COMMUNITY research leads and Partners

Gambell Steering Committee - Shemrose Koonooka, Joel James, Aaron Iworigan, Chase Apassingok, Clarence Irigoo Jr. (Crunch) and Clement Ungott and Daniel Apassingok (not pictured here).

Pekennaq Travis Kaningok is a Saint Lawrence Island Yupik knowledge holder and the Community Research Lead from Gambell, AK. He is a hunter and leader in the community. 

Eddie Ungott is a Saint Lawrence Island Yupik knowledge holder and research consultant from Gambell, AK. He has extensive experience in environmental and sea ice observations with large research teams. He is a hunter and leader in the community

Vera I. Kolpachkova is a Koryak and Chukchi knowledge holder from Alyutorsky region of Kamchatka, lead Methodist at the Ethnoecological Center of the Kronotsky nature reserve in the Alyutorsky district, Kamchatka.

Yulia Vasilieva is Itelmen knowledge holder from Kamchatka, Russia. As a traditional fisherwoman she serves as a President  of Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski.

Svetlana Isakova is Young Siberian Yupik knowledge holder from Chukotka, Russia who has been active in culture development and strengthening well-being of her Siberian Yupik community, ICC - Chukotka.

academic researchers

Dr. Abigail York is the lead Principal Investigator of ARC-NAV and Professor of Governance and Public Policy in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. She is Director of Graduate Studies and co-Director of Earth System Science for the Anthropocene - a graduate training initiative. Her work focuses on environmental governance and collective action in communities and systems facing rapid change - climate change, urbanization, and invasive species.  She advances institutional scholarship by integrating multi-level governance analyses with a focus on power and injustice.  She received her PhD in Public Policy from Indiana University. She is a settler originally from Wisconsin. 

Dr. Tatiana Degai is an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria and was the lead Principal Investigator of ARC-NAV for the University of Northern Iowa until 2021. Degai is Indigenous scholar, Itelmen, from Kamchatka, Russia. Her work focuses on language revitalization, Indigenous research methodologies, ethics,  and community-engaged research, ethnographies of the North-Pacific/Arctic, Indigenous visions on sustainability, community and land-based learning, and creative arts and community well-being . She Degai received her PhD in American Indian Studies and Linguistics at University of Arizona and MA in Anthropology from University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

Dr. Andrey Petrov is a Professor of Geography, ARCTICenter Director and Academic Director of GeoTREE Center at the University of Northern Iowa - starting in Fall 2021 he is the lead Principal Investigator of ARC-NAV for the University of Northern Iowa. Dr. Petrov is an economic and social geographer who specializes in Arctic economy, regional development and post-Soviet society, with an emphasis on the social geography of Indigenous populations. His current research concerns sustainable development, spatial organization, and restructuring of peripheral economies, as well as dynamics of social-ecological systems. Dr. Petrov leads the Research Coordination Networks in Arctic Sustainability (Arctic-FROST) and Arctic Coastal Resilience (Arctic-COAST). He has published on issues pertaining to socio-economic crisis, development, and demographic dynamics of Arctic populations. Dr. Petrov leads the COVITA project.

Dr. Victoria Sharakhmatova is an Itelmen scholar and post-doctoral fellow at the ARCTIC research Center at the University of Northern Iowa, formally an Associate Professor of the Department of Economics and Management at the Far Eastern branch of the FSBU “All-Russian Academy of Foreign Trade of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development”, Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski

Dr. Andy Mahoney is the lead Principal Investigator of ARC-NAV for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His broad field of expertise is sea ice geophysics with research interests encompassing climate change, coastal dynamics, ice-ocean interaction and the relationship between humans and sea ice. Arctic sea ice is a rapidly changing component of the global climate system and reports of its retreat make frequent headlines in international media. Mahoney's research interests include the local implications of these changes for Arctic residents. Sea ice geophysics also has an important role to play in providing data and information to stakeholders and policymakers as commercial interests in the Arctic grow. Mahoney's PhD is in Geophysics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

Dr. Bruno Tremblay is the lead Principal Investigator of ARC-NAV for Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and McGill University.  Trembay's research is centered on sea ice at the interface between the ocean and the atmosphere. The Arctic is transitioning from a perennial to a seasonal ice cover; this is often referred to as the Antarctification of the Arctic Ocean. Tremblay's research group studies the impact of lateral and vertical ocean heat flux, surface radiative and turbulent fluxes, meridional moisture and heat transport and cloud type on the observed decline of sea ice.

