We hope winter is treating you well!
While these long stretches of frigid temperatures aren't easy on any of us, we hope that they can serve as a reminder of the intricacies of the landscapes surrounding us. These temperatures provide solid ice for safe passage on frozen rivers, they are inhospitable to invasive or overpopulated species like spruce beetles, and they remind us what it means to live in the far north.
So thank you for being here. We hope you are staying warm and comfortable, and have time to dive into some updates from the Northern Center.
We're hiring: Communications Coordinator
We are seeking a highly motivated individual with experience in communications campaigns to fill our open role of Communications Coordinator. This position will support program messaging, branding efforts, storytelling, and more. Find more info and apply
Comments closing soon:
speak up to protect D1 lands!
The EIS project area for D1 withdrawals as seen on BLM's e-planning website.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the midst of an open comment period for
28 million acres of “D1” lands across the state, which have been protected from industrial development for more than 50 years under Section 17(D)(1) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. These lands are home to 100 Alaska Native communities, habitat for the state's largest caribou herds, salmon spawning grounds, and critical subsistence lands for rural communities.
The Trump Administration attempted to revoke D1 protections and open these lands for oil, gas, mining, and other industry. Now, the Biden administration wants to hear from Americans before making a final decision about
whether to remove or maintain current protections. This is an important opportunity for Alaskans to prioritize hunting, fishing, climate resilience, clean water, and intact habitat for generations to come. Comments are due by February 14th. We urge our members to comment online through
BLM's e-planning website and advocate for the No Action Alternative to keep protections in place.
For more information, visit
Sean McDermott joins our team as our Arctic Program Coordinator! In this role, Sean will be working to secure durable protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Western Arctic. In the coming weeks, he will be getting up to speed with our programs, operations, and partner organizations. He can be reached at
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.
We Need Mining Reform... Now!
This week, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Minerals and Natural Resources held a hearing on the proposed Mining Regulatory Clarity Act. This act is a disaster for public lands that would require even fewer regulations than the outdated 1872 Mining Law, and allow for public lands to be used as dumping grounds for mine waste, allow claims to be made on lands without proof of minerals, would not collect royalties from mining companies extracting valuable materials on public lands, or mandate companies to clean their toxic messes.
We encourage our members to write to their Congressional delegates, urging them to vote NO on this act, and instead support the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act, which will modernize the 1872 Mining Law, address environmental concerns associated with mining, ensure a fair return for the American people, and protect tribal rights and sacred spaces.
For more info and to send a letter to your representatives, visit Earthwork’s easy action form, or read our 2023
blog piece explaining these two Acts.
We're translating Love is the Way
Mayuka and Christin enjoy sunshine on a cold day at Creamer's Field.
In January, the Northern Center hosted Mayuka Otsuki, an Oberlin student, to translate the film “Love is the Way” to Japanese for her winter term project. In addition to her work on the translation, she got to experience Alaska and a lot of “firsts”. Thank you Mayuka and good luck with the rest of your semester at Oberlin! The film can be viewed (still in English)
We are seeking a volunteer to help with the next steps of adding subtitles to the film–if you are interested and have experience with Adobe Premiere, please contact Christin at
You can support the Northern Alaska Environmental Center through your 2024 Permanent Fund Dividend by choosing to Pick, Click, and Give! PFD applications are available from January 1 to March 31.
A recent report from the Alaska Tribal Health Consortium illustrates that federal dollars are severely lacking for environmental justice in Alaska. The report focuses on the unmet needs of Alaska Native Villages facing threats due to the climate crisis. Read more here.
- The 2024 Alaska Outdoor and Environmental Education Symposium will be held on Friday, March 1st in Anchorage. Join this gathering of outdoor and environmental educators for a day of networking, learning, and inspiration.