Welcome Summer 2018 Research Fellows!

Say hello to the summer 2018 ASLC research fellows!


photo of fellow Kathryn Appler sitting at a desk

Hello! My name is Kathryn Appler, and I am a research fellow this summer at the Alaska SeaLife Center. I graduated from Coe College with a BA in Biology and Sociology. During my undergraduate career, I completed a scholar’s thesis on biofilm architecture of Shewanella and Vibrio. After graduation, I became an intern assisting with the physiology and acoustics research at the Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Laboratory in Santa Cruz, CA. As part of the Chiswell project, I am thrilled to continue learning new techniques and lenses to observe Steller sea lion population dynamics in relation to disease, predation, and maternal care.



HI! I’m Chenoa, one of the ASLC research fellows for the summer. I am a graduate student at Christopher Newport University studying Environmental Science. This is my second summer working as a fellow for the Chiswell research project, and third summer working at the SeaLife Center. This project focuses on maternal investment and breeding behavior of Steller sea lions using remote video cameras.

I have learned so much working on this project and can’t wait to see what we can learn this year! One of my favorite things about Alaska is being able to view amazing wildlife and scenery right outside your window.



Hi everyone! My name is Jessica Pollack and I will be working in the interpretation department and on the Chiswell research project this summer. I am going to be a senior at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina and I am studying for my bachelor’s degree in marine science. Before coming to Seward this summer, I spent two weeks in Costa Rica researching nest selection of the leatherback sea turtle. I have previously worked at Oceans of Fun in the Milwaukee County Zoo as a marine mammal husbandry intern. It was there that I fell in love with pinnipeds – leading me to apply for the fellowship at the ASLC!



I’m Lisa and I am thrilled to be the ASLC’s Research and Interpretation fellow this summer!  I graduated in December 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a minor in Biology from Central Connecticut State University.  Most people are surprised when I tell them what my degree is, however, my passion lies in the fields of environmental communications and environmental/science journalism.  

Last year I worked for Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Wildlife Division as its Wildlife Outreach Assistant where I wrote public newsletters, articles for the Connecticut Wildlife magazine, created new website pages, edited previous website content, and helped manage and create social media content. The most exciting experience I had at the CT DEEP was the opportunity to band Purple martin (the largest North American swallow and a species of special concern in CT) and resident Canada geese. I’ve also worked positions in video production/editing, broadcast news production, and have had a couple of freelance reporting jobs for the Connecticut Health Investigative Team.

My primary focus at the ASLC is on the Physiology and Health of Cooperating Arctic Seals (PHOCAS) project, which aims to discover and understand how ice-dependent seals function and survive within their environment. Once we understand this very basic biology and physiology of ice seals (especially ringed, spotted, and bearded seals), we can then make insights on how or if these ice seal populations will survive within their rapidly changing Arctic and sub-Arctic environments. These environments and ecosystems are under constant threat as sea ice continues to recede at a record-breaking rate; the more we understand ice-dependent seals the better we can help protect and conserve them in the midst of climate change.



Hi! My name is Coral and I am very excited to be helping with Steller Sea Lion monitoring research on Chiswell Island this summer! I have recently received my bachelor’s degree in biology from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Last summer I worked as an intern to rehabilitate injured harbor seals and sea turtles at the National Marine Life Center in Massachusetts.  Currently at ASLC I am working with a team to identify individual Steller sea lions based on natural markings and documenting their behaviors, births, and copulations. This information helps us to determine the breeding and population patterns for the current and previous years along with many other things! After this fellowship I plan on returning to school to receive my master’s degree in marine biology and continue to participate in research studies on various marine mammal species. I am hoping that my time here at the Alaska Sea Life Center will help me to gain experience in the marine mammal research field and bring me closer to achieving my goals of becoming a marine biologist!


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Hi! I’m Philina, the science outreach fellow for this summer. I have a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Florida Institute of Technology and a master’s in library and information science from Florida State University. I’m returning to the marine biology world after a long absence, and I’m very excited to jump back in!

You can read more about my background in my From the Fellow introduction post.

One thought on “Welcome Summer 2018 Research Fellows!

  1. Good luck everyone.
    Enjoy your time at the center
    Learn as much as you can.
    Thank you for sharing your life to make the world a better place for everyone.

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