ARCUS Staff

Project Management

Betsy Turner-Bogren
Project Manager
Betsy Turner-Bogren

Betsy joined the ARCUS team as a project manager in May 2010. She earned a BA in geology from Carleton College and worked in minerals exploration before moving to Fairbanks with her husband in 1981 to attend grad school and continue her work in economic geology. She soon fell in love with the long ski season and they decided to put down roots. While raising their two sons she promoted public education through volunteer service and managed community and fund development for non-profit agencies. She enjoys her work at ARCUS and the opportunity to work with the Arctic science community in the Sea Ice Prediction Network and in developing articles for Witness the Arctic and Witness Community Highlights.

Judy Fahnestock
Project Coordinator
Judy Fahnestock

Judy joined ARCUS in September 2008. She worked for several years on various ARCUS programs and events. In 2016, she started working for the PolarTREC program. She holds a M.Sc. in entomology from the University of Maryland, and natural resource degrees from the University of Massachusetts and Paul Smith's College. Her past employment includes sustainability work at the University of New Hampshire, avian research on the North slope of Alaska, horticultural work at the Smithsonian, and agricultural and horticultural integrated pest management around the northeast. Outside of PolarTREC, Judy's interests include all things "fiber-y", knitting socks on a circa 1900 circular sock machine, braiding rugs, cooking and traveling with her husband and two sons. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, chickens and her collie, Ollie.

Brit Myers
Project Manager
Brit Myers

Prior to joining ARCUS as a Project Manager in May 2015, Brit was an Arctic Research Fellow with the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies Canadian Studies Center. She holds a Master’s degree in Marine & Environmental Affairs from the University of Washington and another from the University of Oregon where she studied nonprofit management, arts and administration. Brit is based in Seattle, WA. When not working with ARCUS on programs like the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), you might find her wandering Pacific Northwest riverbanks with her dog and fly-fishing husband, snapping pictures of bees, exploring Puget Sound for nudibranchs and lumpsuckers, or enabling the inveterate Settlers of Catan addictions of her family and friends.

Lisa Sheffield Guy
Project Manager
Lisa Sheffield Guy

Lisa joined ARCUS in 2015 as a Project Manager for SEARCH. She has been working in Alaskan marine ecosystems since 2002 and is excited to continue working on Arctic issues as part of the SEARCH team. For the past five years, she has been the Research Coordinator for NOAA’s Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) and Ecosystems and Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (EcoFOCI) programs. Lisa earned B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in Wildlife Science at Oregon State University where she studied seabirds as indicators of climate change on St. Lawrence Island, AK. Her professional interests include the impact of changing climate on ecosystems and communities, science communication, and marine ecology. Lisa lives in Pescadero, CA with her husband and two young sons.

Janet Warburton
Project Manager
Janet Warburton

Janet Warburton joined ARCUS in October 2000. Her primary focus as Project Manager is developing and implementing education related projects that help ARCUS meet its mission. For over a decade, she has administered ARCUS' signature education program, PolarTREC - Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating. She is also currently working The Arctic in the Classroom, a program that focuses on citizen science projects in the Arctic. She is currently ARCUS' representative for University of the Arctic.

Prior to joining ARCUS, she worked and lived in the Arctic in Kotzebue, Alaska. She has worked both with the federal government and local school districts developing and revamping science education programs to be more place-based as well as focus on both natural resource management and local knowledge. She has an extensive background in developing student programs, as well as a background in marine mammal management and environmental education. Outside of ARCUS, she has served as President of Alaska Natural Resource and Outdoor Education Association, treasurer on Alaska Science Teachers Association, and is advisor for Polar Educators International as well as a mentor for the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists.

Stacey Stoudt
Project Manager
Stacey Stoudt

Stacey joined the ARCUS team in October 2016 as an Administrative Assistant in Fairbanks. She is originally from Iowa where she earned B.S. degrees in Geology and Earth Science from the University of Northern Iowa. She moved to Alaska in 2009 to pursue a M.S. in Oceanography at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, during which she analyzed how glacial runoff impacts water chemistry and ocean acidification in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Captivated by the beauty and adventure of Alaska, she has remained in Fairbanks following graduate school where she lives with her husband, Chase. When not working with ARCUS she enjoys being outdoors and taking in the Alaskan scenery while hiking, biking, and camping.

Kayleigh Recklitis
Administrative Assistant
Kayleigh Recklitis

Kayleigh has joined ARCUS in April 2018 as an Administrative Assistant in Fairbanks. She’s originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania, but moved to Alaska in 2015 to begin an academic journey of studying Oceanography with a double minor in Chemistry and Arctic Studies at the University of Fairbanks. With a specific interest in the Arctic and ocean acidification; she intends on going to graduate school once she’s finished with her B.S. When she’s not at work or studying you’ll find her enjoying the outdoors with her dogs or at home reading a good book.

