Keynote Speakers

Britta Schroeder, GIS Specialist, UAS Operator, National Park Service

Britta is a GIS Specialist and UAS operator for the National Park Service based in Denali Park, as well as an instrumented rated private pilot. She has been involved in national fire and all-hazard response as a UAS operator and a data specialist, and teaches Department of Interior UAS courses for both research and fire operations. She initially joined the NPS in 2011 while earning her M.S. in Natural Resource Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (2014). She holds a B.S. in Forest Management from Colorado State University (2004) and spent seven years working for the U.S. Forest Service in Southeast Alaska prior to moving to Interior Alaska.

Dr. Matthew Wooller, UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

Dr. Matthew Wooller is a Professor of Marine Biology in the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and a Researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is also Director of the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility in the Water and Environmental Research Center at UAF’s Institute of Northern Engineering.

His talk is entitled Applications of advanced isotope technologies to wildlife research.

Craig Perham (right) and Richard Shideler (left) will be co-presenting a talk entitled Application of a new technology and modern use of an old one to locate bear dens on the North Slope.

Craig Perham, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Craig Perham is a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in Alaska, where he specializes in analyzing human impacts to Arctic marine mammals. Prior to his work at BOEM, he was a senior staff biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and managed their marine mammal regulatory program. His interests include developing mitigation measures to reduce industry impacts to Arctic marine mammals, as well as working to understand and minimize human-polar bear conflicts. He is currently detailed to the Bureau of Land Management assisting with marine mammal management and policy issues on Arctic projects in Alaska.

Richard Shideler, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Richard has been a Habitat Biologist and Wildlife Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game since 1978. He first worked on caribou research and management during the crash of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd. He then became a Habitat Biologist dealing with oil and gas development on the North Slope. He moved back to the Division of Wildlife Conservation in 2000, and continued a project investigating the interactions between grizzly bears and development on the North Slope. That project has expanded to include a regional perspective on grizzly bear movements, food habits, habitat use, denning ecology, and genetic relationships.  He developed training programs for oilfield Security officers to deter grizzly bears from areas of human development using nonlethal tools and assisted them in those activities, often using his Karelian Bear Dogs. He has also been involved in research on polar bear den detection and denning ecology, and together with colleague Craig Perham pioneered the procedures for using dogs to detect polar bear dens. He has also been involved in dealing with polar bear- human conflicts around the oilfields. He is a member of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group-Human Bear Conflict Expert Team and the Polar Bear Range States Conflict Working Group.

Banquet Speaker

Caroline Van Hemert, United States Geological Survey

Caroline Van Hemert is a biologist, writer, and adventurer whose journeys have taken her from the pack ice of the Arctic Ocean to the swamps of the Okavango Delta. She is the author of The Sun is a Compass: A 4,000-mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds, which received the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition award for Adventure Travel. Her writing has also been featured in the New York Times, Audubon, Birding, LA Times, Outside, and more. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and an M.A. in creative writing from Western Washington University, and has worked for various universities, NGOs, and government agencies. She is currently a research wildlife biologist and studies avian and wildlife health in the north. When she’s not traveling, she divides her time between a remote off-the-grid cabin in southeast Alaska and a cozy home in downtown Anchorage, where she lives with her husband and two young sons.