Guangqing Chi, Principal Investigator

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Guangqing Chi is a Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography and Director of the Computational and Spatial Analysis Core at Pennsylvania State University. His research is focused on socio-environmental systems, aiming to understand the interactions between human populations and built and natural environments by using spatial and big data analytic methods. He studies climate-driven migration and left-behind children in Central Asia, climate change impacts on coastal communities in Alaska, and ecological migration in China. He is an expert in spatial analysis and the lead author of the book “Spatial Regression Models for the Social Sciences” (SAGE 2019).

Bio Page: https://aese.psu.edu/directory/gfc5047


Twitter: @GuangqingChi

Davin Holen, Co-Principal Investigator

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Dr. Davin Holen is a coastal community resilience specialist for the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Davin facilitates workshops and other activities related to coastal resilience addressing monitoring, mitigation, and adaptation to local stressors from climatic and ocean changes. Davin has worked in rural communities from the Arctic to Southeast Alaska for over 20 years. His current extension work provides data and decision support tools for communities to make informed decisions about adapting to future climate and environmental scenarios. His research examines societal and economic factors intertwined with climatic and environmental changes influencing subsistence economies important for culture in Alaskan communities.

Davin and his collaborators created the website Adapt Alaska to provide a guide for resilience and adaptation planning for Alaska communities and resources for educator: https://adaptalaska.org/

Bio Page: https://alaskaseagrant.org/about/directory/davin-holen/


Lance Howe, Co-Principal Investigator

University of Alaska Anchorage

Dr. Lance Howe is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He moved to Alaska and joined UAA in 2002 after finishing graduate school at the University of Southern California. He teaches a range of courses in Economics and enjoys working with students from all over Alaska. His research is in two thematic areas, one area relates to risk and resilience, the other to Alaska migration patterns and socioeconomic change. He uses Experimental Economics and evaluation of survey data using basic Econometric methods to address related questions.

Bio Page: https://business.uaa.alaska.edu/directory/profile?id=31

Chris Maio, Co-Principal Investigator

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Dr. Chris Maio is an Associate Professor of Coastal Geography and has over 15 years of experience investigating coastal changes and their impacts on people and the environment and is the Director of the Arctic Coastal Geoscience Lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In recent work in western Alaska, Chris has developed effective partnerships with local and regional stakeholders to collect baseline topographical datasets and develop community-based erosion monitoring programs. This work has directly supported efforts to increase the resiliency of rural Alaska communities. In the POLARIS project Chris is leveraging his network of stakeholders to integrate new and existing geospatial data to assess the “hot spot” areas of risk associated with the intersection of extreme environmental variability and lands containing infrastructure, cultural and natural resources, and other areas of importance identified by the community.

Chris leads the Arctic Coastal Geosciences Lab providing communities with expertise and support and students with an active learning environment for monitoring coastal change: https://acgl.community.uaf.edu/

Bio Page: https://acgl.community.uaf.edu/people/

Ann R. Tickamyer, Co-Principal Investigator

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Ann Tickamyer, Professor Emerita of Rural Sociology and Demography, is a sociologist whose scholarship over 40+ years has focused on rural poverty and livelihoods, gender and development, spatial inequality, gender, disaster, and climate change, and research methods in the U.S. and globally. Her research has been conducted in the U.S., Southeast Asia, and now with this project, the Arctic and subarctic Alaska. On the POLARIS project she brings her expertise on gender and climate change to the migration pillar and its intersection with the other pillars.

Ann is the cohost of the blog: Gender, Food, Agriculture, and the Coronavirus blog initiated by the Gender Equity through Agriculture Research and Education Initiative (GEARE) at Penn State, accessed at: https://sites.psu.edu/geareblog/

Bio Page: https://aese.psu.edu/directory/art14

Eric. S Goddard, Senior Personnel

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Eric Goddard is an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Energy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), located at the Bristol Bay Campus, in Dillingham. Before joining UAF, he gained extensive experience doing environmental analysis work for the private industry. His professional labors consisted of fieldwork, coupled with writing environmental impact statements in regards to wetlands, watersheds, botanical indexing, RTE species, and habitat documentation. During this time, he earned a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University, in Plant Pathology. His research analyzed the fecundity effects that the mycological pathogen hypovirus induces, upon infecting Cryphonectria parasitica, the fungus responsible for inciting American chestnut blight. Prior to that, he earned two undergraduate degrees (A.S. and B.S.) in Forestry and Biology, respectively. He moved to Alaska after finishing service in the United States Peace Corps Response, Jamaica. While there, he worked with Jamaica’s Ministry of Education to write and implement the nation’s first environmental education curriculum to be established in their public school system. Eric now works extensively with rural communities throughout the Bristol Bay region and Alaska statewide. His goal is to help provide education and workforce development focused on energy and environmental sustainability.

