We have a few new faces at Northern Center! Emily Mesner and Sean McDermott have been busy getting up to speed with our operations, programs, and community since their hiring earlier this year. Read more about their roles and experience below.

Sean McDermott, Arctic Program Coordinator

In this role, Sean is working to secure durable protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Western Arctic.

Growing up in Minnesota, Sean has been rooted in the North his entire life. He moved to Alaska in 2019, after a decade working as a freelance photographer and writer. He’s worked on projects around the U.S. and abroad, centered around environmental justice and health. From controversial plans for hydropower in Europe to longstanding environmental contamination issues here at home, he’s interested in exploring conversations around our rapidly changing world.

Sean has also spent years working in organic agriculture, and enjoys the seasonal wonders of gardening. In his free time, Sean loves being outside hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, and trying his best to identify birds. He’s thrilled to be working with the Northern Center to help preserve Alaska’s Arctic ecosystems. He can be reached at sean@northern.org.

Emily Mesner, Communications Coordinator

Emily joins our team as our Communications Coordinator and is busy getting up to speed on all things Northern Center. In this role, she is helping support our communications campaigns, ensuring you continue to receive program updates, action alerts, and environmental news.

Born and raised in Michigan, Emily jumped at the opportunity to work in Alaska with the National Park Service after graduating from Central Michigan University in 2016. What was originally supposed to be one seasonal internship quickly turned into a life rooted in Alaska. She is drawn to the blues of the Arctic light and Alaska’s wildlife and culture. Her experience in photojournalism has taken her across the state, from Cordova to Anchorage and Denali to Kotzebue, and her passions include environmental portraiture, science communication, and wildlife photography.

In her free time, you’ll most likely find Emily at the ceramic studio, out skiing, cooking, or learning a new craft. She is honored and excited to be joining our team and looks forward to providing compelling communication. Emily can be reached at mesner@northern.org.