ARCUS Board of Directors

Welcome New Board Members!

In December 2022, ARCUS Member Representatives elected four individuals to the ARCUS Board of Directors. Congratulations to Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon (Child Trends), Alexis Will (World Wildlife Fund), Cheryl Rosa (US Arctic Research Commission), and Victoria Herrmann (the Arctic Institute)! The newly elected cohort will serve three-year terms from 2022-2025. Dr. Rosa was re-elected to the Board, having completed her first term. Members of the Board of Directors are elected by designated representatives from ARCUS member institutions. ARCUS is grateful for the leadership, service, and varied perspectives they bring to Arctic research!

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.


Current officer terms end dates (officer terms are 2 years):

President (David Cairns - December 2023)
Secretary (Peter Webley - December 2024)
Treasurer (Kaare Erickson - December 2023)
Executive Committee Member-at-Large (Julie Raymond-Yakoubian - December 2024)
Executive Committee Member-at-Large (Cheryl Rosa - December 2024)


David Cairns, President (Term ends 2025)

Geography

Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

David Cairns is a Professor and the 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.

Peter Webley, Secretary (Term ends 2023)

Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

I have a passion for business development and technology transfer from an academic environment into the private sector. I am a Research Professor of Remote Sensing as well as the Associate Director of Research at the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI), Geophysical Institute, UAF. As well as Deputy Director of the UAF technology transfer office, Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC), I am a Program Manager at UAF’s Center for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship (Center-ICE) and lead the instruction of the NSF funded I-Corps site program as well as managing the summer-based Students to Starts program.

I was the Vice-President of UAF’s first start-up, V-ADAPT, Inc., formed in 2013 and have successfully licensed intellectual property, been awarded small business innovation research projects and a US patent as well as been inducted into the State of Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame 2016 – 2017 class.

Kaare Sikuaq Erickson, Treasurer (Term ends 2023)

Ikaaġun Engagement, LLC

Anchorage, Alaska

Kaare Ray Sikuaq Erickson is the Principal and team lead for Ikaaġun Engagement, based in Unalakleet and Anchorage, Alaska. Sikuaq was raised on the Bering Sea coast and has family scattered across northern Alaska from Unalakleet to Shishmaref to Utqiaġvik. Sikuaq was taught to provide for his communities through subsistence and leadership; to be aware of problems facing Arctic communities; and to find creative, realistic, and effective ways to alleviate or solve those issues. Sikuaq spent nearly two decades immersed in cultural studies and has most recently spent several years developing and implementing creative, effective, and efficient outreach, engagement and K-12 education programs for high profile Arctic research projects. Sikuaq's unique upbringing and specialized training allows him to successfully fulfill his role as cultural broker connecting Arctic communities and Arctic research entities.

Julie Raymond-Yakoubian, Executive Committee Member-at-Large (Term ends 2024)

Kawerak

Girdwood, Alaska

Julie Raymond-Yakoubian is the Social Science Program Director for Kawerak, Inc. Kawerak is located in Nome, AK and is the Alaska Native non-profit Tribal consortium for the 20 federally recognized Tribes of the Bering Strait region of Alaska. Julie has been living and working in Alaska for over 20 years, and working in the Bering Strait region for over 12 years. Her work is currently focused on collaborations with Tribes on topics such as the connections between subsistence and identity, the cultural importance and meaning of non-ordinary experiences and knowledge, a variety of Traditional Knowledge documentation and Knowledge application projects, and work on Tribal research sovereignty - including protocols, guidelines, and toolkits related to research. Julie has a PhD and MA in Anthropology as well as an MA in Northern Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Cheryl Rosa, Executive Committee Member-at-Large (Term ends 2025)

US Arctic Research Commission

Anchorage, Alaska

Dr. Cheryl Rosa is Deputy Director and Anchorage-based Alaska Director of the United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC). Dr. Rosa is trained as a Wildlife Veterinarian and Wildlife Biologist and has worked with subsistence communities on the North Slope and in the Russian Far East on a wide range of studies involving wildlife health and zoonotic disease, marine mammal stranding response, subsistence food safety and oil spill/offshore discharge research. Presently, she is involved in running USARC’s Alaska Rural Water and Sanitation Working Group, the Arctic Renewable Energy Working Group and the Arctic Mental Health Working Group.