Dr. Shauna BurnSilver is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and an environmental anthropologist interested in how changes in the global climate and economic dynamics are affecting relationships between people and the environments they depend on.  At the core of her work is an examination of social processes, particularly the role of social relationships embedded in networks, which shape households, communities and diverse stakeholder responses to change, in turn affecting livelihoods, well-being and institutional frameworks.  BurnSilver poses theoretical questions from within Environmental Anthropology, but the majority of her work is interdisciplinary and collaborative, an approach that allows exploration of change dynamics at a range of scales - small and large - critical for addressing complex questions of persistence, vulnerability and resilience within social-ecological systems. 

Dr. Stephanie Pfirman is a Professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University.  Professor Pfirman’s scientific research focuses on the Arctic environment, in particular on the nature and dynamics of Arctic sea ice under changing climate. Her previous research activities have included melting and surging glaciers and pollution transported by sea ice. In 2010, Pfirman was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the Section on Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences. In 2018, she was elected as at large member to the section steering group. She has worked for the House of Representatives, as a staff scientist, for the US Geological Survey, as an oceanographer, and for the GeoMarine Research Institution (GEOMAR) in Kiel, Germany, as an Arctic researcher. Her PhD is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution joint program in Oceanography and Oceanographic Engineering and she has BA with high honors in Geology from Colgate University.

Dr. Marty Anderies is a Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. His work focuses on developing an understanding of how ecological, behavioral, social, and institutional factors affect the robustness/vulnerability characteristics of social-ecological systems. His work combines qualitative insights from present-day, historical, and archaeological case studies of social-ecological systems with formal mathematical modeling and experiments with human subjects to study how individual decision-making processes interact with governance regimes to influence social and environmental outcomes. Other areas of interest include economic growth, demographics, and theoretical ecology. Anderies teaches Dynamic Modeling in Social and Ecological Systems; Dynamic Modeling for Sustainability Science, Collective Action and Decision Making for Sustainability, and Rules, Games, and Society.

Dr. Bob Newton is a Senior Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.  His work examines physical oceanography and Arctic climate change. He has a PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University. 

Russian Academic Researchers

Dr. Victoria V. Petrasheva (1945 – 2021) was an Itelmen Scholar, Senior Researcher at the Kamchatka branch of the FGBUN Pacific Institute of Geography. Her spirit and work continues to shape and inspire our team. 

Student Researchers


Madeleine Fol is a master’s student at McGill University in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences working with Bruno Tremblay. Her research focus on projections of the Last Ice Area – a region within and north of the Canadian Archipelago where a perennial sea ice cover will persist when the Arctic Ocean proper will be seasonally ice free.  Madeleine's research interests include sea ice modelling, as well as the social and political impacts of Arctic climate change.

Priscilla “Aumaqpaq” Frankson is an Iñupiaq scholar and Graduate Researcher at Arizona State University. Currently pursuing a masters in American Indian Studies with a focus in tribal leadership and governance. Priscilla comes from the northwestern village of Tikiġaq (Point Hope), Alaska, which allows her a unique academic experience where she incorporates Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives into her work. 

Priscilla’s research is particularly focused on the intricate dynamics of tribal governance within the context of co-management policies and the implications they have on cultural subsistence practices. Additionally, she is interested in learning the complexities surrounding the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and heavily incorporates that into her research.

Maria (Masha) Monakhova is a Graduate Researcher at Arizona State University pursuing a PhD program in Environmental Social Science with Arizona State University. Monakhova's work focuses on co-production of knowledge in the Arctic.  For the past 3 years, she has been working on critical policy challenges around climate change in the Arctic region. She received her MA from Northern Iowa University under the direction and mentorship of Petrov and Degai.

Polina Syadeyskaya is a Nenets Graduate Researcher at the University of Northern Iowa pursuing a Masters in Geography. Syadeyskaya is originally from Krasnoe Village, the Nenets Autonomous Region, Russia. Her work focuses on the Indigenous-driven organizations in the Russian Arctic. Syadeyskaya works under the direction of Petrov. under the direction and mentorship of Petrov.

Kitrea Pacifica Takata-Glushkoff is a Graduate Research Assistant at University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. She is a MS geography/geoscience student studying Arctic sea ice environments, respectful Indigenous knowledge co-production practices, and Russian language to prepare for a career in cross-culturally inclusive geoscience research.


