Movers & Shakers 7/12/15
Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced the names of her second session summer interns made up of recent high school graduates who will work in her Washington, D.C., office from July 6-31. Murkowski selected Kellie Chong of Fairbanks; Cassandra Adams and Gwendolyn Ranniger of Ketchikan; Malia Walters of Healy; Christian Escalante of Unalaska; Katlin Bowers, Taylor Sheldon, and Alexander Wong of Anchorage; Max Blust of Juneau; and Steven Murphy of Palmer. Annie Dietderich and Tavish Logan, both of Anchorage, will continue as intern coordinators, supervising and counseling the summer interns in partnership with members of Murkowski’s staff. Dietderich attends St. Lawrence University in New York and is majoring in government and communications. Logan attends Queens University in Ontario, Canada, and is majoring in political science.
Anthony Christianson of Hydaburg has received the 2015 Susan Ruddy Community-Based Conservation Award from the Alaska chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Christianson leads the natural resources program at the Hydaburg Cooperative Association, a federally recognized Tribe on Prince of Wales Island. Under his leadership, the Tribe has led numerous science projects to ensure the long-term health of the local tradition of collecting and harvesting wild foods. In 2001, Christianson developed the Hetta Lake Sockeye Salmon Stock Assessment Study. In this unique project, Tribal members are working as hands-on managers of the fishery and operating a remote field station, which allows them to closely monitor fish populations. This study has been the driving force behind the rebuilding of the Hetta sockeye salmon run. Christianson also led the Hydaburg traditional ecological knowledge project, which systematically collected information from Tribal members in a series of interviews about the places most important for local subsistence harvests.
John A. “Jay” Gibbons III and Laura Emerson were elected to three-year terms of the Rasmuson Foundation board of directors at a meeting July 1. Both are grandchildren of Elmer Rasmuson. Gibbons, of Greenwich, Conn., is founder and managing partner of Swanson River Capital Partners LP, an investment management firm based in Greenwich. Previously, he spent 11 years at Trust Company of the West, the last three years as managing director and co-portfolio manager of the Value Added and Value Opportunities strategies. Earlier in his career, Gibbons was an equity analyst at Odin Partners LP, Merrill Lynch and Co., and Bear, Stearns and Co. He began his career at BayBanks, Inc. He received an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a B.A. in Biochemistry from Bowdoin College. Emerson was born and raised in Anchorage, where she lives with her husband and two young children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 1996 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. Emerson has worked in a range of jobs, including janitorial, retail, banking and as a video editor. She currently teaches yoga. Emerson serves on the Anchorage Museum Board of Directors and previously served on the board of Cyrano’s Theatre Company.
The Bureau of Land Management has new district managers for the BLM Alaska Anchorage and Fairbanks District offices. Mark Spencer is the new BLM Anchorage District Manager. Spencer joins BLM Alaska from BLM Nevada, where he served as field manager at BLM’s Red Rock Canyon and Sloan Canyon National Conservation Areas. Prior to that, he was field manager for the Pahrump (Nevada) Field Office. He also served as state planning and environmental coordinator for BLM New Mexico. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has a master of planning degree from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University. Geoff Beyersdorf is the new BLM Fairbanks District Manager. Beyersdorf served most recently as the Lewistown field manager in central Montana. He began his BLM career as the subsistence biologist for the Anchorage Field Office in 2008 and completed the National Training Center Emerging Leaders Program in 2010. Prior to his time with BLM, Beyersdorf spent 16 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska where he served as a pilot-biologist. Beyersdorf began his federal career in Oregon working as a biological technician for the U.S. Forest Service. His graduate studies were conducted at Humboldt State University in wildlife biology, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in wildlife research.
Erin Coughlin Hollowell is the new executive director of 49 Writers. Hollowell’s administrative background includes working with the Kachemak Bay Writing Conference and Friends of the Homer Public Library as well as coordinating the 2012 Alaska Arts and Culture Conference. Hollowell is the recipient of the Alaska Literary Award (2014); Connie Boochever Award (2013); Rasmuson Foundation Fellowship (2013); and the author of Pause, Traveler a collection of poems published by Red Hen Press (2013). In its fifth year, 49 Writers supports the artistic development of writers, fosters a statewide writing community and builds an audience for literature throughout Alaska.
PND Engineers Inc. announced two professional achievements in its Anchorage office. Matthew Wasson earned a professional engineer, or P.E., license in Alaska. Wasson is a civil engineer and land surveyor with six years of experience throughout Alaska and the contiguous United States. His expertise includes Arctic road and pad design, construction administration, estimating, field inspection, project planning, gravel mine site development, and field surveying. Wasson holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maine College of Engineering and has been employed full time with PND since 2013. Steven Halcomb recently passed the California Geotechnical Engineer, or G.E., exam. The G.E. requires an additional eight-hour exam beyond the Professional Engineering exam. Halcomb joined PND in 2010. He holds master’s degrees in civil and Arctic engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage and P.E. licenses in both Alaska and California.