climate change may impact the Chugach region and identify ways to reduce climate impacts on lands, oceans, resources, and communities in our region. Erin has coordinated two vulnerability assessments looking at climate impacts on traditional foods in the region. She is currently working with a group of Tribal members (the Climate Cohort) to draft a regional adaptation strategy for the Chugach region.
Erin began her work in the Chugach region as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with the Native Village of Eyak in Cordova. She spent several years in Fairbanks working as a social scientist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in the winter and as a forester for UAF in the summer before spending a year working on federal climate adaptation program and policies at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She returned to Alaska in 2019, serving as AmeriCorps volunteer for CRRC from 2019 to 2020 before moving into the Climate Change Coordinator position at CRRC. Erin holds a degree in East Asian Studies from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Finance and Administration Manager
As CRRC’s Finance and Administration Manager, Mr. Lyon provides oversight and support for CRRC’s financial and administrative functions.
Mr. Lyon has over twenty years’ experience in not-for-profit/governmental accounting. He has seventeen years of experience in public accounting, with an emphasis on tribal entities, in providing auditing and assurance services. Mr. Lyon also has certifications in federal awards, internal controls, and procurement.
Biology Laboratory Manager
Allison Carl is responsible for daily operations and procedures in the biology lab that supports CRRC research and monitoring programs at APMI. She manages the laboratory staff and all equipment and supply procurement, sample processing, data quality assurance, quality control and analysis, and generation of final research products.
Allison graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. She is currently working on her master’s in UAA’s Department of Biological Sciences. Through a partnership with CRRC and the Chugach Alaska Corporation, Allison worked as a Research Scientist for two and a half years to support CRRC’s Subsistence, Climate Change, and Marine Mammal Programs as well as APMI’s research and monitoring initiatives.
Briana Murphy is the Mariculture Liaison for CRRC and facilitates mariculture projects throughout the Southcentral region, particularly all things kelp related. She is at the forefront of the commercial kelp farming industry helping push the Southcentral region of Alaska forward by supporting farms through seed string supply and monitoring research grow-out sites to assist farmers with site selection.
Briana grew up commercially fishing with her family in Prince William Sound and has since participated in a variety of different fisheries throughout Alaska. She and her business partner started a commercial seaweed farm outside of Seward and a mobile hatchery in 2021. They have grown over 10,000 feet of seeded string. Briana brings her passion for mariculture and sustainability to APMI.
Maintenance & Facilities Manager
Dano started working for CRRC at the APMI facility after retiring from the Alaska Vocational Technical Center, where he was the Building Maintenance Foreman and Special Projects Manager. Prior to that, he worked for the State of Alaska Department of Military Affairs maintaining National Guard Armories throughout Alaska.
Jennifer Wells is the Mariculture Technician and is responsible for the care and well-being of all aquatic species housed at APMI.
Jennifer has spent over 14 years as a fish culturist and assistant manager at a hatchery working with silver and sockeye salmon, and she has worked on numerous mariculture and native invertebrate enhancement projects at APMI.
Dr. Maile Branson is the Science Director and manages the science and research efforts at CRRC and APMI. She works with CRRC staff members and project partners to codevelop and implement research projects; oversees project grant writing, permitting, and data integrity and quality control measures; and works to disseminate project results by publishing the research in scientific journals. Maile leads the development of natural resource projects with the communities served by the CRRC in the Chugach region.
Maile holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s infisheries with an emphasis on aquaculture andfish health, and a PhD in biology focusing on disease ecology and wildlife virology. Maile is passionate about studying OneHealth issues as they relate to the people, animals, and environment of the Chugach region.
Mariculture and Production Manager
Michael Mahmood is the Mariculture and Production Manager and oversees the production and care of all marine species housed at APMI.
Michael has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with an emphasis on aquaculture from Unity College in Maine. While studying at the university, he worked on salmon aquaculture. Michael has experience producing three species of kelp and a wide variety of marine invertebrates.
