Marilyn currently serves as a Marine Education Specialist for the Alaska Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence, working to link scientists, educators and coastal communities in Alaska who are involved in outreach and education about ocean climate change. Marilyn has worked with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as the Southeast Alaska regional non-game coordinator and the statewide coordinator of the Alaska Wildlife Week program, where she was involved in the development and distribution of annual multimedia wildlife education units to every school in the state and in teacher training workshops. She has been a founder of several organizations, including the Alaska Natural Resources and Outdoor Education Association, the Southeast Alaska Coalition for Outdoor Education, the Southeast Ecotourism Alliance, the Kachemak Bay Ecotourism Network and the Kachemak Bay Environmental Alliance, and served as a board member and president of the Alaska Natural History Association. Marilyn received her B.A. in Human Biology at Stanford and an M.S. in Wildlife Management at the University of Fairbanks. Marilyn enjoys hiking, tidepooling, reading and creative nonfiction writing.
Stacy Studebaker has devoted her life to environmental activism and education, having volunteered for conservation issues from Yosemite, California to Kodiak, Alaska, where she makes her home. She is best described as a creative, collaborative and effective conservation communicator, activist and educator. Among Stacy’s myriad volunteer achievements are co-producer and host of “Lila Liverwort” of My Green Earth, a weekly, environmental radio show that aired internationally through Radio for Peace International (broadcast arm of the United Nations) and co-founder of Kodiak Audubon Chapter where she served as president from 1999 to 2004. She successfully fought illegal filling of a half-acre of Kodiak’s Pasagshak River and collaborated with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to nominate Important Bird Areas in Kodiak now recognized as globally significant for threatened bird species habitat conservation.
More recently, Stacy has worked for the past seven years to painstakingly rearticulate a gray whale skeleton for the new USFWS Visitor Center in Kodiak where she also volunteers as a field botanist each summer, sharing her expertise about local plants with visitors. She continues to be a tireless advocate for local and state issues involving marine and terrestrial habitat and wildlife. She is the co-author of Kodiak Audubon’s Hiking and Birding Guide and author of a new field guide on Southcentral Alaska flora. Stacy has been recognized twice by the National Audubon Society—once in 2004, with a Presidential Service Award for Outstanding Chapter Leadership, and again in 2006, with a “Together Green – Green Hero” Award. Her efforts have also been recognized by the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in 2010 for outstanding volunteer service.
Since its inception in 1985, Kerry has been a Trustee for True North Foundation. She is the Program Officer for three major environmental programs for the foundation. In addition to a sustainable agriculture program and a mining reform program, Kerry manages a major program area supporting the environmental work of Alaska’s conservation and grassroots organizations. Since 2001, Kerry has been on the Board of a Washington DC based nonprofit organization, Earthworks, and for the last two years has been the Board’s Co-Chair. In addition to her foundation work, Kerry is interested in hiking, raising alpacas with her husband and the fiber arts. She lives on a ranch in Grass Valley, California.
Michelle is living her dream at Pope & Vannoy on Lake Iliamna, where she is working on rebuilding her home of her childhood. Continuing a long tradition by her family and region, Michelle commercial fishes in Bristol Bay in the summer. Michelle also works as an independent cultural consultant and travels around her region teaching cultural and outdoor activities and working with youth. Michelle loves the outdoors where she cross country skis, jogs, skijors, hikes, camps and kayaks often. She enjoys living from the land which includes, gardening, ice fishing, gathering wild plants, berry picking, hunting, getting wood, salmon fishing and preserving her own food. Michelle is rebuilding her home with a low impact continuousness. She is exploring alternative energy options and energy efficiency. Michelle is learning carpentry and how to be a “bush” mechanic. Michelle is a Dena’ina artist as well. She makes traditional style Dena’ina birchbark baskets, clothing and jewelry. Michelle sews fur mittens, hats, and slippers. She makes and sells jewelry made from fish skin, porcupine quills, birchbark, dentalium and beads. She is also studying Dena’ina plant medicine and alternative healing.
Michelle has Bachelor’s Degree in Rural Development – Community Research and Cultural Documentation from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and an Associates of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). In addition to the Alaska Conservation Foundation, Michelle serves on the Nondalton Village Corporation, Kijik, the Lake and Peninsula Borough Assembly and Southwest Alaska Municipal Council.
