Board of Directors
Current board members are listed below.
To view the job description for the ARCUS Board of Directors, click here.
Term dates begin 1 January and end 31 December of the relevant years.
Note: Position terms end in 2019
Audrey Taylor, President (Term ends 2019)
Audrey Taylor is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Alaska Anchorage. Audrey earned her PhD in wildlife biology from University of Alaska Fairbanks and has conducted field-based research across the U.S., Central and South America, and China. Her current research focuses on Arctic-breeding shorebird populations with particular focus on the impacts of climate change and industrial development along Alaska's coastlines.
David Cairns, Secretary (Term ends 2019)
David Cairns is a Professor and the Assistant Department Head of the Geography Department at Texas A&M University. His primary research interests are on the impacts of climate change on vegetation at short and long time scales in a variety of environments. The focus of his work is on ecotones, the transition zones between different vegetation types. Most of his fieldwork has been accomplished at tree line in the western United States, Alaska, and in northern Sweden. He also has projects in two other sensitive environments: saltmarshes on the coasts of Denmark and Texas, and tundra environments on the North Slope of Alaska. Dave uses a variety of approaches—including population genetics, dendroecological methods, and simulation modeling—to answer questions about how these environments respond to climate change.
Olivia Lee, Treasurer (Term ends 2020)
Olivia Lee is Research Assistant Professor at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She studies the effects of sea ice change on Arctic pinnipeds by combining observations from subsistence hunters with remote sensing satellite imagery. She is also involved in interdisciplinary scenarios work with the North Slope Science Initiative. She is the science lead for the Alaska Observatory and Knowledge hub (A-OK), and has experience working on marine policy issues as a former Knauss fellow at the National Science Foundation. Olivia has worked for ARCUS on issues related to the Arctic Observing Network and was a postdoctoral researcher for the the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program. She has a PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University.
Howard Epstein, Executive Committee Member-at-Large (Term ends 2019)
Howard Epstein is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, specializing in the ecology of arctic tundra, and dry grasslands and shrublands. His research focus is on vegetation dynamics, nutrient cycling, and plant-soil-atmosphere interactions. Current research projects in the Arctic involve 1) the “greening” of arctic tundra vegetation in response to recent warming, 2) changes in the seasonality of tundra vegetation processes in response to warming, and 3) patterns of arctic tundra vegetation and soils along latitudinal temperature gradients in the Arctic of North America and Russia.
Dr. Epstein received his B.A. degree in Computer Science from Cornell University in 1986. He received an M.S. degree in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Ecology, also from Colorado State, in 1997. He conducted postdoctoral studies at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. Dr. Epstein came to the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1998. As part of his arctic research, he has traveled north of the Arctic Circle nearly every summer since 1999 and has recently conducted several field expeditions in northwestern Siberia. He teaches courses in the Fundamentals of Ecology, Terrestrial Ecology, and Ecology of Grasslands and Tundra. He has published approximately 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on arctic tundra and dryland ecology.
Craig Fleener (Term ends 2021)
Craig is Gwich’in and originally from Fort Yukon, Alaska and currently resides in Anchorage.
From 2010-2013 he served as the Deputy Commissioner of Game, Subsistence, and Habitat for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in Anchorage, Alaska providing policy oversight on wildlife and subsistence management representing the department at the Board of Game, Arctic Policy forums, legislative briefings, and outreach. Additionally, he served from 2008-2010 as the Director of the Division of Subsistence.
Craig served as the Executive Director of the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments until 2007 where he managed health care, education, and natural resources. He was the first Director of Natural Resources in Fort Yukon and served as the regional biologist for several years.
He has spent more than 28 years in the military with four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and 24 years in the Alaska National Guard where he continues to serve as a Major and the Senior Intelligence Officer with the 176th Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Craig brings decades of experience conducting research in the Arctic. He’s provided support to search and rescue missions throughout Alaska, served as a permanent participant to the Arctic Council including in-depth work on several of the working groups of the Arctic Council. He has worked on human dimensions issues related to subsistence, climate change, and adaptation in the Arctic and served on numerous boards and commissions such as the Gwich’in Council International, International Porcupine Caribou Board, and the Yukon River Panel.
He has a Master of Arts, graduating with honors, in Intelligence Studies from American Public University where in 2013 he wrote a thesis on U.S. Arctic Policy; A Race for the Arctic. He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1999 with a BSc. in Natural Resources Management and completed substantial work towards an MSc. in Wildlife Biology through the Resources and the Environment Program at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
Jasper (Joe) Hardesty (Term ends 2021)
Jasper (Joe) Hardesty is a chemical engineer researcher and an architect at Sandia National Labs. He is the assistant manager for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement/ARM program Alaska Arctic facilities in Utqiagvik/Barrow, Atqasuk, and Oliktok Point. He has contributed significantly to projects for building and infrastructure resilience, international chemical/biological threat reduction, decontamination technologies, pollution remediation, biofuels processing, renewable energy systems, natural resource assessments, and food security in the Arctic. As an architect, Joe has overseen all aspects of major institutional and commercial projects, with a focus on sustainable development.