Jeff Hetrick is the Director of APMI and oversees the day-to-day operations and management of the facility, programs, and employees. His responsibilities include staff management, budgeting, financial management, permitting, facility infrastructure management, shellfish culture for aquatic farming and enhancement, and overseeing the mariculture program, the Chugach Regional Ocean Monitoring (CROM) Program, and scientific research preformed at APMI.
Jeff has a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Portland State University. He has over 30 years of experience in the Alaska aquaculture industry. He worked 20 years in the salmon enhancement industry working for private nonprofits and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game before becoming Director of the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery in 2002. Jeff has operated an oyster farm in Prince William Sound and is a founding member of the Alaskan Shellfish Growers Association.
Education & Outreach Coordinator
Carol Conant is the Education and Outreach Coordinator at CRRC. She works with the seven Chugach Regional Tribes to provide educational opportunities related to natural resources and the environment. Outreach involves collaboration with a diverse audience of scientists, academic institutes, and Tribal entities.
Carol began her career as a public school teacher in a rural Sugpiaq village, where she continued to pursue her professional goal of blending Traditional Knowledge with the standard Western education structure. This led her to develop and design a culturally responsive early childhood center for the Qutekcak Native Tribe. In alignment with the authentic curriculum, Carol had the role as a Local Cultural Coordinator for Chugachmiut Heritage Preservation in her hometown of Qutalleq/Seward, Alaska. Carol is honored to work for CRRC in alignment with her goals of blending Traditional Knowledge & Western science.
Chemistry Lab Technician
Mr. Rappleyea works with various instruments at APMI, assists with the OA lab, and manages the nutrient program.
Mr. Rappleyea worked with Dr. George Waldbusser at Oregon State University, and the Oceans Observatories Initiative where he helped assemble and maintain various oceanographic instruments.
As a staff Biologist, Annette Jarosz is responsible for conducting and supporting the numerous research projects at APMI. She oversees laboratory research efforts, field studies, and general experimental design and application, and she specializes in invertebrate and mariculture biology.
Annette has a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in ecology, evolution, and environmental biology from Appalachian State University. She moved from the East Coast to Seward in May of 2021 to start a position as the Laboratory Technician at APMI and was soon promoted to her current role as staff Biologist.
Special Projects Lead
Brooke Mallory is the Special Projects Lead at CRRC and is responsible for managing complex projects that include obtaining funding, planning, directing, coordinating, designing and permitting. She also does consultant management and supervises projects.
Brooke received her bachelor of science in education with an emphasis on high school math, science, and art from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She has over 12 years of professional experience within Tribal government and over 8 years of experience with Alaska Native Corporations. She has been a small business owner for over 20 years and has spent her entire life living a subsistence lifestyle.
Ocean Acidification Research Laboratory Manager
Jacqueline Ramsay is the Chemistry Laboratory Manager and oversees the carbonate marine chemistry research and monitoring efforts that began in 2013 at APMI. She collaboratively helped develop the ocean acidification research efforts at APMI and has spawned and raised many different shellfish species, including abalone.
Jacqueline has over 20 years of research experience in the marine sciences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of California, Davis and a master of science degree in fisheries science with an emphasis on crab endocrinology and physiology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In previous positions she managed university laboratories, oversaw graduate students, and managed logistics of fieldwork.
Tribal Fish & Wildlife Liaison
Michael Opheim is the Tribal Fish and Wildlife Liaison. He works to build Tribal capacity within the Chugach region for successful subsistence advocacy and management, working in collaboration with Tribal, state, federal, and private entities. Michael also performs duties associated with CRRC’s Subsistence Alliance, including reviewing proposals and meeting materials to disseminate to the Subsistence Alliance.
Michael spent almost 19 years working for the Seldovia Village Tribe as their Environmental Coordinator. He and his staff worked on various projects, such as ambient air quality, ocean acidification, silver salmon restoration, clam projects, fish consumption survey of Cook Inlet Tribes, culture camps, e-waste, water quality in Seldovia Bay, water quality on local streams, dead and injured animal recovery, indoor air quality, and recycling. Michael sits on the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve Community Council, Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, Seldovia Advisory Committee, and the Southcentral Regional Advisory Council.
