Gerald “J.J.” Frost, President. J.J. first moved to Alaska in 1995. He earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1999. Gerald then worked on a variety of avian and vegetation studies in Alaska’s interior, arctic, and the western Aleutians for ABR, Inc. and the National Park Service. In 2007, he began a Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of Virginia, studying recent changes in the forest-tundra boundary across Siberia. He is now a Senior Scientist at ABR, Inc. and works on a range of ecosystem and avian studies, including songbird surveys and habitat assessment. JJ also serves on the board of the U.S. Permafrost Association.
Ed Murphy, Vice President. Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biology and Wildlife and Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), Ed has focused his research on seabirds in northwestern Alaska for the last 3 decades. He also supervised several M.Sc. studies of songbirds, including breeding biology of Red-winged Blackbirds (Dave McGuire), avian community ecology at Bonanza Creek near Fairbanks (Ann Johnson), foraging ecology of Yellow-rumped Warblers in the Wrangell Mountains (Kristin Bartecchi Rozell), and breeding biology of Yellow Warblers in the Yukon Flats (Kristine Sowl). At UAF, Ed taught courses in ornithology, natural history, mammalogy, ecology and data analysis. In the past, he served on the boards of the Alaska Conservation Society and the Alaska Bird Observatory.
Amy Turner, Treasurer. Amy has a diverse background in food systems, nutrition, large and small scale wildlife and vegetation studies. She has served on several non-profit boards including Arctic Audubon and Calypso Farm & Ecology Center. Amy has been involved with birds and education in Fairbanks since she moved here in 1999. Amy works at ABR, Inc. as an assistant accountant andproposal coordinator.
Beth Grassi, Secretary. Beth works as the Communications Manager for Audubon Alaska. She has worked or volunteered as a field technician on various bird research projects around the country, including owl surveys in Juneau and a US Fish and Wildlife Service study of Kittlitz’s Murrelets in Icy Bay. Beth enjoyed being the English major in upper level biology classes while earning her BA at Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois). She has an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana in Missoula. In 2004, she moved to Alaska, working for several years with the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and then with the Watchable Wildlife Program at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. She has served on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Juneau Audubon chapter’s board of directors where she lead bird walks and organized presentations. Beth has written and illustrated a children’s book about forest fire ecology and has illustrated other children’s books and scientific papers.
Rebecca Young, Board Member. Rebecca recently earned her doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her research focused on biological age, telomeres, physiology, and behavior of long-lived seabirds. Her major interests are how hormones and other physiological measures interact with behavior to affect individual fitness in organisms of varying life histories. Current projects include: how telomere length relates to foraging behavior and environmental conditions in thick-billed murres; how telomere length and oxidative stress differ in black-legged kittiwake chicks in the nest in Atlantic and Pacific populations; and a comparison of telomere lengths and chronological ages in a wide variety of alcid species.
Jessica McLaughlin, Board Member. Jessica is a current PhD student at the University of Oklahoma. She earned her M.S. at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she studied gene flow and migration in Beringian birds using genomic data at the UA Museum of the North. She moved to Fairbanks from Ohio in 2011 to pursue a degree in Wildlife Biology at UAF, which she completed in 2014 after doing her capstone project on the changes in bird communities in response to woodland encroachment in the Serengeti ecosystem of Tanzania. She has been a volunteer at the Creamer’s Field Migration Station since the fall of 2014 (including as a banding apprentice in 2015 and 2016) and lead bander in spring 2017.
Michelle Lake, Board Member. Michelle moved to Alaska in 2013 after teaching high school science for five years in Manteca School District in California. She earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies and B.S. in Biology, with an emphasis in Ecology in 2006, as well as her Teaching Credential in 2008, from California State University, Chico. Michelle’s first experience with Alaska was in 2005, when she spent a summer interning for the National Park Service in Eagle, Alaska. She also worked in the summer of 2007 for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) studying Spectacled and Common Eiders on the Yukon-Delta National Wildlife Refuge. In 2012, Michelle helped with the Steller’s Eider research project for USFWS in Barrow. Currently, Michelle teaches high school science at Effie Kokrine Early College Charter School in Fairbanks.