Semyon Drozdetsky was a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his MA in geography in 2023. His interests lie in the geography of Indigenous Peoples, focusing on their cultural and historical geography, as well as their place in contemporary geopolitics. Currently, he continues his research in the traditional geographical knowledge of the Itelmen people of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia.

Sam Aucoin was an undergraduate student at McGill University studying Earth System Science and Physics. Within this cross-disciplinary subject area he focused on ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere dynamics. He is currently a Masters Student in Physical Oceanography at Dalhousie University.

Morgan Kempf graduated from Arizona State University in 2021. In Fall 2021, she entered ASU's Masters in Global Health. For more than two years, Kempf has worked on the project conducting thematic analyses of policy change and narratives surrounding sea ice in Alaska. Beginning in 2021, she has focused on social network and institutional analyses of oceans governance with our partner the  Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. 

Jack Pringle was a Graduate Research Assistant with the project in 2020-21. He is a PhD Candidate in Applied Math for the Life and Social Sciences at Arizona State University. 

Zachariah Bouanani  - Research Apprentice, Arizona State University

Matt Kipper - Research Intern, Minnesota State University

Jordan Rydman - Research Apprentice, Arizona State University (Graduated in 2020)

Vanessa Guenecha - Research Apprentice, Arizona State University 

Elizabeth Hartley - Research Apprentice, Arizona State University

Finian Nolan - Research Apprentice, Arizona State University

Mia Santos - Research Apprentice, Arizona State University

Alexander Seng - Research Apprentice, Arizona State University (Graduated in 2020)

Maygen Sherwood - Research Apprentice Arizona State University 


Dr. Matthew Druckenmiller is a Research Scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder’s National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the Navigating the New Arctic-Community Office Director. He brings over 15 years of transdisciplinary research experience in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, often in close collaboration with Arctic communities. He also brings experience in participating with a host of national and international Arctic research and policy institutions, including the Polar Research Board (PRB), the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). His PhD is from the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he combined geophysical monitoring with local and indigenous knowledge to study how Iñupiat communities use and rely on a changing sea-ice environment for their traditional travel and hunting. 

Eduard Zdor is a PhD candidate at the Anthropology Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks. He studies the sociocultural pattern of the Bering Strait Region Native communities, focusing on traditional subsistence activities and knowledge. Zdor has been involved in joint Alaska-Chukotka research projects as partner and Principal Investigator of Traditional Ecological Knowledge for 20 years. For many years he has represented marine hunting communities in international and regional forums and is an advocate for the benefits of shared Indigenous knowledge and observation.

Dr. Anna Kerttula de Echave is a lifelong Alaskan and social cultural anthropologist. Her early research in the former Soviet Union culminated in the book, “Antler on the Sea: the Yupik and Chukchi of the Russian Far East,” published by Cornell University Press in 2000. Kerttula de Echave has had a uniquely diverse career as the Program Director of the Arctic Social Sciences Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), 2002-2018, and as the Associate Director of the Alaska Governor’s Office in Washington, DC, 1997-2002 where her portfolio included Natural Resources, Rural Affairs, Environmental Conservation, and Fisheries.   Prior to her appointment in the Alaska Governor’s Office, she was the Legislative Assistant for Russian Affairs to US Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, 1992-1997. During her 16 years of US federal service at the National Science Foundation, under Kerttula de Echave’s guidance the Arctic Social Sciences program set the standard for Arctic Indigenous community participation in scientific research projects. In 2012, Anna served as the US Embassy Science Fellow to the US Embassy in Iceland.  And in 2014 and 2016 and 2020 she co-taught with Dr. Jón Haukur Ingimundarson the course on Arctic People and Culture for the Polar Law Program at the University of Akureyri, Iceland.  Anna became a member of the Social, Economic and Cultural Expert Group (SECEG) of the Sustainable Working Group of the Arctic Council during the Canadian Chairmanship; was the Co-Chair of the SECEG for the duration of the U.S. Chairmanship; and continued to serve under the Finnish Chairmanship and under the Icelandic Chairmanship.  Currently Anna holds the position of Associate Scientist at the Stefansson Arctic Institute in Akureyri, Iceland and is the Chair of the Internal Review Board for the Jefferson Institute in Washington, DC.