Office of the Executive Director

Helen Wiggins
Director of Programs
Helen Wiggins

Helen was born in Alaska, raised in Maryland, and spent several years in the South as a graduate student at the University of Georgia and as a GIS analyst. She loves her small drafty cabin and has finally relaxed during her forays into the wilderness, now that she has realized there is not a menacing grizzly behind every tree. Her professional interests lie in interdisciplinary scientific programs, and so naturally she was thrilled to join the ARCUS team in April 2003 as a project manager. In May 2004, Helen accepted the position of Program Coordinator; she was promoted in January 2008 to ARCUS Director of Programs.

Asma Shethwala
Executive Administrative Assistant
Asma Shethwala

Asma joined ARCUS as the Executive Administrative Assistant in January 2017. Prior to ARCUS, she worked as the Executive Aide for George Washington University, and as an intern in the Executive Office of The American Foreign Service Association.
She graduated from Mary Baldwin University in Virginia earning a bachelor's in Medical Anthropology with a pre-med focus. While at Mary Baldwin, Asma was a cadet at the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership for three years, and a cadet in the Air Force ROTC for two years.

Currently, she is pursuing an MPH in Global Environmental Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health and an MS in Geography with emphasis in GIS at the George Washington University.
She lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband, and two young sons. Apart from work and school, Asma loves spending time in nature, sewing, knitting and learning new languages. She is currently learning Mandarin Chinese, and speaks Hindi, Urdu, Arabic and Gujarati with varying degrees of fluency.

Information Technology

Ronnie Owens
Director of Web Development
Ronnie Owens

Ronnie joined the ARCUS team in July of 2004 as a web developer. His interests in the field of computing are manifold. While attending UAF he studied Mathematics with a double minor in Physics and Computer Science. Though he does spend an inordinate amount of time in front of a glowing screen, there are other areas that pique his interest. When not working he can be found listening to a great audiobook, playing with his awesome daughter, jogging in the sun, or locating the nearest establishment that serves tasty edible food items.

Joed Polly
Video Production and Content Manager
Joed Polly

Joed coordinates all of the video production at ARCUS, including recording conferences and meetings, editing promotional outreach videos videos for ARCUS and PolarTREC, and making them available online. Joed also maintains and updates the Internet Media Archive, the Arctic Calendar, and a lot of other media and web content. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2005, with a degree in Art, Joed has continued to live in the Boston area. In his free time he enjoys making short movies, photography, making large sculptures, hiking, camping, petting dogs, and eating tasty food. Come May or June, Joed feels like something just isn't quite right, and he has to return to Fairbanks to get in some midnight sun.

B. Zeb Polly
Systems Administrator
Zeb Polly

Zeb joined ARCUS in October of 2000 as the systems administrator. Zeb has lived in the Fairbanks area his whole life and has been working with computers since he was 5 years old. He used to co-host a Goldie Award Winning television program called the "Matinee With Matt & Zeb", but these days he entertains himself with curing various computer ailments and expanding ARCUS' technological capability. When not working, he spends his time playing on computers and attempting to make abstract electronic music. When he grows up he would like to be a robot or possibly a cyborg, but since he already does a great imitation, we suspect he has already grown up.

Administration and Finance

Brandi Austin
Business Manager
Brandi Austin

Brandi joined ARCUS in 2017. She grew up in Southeast Missouri where she studied biology and secondary education before moving to Fairbanks, Alaska. She has a B.S. in Human Resource Management and a MBA in Finance and Marketing. Brandi is an instructor for CPR, First Aid and AED and worked as a faculty member in areas of personal finance and critical thinking. She has two certifications in Human Resources. Brandi has been involved with non-profit organizations for over 5 years. She and her husband, Rick, have five children and seven grandchildren. Their hobbies include camping, hiking, and scuba diving.

Matissa Dunkley
Accountant
Tissa

Tissa joined ARCUS in 2017. Tissa and her family returned to Fairbanks after her husband, Mark, retired from the Army. Tissa has worked with local non-profits in Accounting and Human Resources and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with ARCUS. Tissa and Mark have 3 children and also have 2 of their elderly parents living with them as well. Tissa is currently attending the University of Alaska – Fairbanks. When not doing homework, Tissa enjoys gaming, spending time with family and friends, and a great mani pedi.

Community Development

Alex Thornton
Community Development Manager
Alex Thornton

Alex is thrilled to have joined the ARCUS team as Community Development Manager in December 2017. He has a Bachelor's in field ecology and conservation biology from The Evergreen State College and a Master's in marine biodiversity and conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Prior to graduate school, he worked in diverse positions, from concert photographer to zookeeper to natural disaster responder. Currently, in addition to completing collaborative, interdisciplinary research on marine mammals and seabirds, Alex is proud to make strides towards a more equitable and accessible future in the polar community through, e.g., work on the Executive Committee of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), Steering Committee for the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research's Capacity Building, Education, & Training (SCAR CBET) Advisory Group, and Founder of the Pride in Polar Research network. Out of the office, Alex enjoys going on outdoor adventures with his dog (Jacob) and cat (Fishel), and volunteering in the Fairbanks community.