She received a PhD in Biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University and a BS in Animal Science and a BS in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Lauren Culler, Board Member (Term ends 2024)

Institute of Arctic Studies

Dartmouth

Hanover, New Hampshire

Lauren Culler is an Arctic Ecologist and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College. She studies the impacts of climate change on Arctic biting insects, freshwater ecology, and Greenland ecosystems. She also works with partners in Greenland and Denmark to lead field-based science education projects and develop practices for co-produced knowledge between the US and Greenland research communities. Dr. Culler is vice-lead for the Network for Arthropods of the Tundra (NeAT), a University of the Arctic (UArctic) thematic network, and serves as the UArctic liaison to the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council.

Stacey Fritz, Board Member (Term ends 2024)

Cold Climate Housing Research Center / Nat. Renewable Energy Lab

Fairbanks, Alaska

Stacey Fritz, PhD, is a Cultural Anthropologist and Project Manager with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Project, based in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has 20 years of experience working with Indigenous communities in the Arctic. Her doctoral thesis at the University of Alaska Fairbanks traced the legacies of the DEW Line in the western Arctic, and she spent a decade working in public land management in the Arctic. Dr. Fritz works on housing insecurity issues, innovative building projects, remote Arctic logistic challenges, and specializes in tribal consultation, outreach to communities, sociocultural impact analysis, environmental justice, and mitigating impacts from resource development. In her current position, she works to advance sustainable housing for northern residents and regional economic development through distributed manufacturing of durable goods using local resources, Indigenous-led self-building initiatives, and innovative building science. She also contributes to guidance on energy justice, renewable energy projects in Alaska Native communities, and compensation for Alaska Native participants in research and government processes.

Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon, Board Member (Term ends 2025)

Research Scientist II/Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice Co-lead in the Youth Development Program

Child Trends


Dr. Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon is a research scientist at Child Trends working with Indigenous populations in participatory research projects. She is Iñupiaq and an enrolled Tribal member of the Nome Eskimo Community, a federally recognized Tribe. Her Iñupiaq name, Sauyaq, was gifted to her by her grandmother (Mary Jean Kaguna Yenney) to honor the passing of her youngest sister (Margaret “Peggy” Sauyaq Perry). Sauyaq means drum and Heather works as a researcher and advocate for Indigenous Peoples, lifting up Indigenous voices like the heartbeat of the drum. Heather has a B.A. in Race and Ethnic Studies, a M.S. in Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology, and a PhD in Indigenous Studies with a concentration in Indigenous Sustainability. Heather came to Child Trends from the Division of Program Evaluation and Planning at the Administration for Native Americans, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While at ANA she served on Executive Order committees on equity issues, worked with the Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development grantees, worked on missing and murdered Indigenous Peoples initiatives, and explored how culture is a protective factor in Indigenous communities. She also served as a subject matter expert on working with Indigenous people and in that capacity advised the Administration for Children (ACF) and Families on their work around missing and murdered Native Americans, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) on methodologies appropriate to working with Indigenous people and other vulnerable and minority populations, Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) on drafting the Arctic Research Plan (ARP) 2022-2026, and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on documents and work around Indigenous Knowledge. Dr. Gordon’s current work looks at Indigenous culture as a protective factor from colonization and historical trauma, missing and murdered Indigenous relatives, how to work with Indigenous Peoples in research, sustainability, futures research, climate change, food security, and subsistence rights in Alaska.

Victoria Herrmann, Board Member (Term ends 2025)

Senior Fellow

The Arctic Institute

Washington, District of Columbia

Victoria Herrmann is a storyteller and geographer working with communities around the world on climate change adaptation. As a Senior Fellow at The Arctic Institute and Assistant Research Professor at Georgetown University, she has spent the past decade leading research initiatives and directing capacity building programs to support communities on the front lines of climate change to safeguard their cultural heritage. At Georgetown University, she serves as the Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded Arctic Migration Research Coordination Network, a 600-person initiative with a mission to integrate discipline-isolated research on changing Arctic migration patterns and advance policy-focused outcomes. Victoria is also the Director of Preserving Legacies: A Future for Our Past, a major global program funded by the National Geographic Society that envisions a world where we celebrate our diverse cultural heritage and safeguard every site against climate impacts by empowering communities with the scientific knowledge and technical training to achieve appropriate place and people-based climate adaptation plans. Victoria is also a AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador, program serving as high-profile STEM role models for middle school girls.