Kathy Halvorsen, Senior Personnel

Michigan Technological University

Dr. Kathy Halvorsen is Associate Vice President for Research Development at Michigan Technological University. Kathy is a policy scientist who specializes in studying climate change-related issues. Her primary research area has been on reducing the likelihood of catastrophic climate change through energy conservation and renewable energy policy strategies. On the POLARIS project, Kathy is studying the policy dimensions of climate change adaptation.

Bio Page: https://www.mtu.edu/forest/about/faculty-staff/faculty/halvorsen/

Megan Mucioki, Project Manager

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Megan Mucioki is a plant scientist specializing in cultivated and wild food plants and food security. Using a collaborative research approach with Indigenous and rural communities, her work informs the in-situ conservation of cultural foods and explores relationships between cultural food access and use and household food security. Megan is an Assistant Research Professor with the POLARIS project contributing to research and project management.

Bronwen Powell, Senior Personnel

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Bronwen Powell is an Assistant Professor of Geography, African Studies and Anthropology (courtesy) and a Research Associate with the Center for International Forestry Research. Broadly, her research examines the social, cultural and environmental drivers of human nutrition, diet and food security. Specifically, her research is focused on the relationship between biodiversity and human nutrition, as well as how people draw on wild and agricultural resources to improve dietary diversity, food security and nutrition. Her recent research focuses on how forests, wild foods and landscape diversity contribute to human diet and nutrition. She is interested in how the concept of healthy food environments, which has been widely explored in urban and higher income country settings, can be applied in rural settings to understand dietary choice. Most recently she has been examining how environmental change and policy change impact the food systems of Indigenous groups. Her research and writing is policy focused. She has contributed to a number of international and UN policy fora (including the High Level Panel of Experts to UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the IPCC). She holds a PhD in Human Nutrition from McGill University, and MSc in Ethnobiology from the Department of Anthropology, University of Kent, Canterbury, England.

Bio Page: https://www.geog.psu.edu/directory/bronwen-powell

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=UjtToaoAAAAJ&hl=en

Heather Randell, Senior Personnel

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Heather Randell is an Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography and a faculty associate of the Population Research Institute. Her research focuses on the health and social impacts of climate change as well as the linkages between infrastructure development, population mobility, and well-being. Specifically, she investigates how climate change affects food security, nutrition, and education; the social processes underlying dam-induced displacement; and the relationships between environmental change and migration. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine these issues in low- and middle-income countries including Brazil and Ethiopia, and now in Alaska. She received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Brown University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC).

Bio Page: www.heatherrandell.com

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=zFnNpNoAAAAJ&hl=en

Twitter: @HeatherFRandell

Erica Smithwick, Senior Personnel

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Erica Smithwick, E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Professor of Geography, is a landscape and ecosystem ecologist. She is the Director of the Ecology Institute, and the and an Associate Director of the Institutes of Energy and Environment , both of which foster interdisciplinary environmental research. She was also the founding director of the Center for Landscape Dynamics, which connects science to management. She is a Faculty Associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI) at Penn State, and Graduate Faculty in the Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. Her laboratory group (LEAPS: Landscape Ecology at Penn State) is actively involved in understanding how a wide range of disturbances, especially fire, affect ecosystem function at landscape scales. Current research is focused on the influence of these changes on socio-ecological resilience and sustainability, with special attention to protected area management in Africa and the U.S. She recently served as a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa at Rhodes University. Dr. Smithwick has received numerous research awards from the NSF, NASA, DOE, NPS, the USGS, and beyond. This work is increasingly focused on problems that require inter- and trans-disciplinary teamwork to address complex environmental challenges. One of these projects, called Visualizing Forest Futures , seeks to address how indigenous and western knowledge systems can be best used to address forest sustainability under climate variability, in partnership with the Menominee tribal nation in northern Wisconsin. Another is focused on transdisciplinary graduate training at the Food-Energy-Water nexus.

Director, Ecology Institute and Center for Landscape Dynamics

Smithwick lab: Landscape Ecology At Penn State

Junjun Yin, Senior Personnel

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Junjun Yin is an Assistant Research Professor at the Social Science Research Institute and Population Research Institute, the Pennsylvania State University. His research interests center on GIScience with a focus on understanding population dynamics in the urban environment. His main research agenda employs computational geography approaches and geospatial Big Data to model human-urban environment interactions concerning urban mobility, accessibility, and sustainability.

Bio Page: https://junjunyin.com/

Qiujie "Angie" Zheng, Senior Personnel

University of Maine

Dr. Angie Zheng is an Associate Professor of Business Analytics. Angie's research interests include consumer choice and preference, agricultural and small business, food marketing, agricultural production and risks, and experimental economics. Angie has conducted a number of research projects about Alaska consumers and Alaskan local foods. For example, she investigated consumers' preference for various attributes of Alaska salmon; and Alaska consumers' perceptions, preference, and willingness to pay for local foods. In the POLARIS project, Angie will focus on studying food security and food preference and choice issues in the rural areas in Alaska.

Bio Page: https://umaine.edu/business/people/qiujie-angie-zheng/