Don was born in Boston and grew up in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. His first Alaskan experience was the majestic Tongass Forest when he was stationed at Coast Guard Base Ketchikan in the early 1970’s. Don and his wife Lin have lived in Anchorage since 1977 and raised their two children here.
Don has over thirty years’ experience in financial management, accounting and public utility regulation in Alaska. He was a rate and regulatory consultant for twelve years and subsequently held the business seat on the Alaska Public Utilities Commission. He was Director of the MBA program in Telecommunications Management at Alaska Pacific University for six years. Don also has over ten years’ experience as CFO at two different Alaska Native-owned companies operating on the North Slope of Alaska and is grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from the Inupiat citizens of the North Slope. He maintains a strong interest in Arctic environmental and social issues.
Don holds an MPPM/MBA degree from Yale School of Management and MA degrees from Yale and the University of Washington in Asian studies. He has been licensed as a certified public accountant and certified management accountant. When in Alaska, Don divides his time between Anchorage and his cabin at MacDonald Spit in Kachemak Bay, with occasional trips to the North Slope.
Cliff joined the ACF board in February 2007. He came to Alaska in the spring of 1977 and retired in 2004 after 20 years as Issues Director with the Alaska Center for the Environment (ACE). During that time, his work focused primarily on Alaska’s 104 million acres of state lands, the damage and conflicts created by the proliferation of motorized recreation on the public lands, air, and waters, and the protection and restoration of the natural environment on all public lands. Prior to his career at ACE, Cliff served as counsel for the National Wildlife Federation’s Anchorage office and VISTA staff attorney at Trustees for Alaska. He helped found the Anchorage Waterways Council and Friends of Chugach State Park and served on their boards for many years. He spent a number of years on advisory committees such as the Governor’s South Denali Task Force, the Chugach National Forest Spruce Bark Beetle Working Group, and the Mayor’s Anchorage Wetlands Management Task Force. He holds a law degree from Boalt Hall at the University of California-Berkeley, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.
In addition to ACF, he is presently on the boards of the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition (founding board member) and the Copper Country Alliance (board chair). A recipient of ACF’s Olaus Murie Award and the Anchorage Audubon Society’s Alaska Conservationist Award, Cliff currently lives in Kenny Lake, Alaska. He enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, bird watching, gardening, reading, and trying to learn folk guitar.
Jim joined the ACF board in 2008. He grew up in Fairbanks and has practiced law in Alaska since graduating in 1975 from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Jim has worked as an attorney in private practice since 1976 and since 1986 with Guess & Rudd P.C. He is the author of the Volunteer Legal Handbook through nine editions and for fifteen years chaired the faculty of the Biennial Nonprofit Law courses sponsored by the Alaska Bar Association. He was a member of the board of directors of United Way of the Tanana Valley for more than twenty years, and was its president in 1993, and has served on numerous other nonprofit boards.
An avid birder and bird photographer, Jim’s environmental concerns focus on avian conservation: dozens of species of birds come to Alaska each summer to breed, it is important that their breeding habitats be preserved intact. His other hobbies include fly-fishing, cross-country skiing, hiking, writing, and website design. Jim is married to environmental consultant Nancy DeWitt, the former executive director of the Alaska Bird Observatory. Jim and Nancy host three owls – a Boreal, a Great-horned and a Great Gray – at their house for educational programs. Jim thinks it is normal to have frozen rodents thawing in the refrigerator.
Amy Gulick is a professional photographer and writer whose work has appeared in Outdoor Photographer, Audubon, Nature’s Best Photography, National Wildlife, Sierra, National Parks, and other publications. Her work has received numerous honors including the prestigious Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Voice of the Wild Award from the Alaska Wilderness League, and a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. She is also the recipient of a Philip Hyde Grant Award for her work in the Tongass National Forest of Alaska, and a Mission Award, both presented by the North American Nature Photography Association. Her book, Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest, is the recipient of an Independent Publisher Book Award as well as two Nautilus Book Awards.
Amy is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers, and a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the North American Nature Photography Association.
