About Us

Byron Bluehorse, MCRP (Diné/U.S.)

Associate Professor/Program Head of Tribal Governance, University of Alaska Fairbanks – Interior Alaska Campus
Alaska, USA
Byron Bluehorse is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. A former U.S. Marine and graduate from the University of New Mexico. Byron has 20 years of experience working with federal agencies, non-profits, and higher education institutions. He has administered and taught courses under the statewide Alaska Tribal Technical Assistance Program Center, which served Tribes throughout Alaska, for eight years. He is an Advisory Member for the National Tribal Geographic Information Support Center and National Geospatial Advisory Committee for the Federal Geographic Data Committee.

Lene Kielsen Holm, MS (Kalaaleq)

Researcher, Greenland Climate Research Centre, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Nuuk, Greenland
Unfortunately during this project Lene Kielsen Holm passed away. While we wish we had more time to learn from her expertise, we appreciate the contributions she made to this project and to research in and about Greenland. (Memorial GINR Link)

Lene has extensive experience in the Greenlandic public, NGO, and education sectors, having served as Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure, Special Assistant to the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and leader for several large Arctic research and education projects. Originally from Qaqortoq, Lene speaks all three Greenlandic dialects and is an author of “The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities.”

Nathan Reigner, PhD (U.S.)

Research Assistant Professor, Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania, USA
Nathan is an active analyst and researcher of West Nordic and North Atlantic tourism and nature protection. He was a 2019 Fulbright Scholar in Iceland, jointly funded by the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US National Science Foundation, working to support nature protection and tourism management in Icelandic nation parks and heritage sites. Nathan has served as project manager for dozens of capacity building, evaluation, and education projects in national parks and forests across the United States, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Island, Norway, Russia, Oman, and Ukraine.

Victoria Buschman, MS/MPA (Iñupiaq Inuit/U.S.)

Indigenous Knowledge and Conservation Advisor
Nuuk, Greenland
Victoria Qutuuq Buschman is an Iñupiaq conservation biologist originally from northern Alaska now residing permanently in Nuuk, Greenland. She has lived and worked across the Arctic in an effort to promote how Indigenous Peoples fundamentally shape Arctic biodiversity conservation, from research, to management, to actualizing the dreams of new protected areas. Her role in research is to challenge the colonial legacy of conservation and instead promote partnerships with Indigenous communities, knowledge, and governance to develop ethically-conscious, culturally-relevant, and fully knowledge-based conservation efforts in the Arctic.

Gestur Hovgaard, PhD (Faroese)

Associate Professor and Head of Institute of Social Science, Economic and Journalism, Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland
Nuuk, Greenland
Gestur is Head of the Institute of Social Science, Economics & Journalism at the University of Greenland. Prior to joining the University of Greenland’s administration, Gestur served on the faculty of the University of Faroe Islands and in Faroese industry.

Mie Hylstofte Sichlau Winding, PhD (Danish)

Department Head of the Greenland Climate Research Centre
Nuuk, Greenland
Mie is Department Head of The Greenland Climate Research Centre at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. Mie is living and working in Nuuk, Greenland. Mie holds a PhD degree in Marine Biology and has a long experience in leading research projects and monitoring programmes. Mie is active in teaching of Arctic natural science courses on university level.

Courtney Carothers, PhD (U.S.)

Professor of College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Alaska, USA
Courtney has 20 years of experience working with fishing communities across Alaska to better understand the social and cultural dimensions of fishery systems and to advance policy processes to better include these dimensions. She partners with Indigenous communities across the globe to advance social and environmental justice goals. Courtney, along with other TAKAUU team members, is leading a new five-year project educational development project Tamamta that will provide strong synergy with this proposal [NRT: NNA: Tamamta (All of Us): Transforming Western and Indigenous Fisheries and Marine Sciences Together (National Science Foundation, recommended for funding, 2020-2025)]. Tamamta’s cultural exchanges, internships, visiting scholars program, and Indigenous fisheries curriculum development will provide excellent opportunities for colleagues and students in Greenland to participate alongside US colleagues and students.

Tracy Michaud, PhD (U.S.)

