Board of Directors
Tania Lewis, President
Tania moved to Gustavus Alaska in 1994 and completed her undergraduate degree in Marine Biology at University of Alaska, Southeast in 1999. In 2012 she received her Master’s Degree in Wildlife Biology from the UA Fairbanks with a research project examining the distribution of bear species and the population genetic structure of brown bears in northern Southeast Alaska. Tania is currently the terrestrial wildlife biologist for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve with focus on bear ecology, nesting seabirds, and the abundance and distribution of wildlife species. Other research interests include documenting the ecological effects of changing climate and landscape, determining animal colonization patterns in recently deglaciated areas, and mitigating negative human impacts to wildlife. Whether at work or at play, Tania likes to spend time in wild places. Her free time is often spent adventuring by foot and non-motorized boat, growing and harvesting food, and playing music around a fire with friends and family.
Peter Forbes, Vice President
Peter is a writer, a teacher of leadership development, and a life-long student of the relationship between people and the land. He’s the co-founder of Center for Whole Communities which has done significant, nationally respected work over the last decade connecting the worlds of environmentalism and social justice. Peter’s family immigrated to the United States from the Ukraine and changed their name, language and identity to make a home here; this journey is very likely why Peter sees a powerful connection between identity and place, between how we care for people and how we care for the earth. Peter’s life as photographer, political consultant, conservationist, farmer and facilitator combine unusual aspects of the very practical with the wildly visionary to produce work that has been influential to a variety of sectors: conservation, philanthropy, sustainability, ethics and social ventures. Peter is the author of four books about people and place, and a new one coming out in 2014 about his family’s relationship with the Maine social critic, William Coperthwaithe. Peter and his family live and farm in the Mad River Valley of Vermont.
Molly Kemp fell in love with Southeast Alaska nearly 40 years ago, and put down roots near the Chichagof Island community of Tenakee Springs. Recognizing the vulnerability of her forest home led to decades of political activism, and the formation of the Chichagof Conservation Council. Recently retired from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game after 30 field seasons, Molly is thrilled to have an opportunity to help advance the vision of the Inian Islands Institute.
Jessica Lindmark, Secretary
Jessica first traveled to Southeast Alaska in 2003 and has been in love ever since. Her formal background is in English, communications, and editing, which she often puts to use in support of startup projects, particularly those related to sustainability and communication of ideas for the ‘greater good.’ She currently lives in Seattle, where she hikes some, gardens often, and works primarily as a yoga instructor, taking classes into the outdoors at every opportunity. She is thrilled to have her shoulder to the wheel for Inian Islands Institute.
Born and raised in Hoonah, Jeff is a Tlingit Norwegian from a logging family. He recently retired from 21 years as a high school science teacher. Jeff is a hunter and fisherman of the Icy Strait region, as well as an outdoor guide, which he uses to expose people to the fascinating biology and geology of the region through an Alaska Native perspective. A father of four and grandfather of six, Jeff is also a professional artist and carver with his own gallery. He has long dreamed of a field school in the Icy Strait region, and brings passion and indigenous knowledge to the Inian Islands Institute team.