We’ve been celebrating many incredible additions to the SEACC Board of Directors. Please welcome Kashudoha Wanda Loescher Culp of Juneau (from Hoonah), Judith Daxootsu Ramos of Juneau (from Yakutat), Michelle Andulth Meyer of Seattle (from Yakutat), Cheryl Fecko of Craig, Nevette Bowen of Petersburg, and Kathy Coghill of Juneau.
Wanda, of the Chookeneidí Clan of Glacier Bay, is a well-known advocate for conservation in Southeast Alaska. She got involved with conservation, as well as SEACC, in the 1980s when clearcut logging came to Hoonah. She began speaking up for her community and amplifying the voices of her elders. In 2016, Wanda became the Tongass Regional Coordinator for Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network International, an organization of women for climate, the environment, and socio-economic inequalities. She and WECAN Tongass have been advocating for the National Roadless Rule, food sovereignty, and more. Wanda was also a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat for 17 years.
Cheryl arrived on Prince of Wales Island (POW) in 1981 as a science teacher eager to explore the natural beauty of Southeast Alaska and share her love of the outdoors with students. During the heated Tongass issues of the 1980s and 1990s, Cheryl and other POW residents formed the Prince of Wales Conservation League to protect remaining old-growth stands from industrial logging. Now retired, Cheryl continues to engage in conservation by coordinating the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition and an annual streamside ecology field day with schools, the Forest Service, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Cheryl has spent summers commercial fishing with her husband, taking self-guided river rafting trips throughout Alaska, and traveling.
Michelle, Tlingit of the Humpback Salmon people, Kwáashk’i Kwáan Clan, Fort House, from Yaakwdáat Kwáan, strives to fulfill her obligation to her Peoples’ lands because she recognizes their importance to the continuation of her Tlingit culture. In 2003, Michelle became involved with the Cruise Ship Taxation and Regulation initiative after seeing how Yakutat (and other coastal communities) were impacted. She managed the initiative until its passage by Alaska voters in 2006. She has been the Alaska State Director for the 2012 Obama-Biden campaign, a board member of Trustees for Alaska since 2011, and works as a Sacred Sites Specialist for Yakutat Tlingit Tribe.
Judithis Tlingit and is Raven moiety of the Kwáashk’i Kwáan Clan. She is the Program Coordinator of Haa Yoo X’atangi Deiyi: Our Language Pathways at the University of Alaska Southeast and was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development at the University of Alaska. She has a Bachelor’s in Anthropology, a Master’s in Teaching, and is a Ph.D. student in Indigenous Studies. Judy worked for Yakutat Tlingit Tribe as an anthropologist and Realty Director. She is also a co-curator for the Northwest Coast Hall renovation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Nevette grew up salmon trolling around Kuiu Island, land of the Kéex’ Kwáan and Kooyu Kwáan, and now does commercial setnet fishing in Ahrnklin Estuary. In past, she worked with SEACC as part of a collaborative effort with the City of Yakutat, Yak-Tat Kwáan, and the Yakutat Fishermen’s Association to stem logging by the University of Alaska in Clan and setnet fishing areas. Nevette has also provided legislative staff support for banning fish farming and helped found the Alaska Marine Conservation Council. She resides part-time in Istanbul, where her husband reports for NPR, but returns seasonally to Yakutat to put up fish and hand troll with her 91-year-old father.
Kathy came to Alaska in 1981 as a Glacier Bay National Park summer intern living out of a 16-foot skiff. From there, she sought remote work conducting fishery research at Kadashan and Trap Bays for the Forest Service’s research branch. She’s lived without electricity or running water, appreciating the opportunity to reside where the sacred nature of the environment was not overwhelmed by human development. She received a Master’s in Aquatic Ecology in 1992 and later joined the board of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, where she started collaborating with SEACC to understand the implications of the latest Tongass Land Management Plan. Kathy is now a healthcare provider.
For the full biographies of our SEACC board members, visit seacc.org/about/seacc-board.