Tara joined the Alaska SeaLife Center in 2003. Tara was named Interim President and CEO effective November 1, 2011, and on July 10, 2012 was officially named President and CEO. Tara previously served the Center as Chief Operating Officer, Director of Research and Grant Operations, Grants and Contracts Manager, and Research Administrator. Prior to moving to Alaska, Tara worked as a strategic management consultant for McKinsey and Company in Boston and Auckland, New Zealand.
Tara received a B.S. in biomedical and electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her former research interest in cardiac electro physiology lives on in a collection of frogs, her former research subjects.
Tara is an active volunteer for the National Panhellenic Conference, Alpha Phi Fraternity, and various local community groups in Seward.
Brett joined ASLC in July of 2006 as the Mammal Curator. He accepted the position of Husbandry Director in April of 2009. Prior to joining the Center he was the Research Training Coordinator and Program Manager for the Marine Mammal Physiology Project at Long Marine Lab, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Brett is currently an active PADI and NAUI Dive Instructor, AAUS Scientific Diver, and chairs both the Diving Control Board and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the Center.
Brett’s extensive field experience includes both captive and field studies of marine mammals and birds, and Scientific Diving and Boating along the Alaska and California coastlines.
Human Resource Director
Cindy returned to Seward to accept the position of Senior Human Resource Manager for the Alaska SeaLife Center in November 2006. She had just spent three years in the Florida Keys working as City Clerk and HR Officer for a newly formed city; prior to that she worked for the City of Seward as HR Officer.
Cindy's thirty years in Seward provide her with a local knowledge of public and private sector business that assists her with the challenges involved in recruiting and retaining staff at the end of the road.
Cindy has a degree in Humanities she achieved while raising four children, working part-time and running a seasonal family business. She is still involved in local grass roots government as a City of Seward Planning and Zoning Commissioner.
Chip is the Information Services Manager and joined the Alaska SeaLife Center in 2001. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Microsoft Certified Trainer. In 2007 Chip also took on the duties of managing the Center’s Dive Department and serves as the Diving and Vessel Safety Officer.
Chip came to the Alaska SeaLife Center with a diverse background having attended the University of Utah and Brooks Institute of Photography where he studied underwater photo technology. He became a scuba instructor in1978 and spent the next 20 years as a commercial diver, scuba instructor, first aid/CPR/O2 instructor, dive store manager and store owner.
Nancy moved to Seward from Juneau with her family in 1992. Nancy worked for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District as a Secretary at Seward Elementary prior to coming to the Alaska SeaLife Center in 2005. In her role, she is also the assistant to the Board of Directors.
Nancy attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, completing three years of study in Anthropology before becoming employed at the University's Institute of Arctic Biology as a secretary in the Director’s Office. Personal activities/interests include rowing with the local rowing club, hiking, reading, and volunteering.
Tuula is a research associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, and in 2010 became the Interim Science Director for ASLC. Tuula joined the Alaska SeaLife Center in 2002 as a scientist and program manager. She has a DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine in Finland, and a Ph.D. in physiological ecology from the University of Helsinki.
Tuula has been working with sea ducks and other marine birds for almost 20 years. She worked with breeding ecology, toxicology, and diseases of eiders, alcids, and larids in the Baltic Sea through 1990ís, and continued laboratory studies on virus ecology and physiology of eiders and other marine species at the USGS-National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI, in 1997-2002. Since 2002, Tuula has focused on research projects relating to recovery of Stellerís and spectacled eiders in Alaska, and continued her national and international collaborations in the field of marine sciences.
Sylvia joined the Alaska SeaLife Center in 2012. Prior to joining the Center, Sylvia was a senior financial analyst for Safeco Insurance for four years and for the National Wildlife Federation for eight years. Sylvia also worked as a project director on an Army contract for five years. Sylvia has lived in Seward since 2011 and in Alaska since 2006 to include Kodiak, Larsen Bay and Homer.
Sylvia received a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University and an M.B.A from George Washington University.