Dorothy was a commercial fisher in a family operation for more than 50 years. She eventually passed on the family legacy of commercial fishing to her sons and grandchildren, as well as the traditions of subsistence activities, which she has proudly instilled in them. Dorothy worked for the Legislative Information Office in Dillingham for 10 years, and nine years as the executive vice president and co-director of Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative, an educational initiative, for the Alaska Federation of Natives in collaboration with the National Science Foundation and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dorothy also served as staffer for the legislative subsistence committee, which promulgated the subsistence statute for the State of Alaska.
Serving on numerous committees and boards, including the Dillingham City School Board as chair and member for eight years, Dorothy found her work to be very gratifying. Her service to the public also included membership on the Alaska Association of School Boards, and she chaired the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights as an appointee of Governor Jay Hammond. Through the years, she has remained actively involved in political advocacy at local and statewide levels.
Dorothy is currently vice chair of the board of directors of Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) and also serves on numerous committees. Additionally, she is also chair of the business line of Government Service, and remains a shareholder of BBNC, Choggiung Limited and tribal member of Curyung Tribal Council. She is also a published author and has a manuscript of short stories, poetry, and has attended numerous writing seminars and retreats. A high school graduate of Dillingham Territorial School, Dorothy holds an AA, BA and MA degrees from the University of Alaska. Dorothy is now retired and resides in Anchorage and Dillingham. She has six grown children, 28 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Rachael was born and raised in Juneau, where she first developed her love for exploring the Alaskan outdoors. After high school she left Alaska to attend college, and obtained a BS in bioengineering from Syracuse University and subsequently a PhD in biomedical engineering from Marquette University and the Medical College of Wisconsin. After working in the medical device field for several years, Rachael returned to Alaska in 2011 with her husband and two small children. Rachael is currently taking a break from the corporate world to raise her children (ages 3 and 5). After living outside of Alaska Rachael feels even more fortunate to live, and raise children, in a place with so much accessible wilderness. The kids don’t always appreciate Rachael’s dedication to playing in the aforementioned wilderness, especially on cold winter days, but Rachael believes that getting kids outside to play is one of the most important things we can do for their future. Not only is it important for an individual’s long-term health and happiness, but, hopefully one day, by exposing today’s kids to the beauty of Alaska’s wilderness, they will want to continue protecting our wild areas into the future. Rachael especially enjoys hiking, trail running, tidepooling, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Mark Premo retired from the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility in 2013 after 20 years as the General Manager, having served under six mayors. He is currently the owner/principal of Premo Consulting, an independent consulting firm offering business and operational strategies to utilities and businesses.
Mark loves the out-of-doors and spends his leisure time fishing and boating. He has a cabin on the Kenai and a boat in Whittier. He has traveled the state extensively for work and for play. Mark believes that access to clean, safe water is a basic right. He recently completed an eight-year board term with Water for People, an international organization with a budget of $25 million and a staff of 180. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for South Central Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska.
Ruth grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and learned to love nature and the outdoors while traipsing through the hardwood forest and swimming in the mud-bottomed ponds on the family farm where she spent most weekends of her youth. As a responsible adult, Ruth managed the government bond portfolio at First Tennessee Bank, earned her MBA at the University of Chicago, and worked as a marketing consultant for the John Morton Company in Chicago. She first came to Alaska in 1989 after her sister signed her up for a Colorado Outward Bound class in the Brooks Range. She loved every rainy minute and returned the next summer to work at the Alaska Center for the Environment (ACE). She stayed on as a volunteer, working on local trail and land use issues, and served on the ACE board of directors including one term as president. She also represented the South Birchwood community on the Eagle River Parks and Recreation Board.
Ruth and her husband, John Strasenburgh, now live in Talkeetna with their mostly retired sled dogs. They enjoy visits to their remote cabins, hiking and river trips in the Arctic when not actively engaged in community and civic activities. Ruth served four terms on the Talkeetna Community Council, five years as chair, and now serves on the steering committee of the Jessica Stevens Community Foundation. She credits ACF-funded programs with introducing her to the statewide environmental community (Alaska Environmental Assembly) and teaching her the ropes of civic engagement (Alaska Environmental Lobby).