A recognized expert in Arctic policy, Victoria has testified before the US House and Senate, served as the Alaska Review Editor for the 4th National Climate Assessment, contributes to major media outlets on climate change, and was named as one of the ‘World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy’ by Apolitical. She has previously served as the President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute from 2016 to 2021, a White House Fellow, a Fulbright awardee to Canada, a Carnegie Endowment Junior Fellow, and a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where she received her PhD in Geography.

Diane Hirshberg, Board Member (Term ends 2023)

Institute of Social and Economic Research

University of Alaska Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska

Diane Hirshberg is Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She also serves as Associate Vice President Academic for The University of the Arctic (UArctic), and sits on the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) Council. Her research interests include education policy analysis, indigenous education, circumpolar education issues, and the role of education in sustainable development. She has studied the boarding school experiences of Alaska Native students, teacher supply, demand, and turnover, including the cost of teacher turnover in Alaska, and served as evaluator or research partner for several education reform initiatives in Alaska and beyond. Hirshberg co-authored the Education chapter for the Arctic Human Development Report II, and co-edited Including the North: A Comparative Study of the Policies on Inclusion and Equity in the Circumpolar North” a publication of the UArctic Thematic Network Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity. She has a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA, a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University, and two bachelor’s degrees from UC Berkeley.

Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq, Board Member (Term ends 2024)

Department of English

Virginia Tech

Radford, Virginia

Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq is an Iñupiaq scholar and tribal member of the Noorvik Native Community of NW Alaska. Her parents are the late Caleb Lumen Pungowiyi of Savoonga, Alaska and Gladys I’yiiqpak Pungowiyi (Wells) of Noorvik, Alaska. Dr. Itchuaqiyaq is an Assistant Professor of Professional and Technical Writing at Virginia Tech who specializes in equipping researchers for respectful and equitable engagement with Arctic Indigenous communities. Her research combines her academic background in both the digital humanities and physical sciences and currently centers on creating accessible online databases of Inuit Knowledges and developing natural language processing techniques to extract climate change data from Inuit narratives. She is an author on the upcoming National Climate Assessment 5, Alaska Chapter. Dr. Itchuaqiyaq has a PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric, a Master’s in Communication, Media, and Persuasion, and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies.

Pips Veazey, Board Member (Term ends 2023)

UMaine Portland Gateway

Portland, Maine

Pips Veazey is the Principal Investigator and Project Director for the Alaska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a statewide program funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Alaska aimed at increasing research capacity. She is also the lead and creator of Vis-Space, a high-resolution visual environment designed to promote conversations about complex problems, develop creative solutions and enhance team development. Her research interests include the development and implementation of interdisciplinary research teams, the interaction between teams and technology, and team science leadership. She currently serves as a founding board member of the International Network for the Science of Team Science. Her previous research on the physical structure of Antarctic sea ice and her recent doctoral work that focused on identifying the competencies required to manage and lead large interdisciplinary science teams has provided her with the skills and knowledge to lead large and complex science initiatives.

Alexis Will, Board Member (Term ends 2025)

Marine Scientist

World Wildlife Fund

Fairbanks, Alaska

Alexis is a Marine Biologist for the US Arctic Program. She works on area-based conservation, research, outreach, and shipping projects that contribute to maintaining a healthy Arctic ecosystem for the people and wildlife that live there. Alexis participates in the ArcNet working group. She also supports the Arctic Programme’s work on migratory corridors, underwater noise, and the ecological consequences of climate change. Her background is in seabird ecology and physiology. Prior to joining WWF, Alexis studied how seabird migration, breeding success, diet, and physiology change in response to changes in sea ice and climate regimes over short (5 year) and long (100 year) time scales. Outside of work, she loves backpacking, camping, and skiing (of all kinds).