Victoria Herrmann (Term ends 2021)
Victoria Herrmann is the President and Managing Director of the Arctic Institute. As director, she leads a team of 23 researchers across North America and Europe implementing capacity building programs to support renewable energy systems, climate adaptation projects, youth empowerment initiatives, and smart city strategies. Prior to her work with the Arctic Institute, she was a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Fulbright Scholar working with Canada’s indigenous peoples. She is also a Climate Security Fellow with the American Security Project and the Principle Investigator for the National Geographic-funded project “America’s Eroding Edges.” She is one of only 16 women leaders in the top 100 think tanks in the United States, and at 28 she is the youngest of all 100.
Timo Koivurova (Term ends 2019)
Research professor Timo Koivurova, is a director of the Arctic Centre (University of Lapland) and has specialized in various aspects of law applicable in the Arctic and Antarctic region. In 2002, Koivurova's doctoral dissertation "Environmental impact assessment in the Arctic: a Study of International Legal Norms" was published by Ashgate. Increasingly, his research work addresses the interplay between different levels of environmental law, legal status of indigenous peoples, law of the sea in the Arctic waters, integrated maritime policy in the EU, the role of law in mitigating/adapting to climate change, the function and role of the Arctic Council in view of its future challenges and the possibilities for an Arctic treaty. He has been involved as an expert in several international processes globally and in the Arctic region and has published on the above-mentioned topics extensively. He is also an executive committee member in the European Polar Board and China Nordic Arctic Research Centre and editor-in-chief in Yearbook of Polar Law (Brill) and the Yearbook of International Environmental Law (Oxford University Press).
Julie Raymond-Yakoubian (Term ends 2021)
Julie Yakoubian-Raymond is an anthropologist and a Social Science Program Director at Kawerak, Inc, an Alaska Native non‐profit Tribal consortium for the Bering Strait region. Currently, she is conducting a large interdisciplinary project to investigate the synergies and disjunctions between research processes and Indigenous communities. This work includes extensive collaboration and interactions with Indigenous communities and the broader research community. She is considered an expert in social science research and methods, in community engagement related to research, and on topics such as co‐production of knowledge and collaborative research. Ms. Yakoubian-Raymond has also served on the Board of an Alaska-based conservation organization for several years and has experience in soliciting 'major donors' and maintaining existing relationships with 'major donors'.
Kaare Erickson (Term ends 2020)
Kaare Ray Siikuaq Erickson is the North Slope Science Liaison for UIC Science in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. Kaare was raised in several villages along the Bering Sea coast including Savoonga, Saint Michaels, and Unalakleet. Kaare's father is a Scandinavian fisherman and school teacher raised in Unalakleet and his mother is Iñupiaq raised in Utqiaġvik. Kaare's childhood taught him to provide for his community through subsistence and leadership. Family members and Elders taught Kaare how to be aware of problems that face Arctic communities, as well as how to find creative, realistic, and effective ways to alleviate or solve these issues. Kaare spent a decade immersed in anthropological projects (cultural, historical, and archaeological) and studying Alaska Native history. Kaare's unique life history, his expertise in cross-cultural communication, and his deep knowledge of Arctic history and prehistory allows him to fulfill his role as North Slope Science Liaison for UIC Science, LLC.
Adrian Gall (Term ends 2019)
Adrian Gall is a Senior Scientist and Research Coordinator at ABR, Inc.—Environmental Research & Services. She has a background in population biology of nesting seabirds and the use of seabirds as indicators of marine conditions in Alaska, Hawaii, the Lower 48, and Mexico. Since joining ABR in 2005, she has focused on movements and habitat use of seabirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and marine mammals in terrestrial and marine environments. Adrian has over 17 years of experience in working in coastal Alaskan communities, including 7 years as Co-Principal Investigator for the Chukchi Sea Environmental Studies Program. Her field work regularly involves residency and outreach in coastal Alaska villages and as a result she has good working relationships with Native Alaskan communities. She earned a BS from Cornell University in 1997, a MSc from Oregon State University in 2003, and a PhD in Oceanography from University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2015.
Diane Hirshberg (Term ends 2020)
Diane Hirshberg is Professor of Education Policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), and director of the UAA Center for Alaska Education Policy Research. She also serves as Advisor to the UAA Chancellor on Arctic Research and Education. Her research interests include education policy analysis, indigenous education, circumpolar education issues, and school change. She has studied the boarding school experiences of indigenous students, teacher supply, demand and turnover, including the cost of teacher turnover in Alaska, as well as school finance issues. She served as evaluator for the Alaska Pacific University Educational Innovations Comprehensive School Instruction Project for Paraprofessionals and Teachers, co-evaluator of the North Slope Borough School District Curriculum Alignment, Integration and Mapping project, and is currently evaluator for the Inuit Circumpolar Council Alaska Alaskan Inuit Education Improvement Strategy planning grant, all U.S. Department of Education Alaska Native Education Grants.
Charlene Stern (Term ends 2020)
Charlene "Khaih Zhuu" Stern is an Assistant Professor with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development. Originally from Arctic Village, Charlene is an enrolled member of the Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government. She holds a bachelor's degree in American Cultural Studies from Western Washington University, a master's degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Charlene has 6+ years of experience providing technical planning assistance to tribal and municipal governments in rural Alaska. She currently serves as a board member on three non-profit organizations including: Fairbanks Native Association, Education Northwest, and the Alaska Chapter of the American Planning Association.