Tribal Fish & Wildlife Biologist
Dustin Carl is the Tribal Fish and Wildlife Biologist and coordinates CRRC’s Invasive Species Program in partnership with the Homer Soil and Water Conservation District, the Wetlands Program funded with CRRC’s partners at UAA and the EPA, and the Kachemak Bay Watershed Collaborative with CRRC’s Climate Change Coordinator and partners at the Water Policy Council. Dustin has worked on several projects, including updating CRRC’s subsistence regulations posters, providing support to the Nanwalek Fisheries Projects, conducting research to update population and composition estimate data for moose in the Lower Cook Inlet with the Port Graham Village Council, and monitoring the spatial distribution of Pacific herring in the Prince William Sound through eDNA analysis with the APMI staff.
Dustin attended the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s biological sciences. His thesis is titled “Genomic Variation of Red-faced Cormorants in the Aleutian Archipelago and Bering Sea.” He has gained experience working on projects that include different salmon, moose, black and brown bears, seabirds, and marine mammal species throughout Alaska.
Environmental Coordinator (IGAP)
Name Here is the Environmental Coordinator at CRRC, where she oversees the EPA Indian Environmental Assistance Plan (IGAP) program. This program works with the five federally recognized Chugach Tribes to identify Tribal environmental priorities and maintain an environmental presence in regulatory activities affecting the region. Name manages the logistics and coordinates and trains the community samplers in collecting seawater and bivalves for shellfish biotoxin monitoring, phytoplankton identification and speciation, and ocean chemistry monitoring.
Name started her career in the environmental world by working for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, working on drinking water compliance and ensuring access to clean drinking water across the state. She moved to Alaska to be a sea kayak guide, merging her passion for science with her love for environmental education. This led her to join the CRRC team and start her graduate studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.
Tribal Fish & Wildlife Director
Raven Cunningham joined the CRRC as a Board Member in 2019 and in 2021 became the Tribal Fish and Wildlife Director. She promotes the rights of the Chugach Region Tribes while helping to meet their subsistence, cultural, and economic needs through sustainable fish and wildlife populations. She also brings Tribal voices and viewpoints to the center of research and managment within the region, protects traditional ways of life and well-being, and helps ensure Alaska Native management of traditional lands and resources. In addition, Raven represents CRRC on the Indigenous Peoples Council on Marine Mammals (IPCOMM) coalition.
Raven received her bachelor’s degree in Alaska Native studies and rural development with a concentration in natural resource management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has extensive professional Tribal government and ANSCA corporation experience combined with a lifetime of local knowledge of Alaska’s history and natural resources. She currently sits as Vice Chair on the Native Village of Eyak Tribal Council, Alaska Native Fishermans Alliance, and as the Chugach representative for the Indigenous Peoples Council for Marine Mammals. Raven also owns her own small business, Made by Raven, creating garments, jewelry, and accessories from local, sustainable resources.
Tanja’s previous roles include Cost Controller for environmental consulting, Planner/Scheduler for major oil and gas companies, Purchasing/Import Manager for major leagues’ licensee and novelty imports, and has an International Business certification from the Chamber or Commerce in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Willow Hetrick-Price is the Executive Director of CRRC. She is responsible for the nonprofit Inter-Tribal Fish and Wildlife Commission, which is involved in projects and programs related to natural resources, subsistence, climate change, environmental management and research, in addition to community economic development related to natural resources and the environment. She is also responsible for identifying funding sources and developing funding proposals with and on behalf of the Tribes of the Chugach region. Willow serves on the Board of the Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation as Secretary, the Kenai Mountains–Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area as President, and the Anchorage Advisory Committee to the Boards of Fish and Game as Secretary.
Willow has a bachelor of science degree in marine resource management (2006) with a certificate in aquaculture (2006) and a master of science degree in natural resources and environmental management (2009), both from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has a graduate certificate in environmental regulations and permitting (2018) from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a master’s of public administration with a focus on natural resources (2018) from the University of Alaska Southeast. She has 14 years of professional experience combined with a lifetime of local knowledge of Alaska’s natural resources and natural resource development history. Willow has experience collaborating on projects with stakeholders at the state, federal, public, and NGO level.