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Founding Members

Who We Are:

Brown-ZachZach Brown recently completed his PhD in the Department of Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University.  He grew up in the tiny town of Gustavus just a short boat ride from Inian Islands Institute and Glacier Bay National Park.  His research lies in the ecology of phytoplankton.  Using a combination of fieldwork and remotely-sensed data, he works to understand the role of phytoplankton in marine ecosystems from the Arctic to the Antarctic.  Zach has undertaken expeditions to both extreme poles and thrives on teaching, learning, and conducting research in these remote environments.  He now serves as executive director of Inian Islands Institute.


Oakes, LaurenLauren Oakes recently completed her PhD in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.  Her research stands at the interface of ecology, land change science, and resource management.  Lauren studies the social and ecological responses to yellow-cedar decline associated with climate change in Southeast Alaska.  She has led research expeditions for her data collection on the outer coast of the Archipelago, near the Inian Islands.  She has guided rivers professionally, produced documentary films, and developed undergraduate field courses.  Lauren writes and photographs alongside her academic research and recently wrote a science blog for the New York Times on her work in Alaska.


Strong, AaronAaron Strong is a 4th-year PhD candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University.  Aaron grew up on a lake in rural Maine and became enamored with Alaska while studying Crested Auklet behavior on St. Lawrence Island in 2004. Now, he studies feedbacks of the carbon cycle to global change factors, and the policies for operationalizing biogeochemical ecosystem services (such as carbon sequestration and nitrogen cycling) in environmental management frameworks.  Aaron’s current projects include studies of carbon export on shallow continental shelves, the role of dams and land use in altering land-to-sea carbon, nitrogen and silica fluxes, and the loss of carbon from soils in grasslands subjected to experimental conditions that mimic global change.


Teneva, LidaLida Teneva recently completed her PhD in the Department of Environmental Earth System Science, where she focused on identifying what confers resilience or vulnerability to coral reefs in light of climate change. Her projects included collecting field data from Pacific islands to model rates of ocean acidification-associated future reef decline, as well as studies of overfishing patterns in coral reef nations and impacts on food security and sustainable fisheries.  Lida has organized many educational events at Stanford to raise awareness on ocean issues, mentored undergraduates, and served as a teaching and learning consultant at Stanford. She is a passionate advocate for coral reefs, sharks, and salmon, and plans to take these passions and her scientific skills to the conservation world. Lida is a certified scientific diver and has recently completed training for her private pilot’s license.








3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Vic Kley #

    How many of you will become inHobbitants? Do expect to conduct your scientific lives in the Southeastern environs?

    January 15, 2014
  2. Dallas Murphy #

    Hi, Zach,

    Matt Mills passed your site to me while at sea on Healy, and I wanted to pass on my congratulations and respect for the work you’re doing. All my best, Dallas Murphy

    July 13, 2014
  3. Inian Moon #

    How did the Inian islands get their name? Also do you know what it means? My parent’s sailed there in the 90’s and decided to name me Inian and I’ve always wondered what the word means. It would be real rad to hear from you!

    January 27, 2015

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