Our initial contributors to the blog were Roundtable Core members and Island Institute staff. Bios have been added below for each new contributor. We are in the process of expanding contributors to include Roundtable Participants. And from there, we imagine the authors and the stories told here will shift and grow. For now, we encourage you to make this blog a place of conversation by commenting on posts, asking questions, and starting discussions.
Interested in contributing to the blog? Contact us with a proposal or draft post. We will follow up by the end of August.
Gordon Blue was educated in shipbuilding, vessel operations, and engineering at Seattle trade schools and the University of Washington, and completed a Master’s in Divinity at University of British Columbia. He is an ordained priest of the Episcopal Church, and has served on boards or as officer of twenty nonprofit and for-profit entities, with missions in domestic and international fisheries, community development, economic and policy analysis, advocacy, conservation, social services, and safety at sea.
F. Stuart (Terry) Chapin III is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and one of the nation’s leading ecologists. He is the only Alaskan to hold an appointment to the National Academy of Sciences. Chapin directs a graduate educational program in Resilience and Adaptation at UAF which studies the resilience of regional systems in the face of directional changes in climate, economics, and culture.
Elena Gustafson joined the Island Institute staff in November 2011 as their new Program Associate. She’s incredibly excited about all of the opportunities with the Institute for collaborating with other community organizations and writers and for using creative storytelling to explore community resilience. Elena graduated from Whitman College in southeast Washington in 2010 with a degree in Environmental Humanities, a combined major between environmental-studies and writing. Since graduation she’s been slowly working on her own writing, including a book entitled Towards a Climate of Health.
Island Institute board member Kathleen Dean Moore is a philosopher, nature writer, public speaker, defender of all that is wet and wild, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University. Her work brings together the art of the essay, the wisdom of the natural world, and the moral clarity of philosophy to explore our place on the planet and our responsibilities for its thriving. Her newest book, co-edited with Michael Nelson, is Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril.
Elise grew up in Baltimore in a gigantic Catholic family that included: one non-identical twin sister who is nothing like here and two equally non-identical non-twin sisters. After receiving her B.A. in philosophy and art from McGill University and La Sorbonne, she relocated to New York City to make art installations and run community programs for teens. She moved to Alaska by accident and had no idea she would stay. Elise used to work for StoryCorps, collecting stories around the state. She now lives in Sitka where she hosts live storytelling events and a radio show. Sustain Me is one of those events.
Libby Roderick is an internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter, poet, activist, teacher, and lifelong Alaskan. She is also a faculty member at the Institute for Deep Ecology. Her six recordings have received extensive airplay on Earth and, in 2003, NASA played her song “Dig Down Deep” on the planet Mars as encouragement to the robot “Spirit.” Libby’s studio albums include A Meditation for Healing (1998) and How Could Anyone (2005).
A teacher, earth scientist, writer, photographer, and pilot, Lauret Savoy is also a woman of mixed African-American, Native American, and Euro-American heritage. Her courses consider how braided strands of human history and geologic-natural history contribute to the stories we tell of the land’s origin and history, and to stories we tell of ourselves in the land and of relational identity. She is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Geology at Mount Holyoke College. Her most recent book, co-edited with Allison Deming, is The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World.
Since arriving in Alaska in 1975 to manage a musk ox farm in Fairbanks, Sam Skaggs has been an advocate for people and place. He is a Registered Investment Advisor, conservationist, philanthropist, sailor, and father of four. He and his partner recently redesigned their entire business strategy to align with the concepts of resiliency.
Joe is an organizer at the frontlines of building powerful new movements combining grassroots community organizing with the only-just-glimpsed potential of the Internet. He is the Social Media Coordinator for www.350.org, which works to inspire and equip large-scale environmental and political action events around the world on issues of climate change.
Molly Sturges is an artistic director, composer, performer and facilitator. She is best known for her intergenerational, large-scale, artistic collaborations with communities across the globe which focus on environmental and social equity and healing. She is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Littleglobe and is a Professor of Practice in Art and Ecology at the University of New Mexico. A United States Artist Fellow in Music, Sturges is currently at work on a national arts and climate change project entitled COAL: A Musical Fable.