Development and Proposal Manager
Jilian joined the Alaska SeaLife Center in 2006 after receiving her BA in Business Management at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Jilian has filled multiple positions in during her time with the Center, now serving as the Development and Proposal Manager. In this capacity she searches for new grant opportunities, coordinates the submission of grant proposals, coordinates all grant reporting and donor communications, and works with staff to cultivate funder relationships and enhance the Centerís fundraising capacity.
As a lifelong Seward resident, she is also actively involved in the community as a state-certified firefighter and President of the Seward Volunteer Fire Department Corporation.
Senior Education Manager
Laurie joined the Alaska SeaLife Center team in 2008. As Senior Education Manager, Laurie is responsible for the Centerís education programs, interpretation development, and exhibits projects.
Raised in Alaska, Laurie funded her university years by tagging king salmon on the Kenai River for ADF&G. After receiving a B.A. in History from the University of Wyoming and an M.A. in English from the University of Alaska, Laurie spent seven years abroad teaching and developing communication curriculums in Latvia, Japan, and Korea. In addition to nearly 20 years of education work, Laurie spent three years in Seattle as an interactive designer. Today, Laurie is dedicated to improving educational, textual, visual, and scientific communications that meaningfully connect people to our shared ocean.
Darryl Schaefermeyer is a 60-year resident of Seward, Alaska. A graduate of Seward High School and Brigham Young University, he worked as a Staff Assistant for the late Senator Ted Stevens prior to working for the City of Seward where he was employed for 16-years including serving as city manager. He has been affiliated with the Seward Association for Advancement of Marine Science from its establishment in 1990 and has been employed with the Alaska SeaLife Center since 1993, holding the positions of project administrator, general manager, and operations manager.
Dr. Goertz did a two year aquatic animal internship at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut following graduation from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. At the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, she helped start a new stranding center for marine mammals, and at the University of Southern Maine, she developed marine mammal cell cultures and investigated the effects of heavy metals on those cells. Currently the Staff Veterinarian at the Alaska SeaLife Center, Carrie works with the preventative medicine program, research projects, and clinical care for birds, fish, and marine mammals including both captive and stranded animals.
ASLC Board of Directors
Stephen Grabacki, Chairman
William Muldoon, Vice-Chairman
ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc.
Willard E. Dunham, Secretary
Tom Tougas, Treasurer
Major Marine Tours
Dr. Michael Castellini, University of Alaska Designee
Dean, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Pat Pitney, University of Alaska Designee
Vice Chancellor for Administration
James Hunt, City of Seward Designee
Dr. Steve Atwater
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Alaska USA Insurance Brokers
Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
Friedman and Rubin
Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc.
Think Globally Develop Locally, LLC
Great Bear Petroleum
Shell Exploration & Production Company
Dr. Talis J. Colberg, J.D., Ph.D.
Director, Matanuska-Susitna College, UAA
Dr. Chris Harrold
Monterey Bay Aquarium - Retired
Caelus Energy Alaska
Alaska Visitor Services
NANA Development Corporation
Alaska Railroad Corporation
Alaska Destination Specialists
BP Exploration Alaska
Ryan A. Stuart
Doherty & Stuart, P.C.
Scientific Advisory Committee
Dr. Bill Wilson, Chair North Pacific Fishery Management Council-Retired
Scott Mills, OR
Dr. Dirk Derksen USGS Biological Services-Retired
Dr. David Beauchamp University of Washington
School of Aquatic & Fisheries Sciences
Dr. Tom Weingartner University of Alaska Fairbanks
Institute of Marine Science
Dr. John Bengtson National Marine Mammal Laboratory
Dr. Andrew Trites University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre
Dr. Chris Harrold Monterey Bay Aquarium - Retired
Dr. Michael Castellini University of Alaska Fairbanks
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Dr. Ian Dutton Rasmuson Foundation
Dr. George Hunt University of Washington
School of Aquatic & Fisheries Sciences
Dr. Michael Macrander Shell Exploration & Production Company
Dr. Mike Murray Monterey Bay Aquarium
Dr. Robert Suydam North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management
Dr. Tahzay Jones National Park Service