Kris Holderied

NOAA Oceanographer & Director of the Kasitsna Bay Lab

Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Kasitsna Bay Laboratory since 2005, Kris Holderied conducts research on coastal ecosystems, oversees facility operations and assists with marine science education activities. Her research focuses on oceanography, estuaries and nearshore habitats, with a focus on better understanding how changing ocean conditions affect Alaska coastal resources and communities. Education activities at the laboratory include graduate student research, college classes, teacher training workshops, student internships and K-12 field science camps.

Holderied previously worked as a physical oceanographer with NOAA in Silver Spring, Md., developing satellite-based products for benthic habitat mapping, harmful algal bloom detection and coastal climate change impacts. Before that, she worked on environmental compliance projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Norfolk, Va. and served in the U.S. Navy, providing weather and oceanographic forecasts in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. She has a bachelor of science degree in oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in physical oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program.

Solving ocean mysteries for Alaska coastal communities: Connections matter

What’s up with the Pacific Ocean “warm Blob”, sea star wasting disease, and paralytic shellfish poisoning events in Kachemak Bay?  Where the heck did all those whales come from and where did they go?  We’ll take a look at how we are tracking changes in marine waters and resources used by our coastal communities for food and tourism, and at the ocean connections that link everything together.


Gulf Watch Alaska: The Mystery of the Blob

Loren Anderson

Director of Culture Programs, Alutiiq, Alaska Native Heritage Center

Loren is the Cultural Programs Manager at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage.  Some of his duties at the Heritage Center include organizing Alaska Native Cultural Awareness Workshops, developing budgets, facilitating school visits, performing at outreaches, supervising summertime staff, and managing cultural events and celebrations.  He has served on the elections and information committees for my Regional Native Corporation, Koniag Inc.  He serves on the Native Village of Afognak Tribal Council, is the chairperson for the Village of Afognak finance committee and also serves as an advisor on the Alutiiq Language Preservation Project.  He is a graduate of the Humanities Forum Leadership Anchorage program. He helped form the traditional Sugpiat dance group, Imamsuat. He composes Native songs; creates art, and fills the role of a tradition bearer when he’s called upon.   He continually strives to promote his culture and instill pride in our youth.

Culture: What is it?  What are its invisible aspects?  How do we become aware of our own cultural lenses?

Most people today don’t recognize that they belong to a culture.  This presentation will help participants recognize what are the components of their cultures.  Knowing one’s culture helps participants recognize and appreciate the differences in various cultures and give them a clearer picture about how – they – see the world we all live in.

Nancy Lord

Alaskan writer of fiction & non-fiction, former State Writer Laureate

Nancy, who makes her home in Homer, Alaska, is passionate about place, history, and the natural environment.  From her many years of commercial salmon fishing and, later, work as a naturalist and historian on adventure cruise ships, she’s explored in both fiction and nonfiction the myths and realities of life in the north.  Among her published books are three collections of short stories and five works of literary nonfiction, including the memoir Fishcamp, the cautionary Beluga Days, and the front-lines story of climate change, Early Warming.  She most recently (2016) edited the anthology Made of Salmon: Alaska Stories From The Salmon Project.  Her (first!) novel, pH (working title had been The Pteropod Gang), is forthcoming (September 2017) from Graphic Arts/Alaska Northwest Books.

Nancy was honored as Alaska Writer Laureate for 2008-10, a term during which she traveled throughout the state to promote Alaska writers, writing, and libraries.

Writing on the Water

Nancy will share examples of the ways she’s used her writing (creatively and as an activist) to celebrate and encourage the stewardship of our life-giving waters.

Dave Aplin

Director of Community Outreach and Education, World Wildlife Fund US-Arctic Program.

Why am I painting the living room? An interactive discussion exploring our assumptions and goals as marine educators.