What drew you to the study of ocean acidification in Alaska?
I studied geology in college, specifically Earth history and paleo-ocean chemistry. Ocean acidification has been directly implicated with or associated with most marine mass extinctions in the last 500 million years! The more I learned about ocean acidification’s morbid history, the more modern acidification work fascinated me. Now we have the opportunity to study acidification on a much faster time frame than we have seen in the geologic record (everyone has to find a silver lining somewhere…). I was lucky enough to be offered a job getting an OA-monitoring project started at the Sitka Tribe of Alaska in 2015 and have been happily working on that project ever since.
Tell us more about your role — what element of OA do you work on, and where?
I work for the Resource Protection Department of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, where our primary focus is to ensure or improve access to traditional subsistence or cultural resources. Our interest in ocean acidification is centered on how increased acidity will affect populations of or access to marine resources like salmon, shellfish, groundfish, and seaweed. Nearshore ocean acidification research is still a relatively new field, especially in Alaska, it is still an open question whether OA’s effects are likely to be amplified or attenuated on local scales around Southeast…..