Assistant Professor and Chair of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Southern Maine
Maine, USA
Tracy is a member of the Education Cross-cutting and Hospitality and Tourism Technical Working Groups. Tracy has over 20 years of experience in community tourism development in rural Maine as well as curriculum development in tourism and cultural heritage education at secondary, community college level, university, and professional levels. She has created two now sustainably operating post-secondary hospitality and tourism education programs, one in Maine and one in Iceland. Her work focuses on engaging local populations in tourism development and connecting them to the tourism and hospitality industry for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Jessica Black, PhD (Gwich’in Athabascan/U.S.)

Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development; and Tribal Governance, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Alaska, USA
Dr. Jessica Black is from the villages of Gwichyaa Zhee (Ft. Yukon) and Toghotthele (Nenana), Alaska. Dr. Black currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development and Tribal Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she teaches, co-leads several research projects, and serves her Alaska Native community in various ways. Dr. Black received her bachelor’s in social work at UAF and her masters and PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation and current research examines the relationship between governance and well-being, especially as it pertains to Alaska Native people. She resides in Fairbanks, Alaska with her family, however, she frequently returns home to Gwichyaa Zhee to hunt, fish, gather and spend time with her large, extended family.

Kevin Illingworth, JD (U.S.)

Professor of Tribal Governance, University of Alaska Fairbanks – Interior Alaska Campus
Alaska, USA
Kevin is a member of the Education Cross-cutting and Land and Fisheries Management Technical Working Groups. Kevin has 19 years of experience in development and management of educational programs serving rural Alaska, particularly distance delivery to rural Alaska. He has extensive experience in curriculum development, assessment and instructional technology, primarily focused towards adult Indigenous student education, with a strong commitment to place based education. He has extensive experience in education and technical assistance relating to Indigenous governments and justice systems.

Carrie Stevens, MIIM (U.S.)

Associate Professor of Tribal Governance and Chair of Indigenous, Community, and Tribal Programs, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Alaska, USA
Carrie is a member of the Education Cross-cutting and Land and Fisheries Management Technical Working Groups. Carrie has 18 years of experience in designing and delivering place-based educational programs to advance Alaska Native self-governance through partnerships with Tribal Governments, communities, and peoples. She contributed to the TM core curriculum in management and resource governance. Carrie serves as the PI of the USDA NIFA ANNH Strengthening Alaska Native Stewardship/ Investing in Sustainable Stewardship awards for the College of Rural and Community Development, a collaboration enhancing educational equity to build leadership for community food and energy security. She holds a Master of International and Intercultural Management.

Peter Newman, PhD (U.S.)

Department Head and Professor, Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania, USA
Peter is a member of the Education Cross-cutting and Technical Working Groups. Peter has senior-level experience in land management and sustainable tourism education capacity building, administration, and delivery. Prior to serving as Department Head, he was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. While there he conceptualized and introduced a new educational model for developing the next generation of conservation leaders El Colegio de la Frontera Sur University in Mexico. Peter is a former US National Park Service Ranger.

Derrick Taff, PhD (U.S.)

Assistant Professor, Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania, USA
Derrick is a member of the Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism Working Group. Dr. Taff’s research uses communication strategies to influence human behaviors in a manner that promotes positive health outcomes for humans and the environment. He has extensive experience working with not-for-profit educational organizations and federal land managing agencies in the US, Australia, and China, focused on managing global sustainable tourism.

Kas Aruskevich, PhD (U.S.)

Principal, Evaluation Research Alaska LLC
Alaska, USA
Kas has over 20 years of experience planning, writing, managing and evaluating federal discretionary grants that serve Alaska’s Native population. Her evaluation practice for the last 12 years is based on tenets of Indigenous Evaluation found through research in the post-settler states of New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Kas is an external evaluator for federal initiatives awarded to Tribal entities, vocational education programs, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her professional interests include mentoring Alaska Native students and graduates into evaluation, emerging Culturally Responsive Indigenous Evaluation practices and assisting rural Alaskan and Tribal clients to use strengths and evidence for improvement, growth, change and capacity building.

U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State leads America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance by advancing the interests of the American people, their safety and economic prosperity. Equivalent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in other nations, the Department of State is headquartered in Washington, DC, and is responsible for overseeing more than 270 diplomatic posts worldwide. In addition to managing its official government-to-government relations, the Department also supports a wide variety of public diplomacy initiatives, such as the Arctic Education Alliance, to foster meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships between the people of the United States and people around the globe. https://www.state.gov/