Alaska Region

Alaska present challenges we love to tackle. Kris Holderied eases a CTD through the ice to study climate change in Alaska.

Alaska present challenges we love to tackle. Kris Holderied eases a CTD through the ice to study climate change in Alaska.

Have you ever heard of the book the Eskimo and the Oil Man?  It tells the story of the evolution of the relationship between Pete Slaiby, Shell’s VP for Alaska and Edward Itta the Innupiaq former Mayor of the North Slope Borough as Shell sought to drill oil exploration wells in the Arctic Ocean.   It’s a great example of the complexity in Alaskan issues and a reminder of how we need to understand the interconnections of people, places, and ways of life to achieve our goals in America’s Last Frontier.

Alaska - The time we spend in our communities helps us implement NOAA’s mission in regionally meaningful ways.

The time we spend in our communities helps us implement NOAA’s mission in regionally meaningful ways.

Having a regional collaboration team in Alaska enables NOAA to embed in the culture and environment (natural, business, and political) and act relevantly.  This year we have increased the agency’s efficiency and effectiveness by facilitating collateral projects on our ships, assisting offices with logistical hurdles across a state where ⅔ of the communities can’t be reached by road, establishes partnerships to fund projects valuable to many, leveraged our relationships at the state, local, tribal, and business levels to adapt national policies for local conditions, and worked so collaboratively on Arctic and resilience projects you can’t tell who works for who when you walk in the room.

We call ourselves “Team Alaska” and it may frustrate some of you.  The extent to which we advocate for you to do more here where operations are hard and expensive may make it seem like we are out of touch.  We’re not.  We just have high goals and believe we have a lot to offer in terms of challenge and reward.  Want to be involved with the first climate change forced relocation of a US community?  Work with us.  Want to explore somewhere no one has ever been before?  Come on up, we’ve got blank spaces on maps and charts.  Dream big and join us; Team Alaska scouts and guides NOAA’s course through the Last Frontier.

amy.holman@noaa.gov

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