Faculty Profiles


Core Faculty

Our core faculty are your teachers, mentors, and guides throughout the quarter. The average student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1 or lower. Our faculty have a wide range of expertise across ecology and geology, linked social and ecological systems, and management/policy.


Ken Tabbutt, Ph.D., Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College. Ken is a geologist who has team-taught a wide range of interdisciplinary courses with artists, social scientists, humanities faculty, and other scientists over the past 25 years at Evergreen.  His research and teaching interests include reconstruction of the Pleistocene landscape of the southern Puget Sound, aqueous chemistry of natural waters, hydrogeology, environmental geology, climate change, and geochronology of sedimentary rocks. He rotated into academic administration for several years and has a passion for landscape photography. Website


Nalini Nadkarni, Ph.D., Professor of Biology at University of Utah and Professor Emeritus at The Evergreen State College. Nalini is a forest ecologist. She carries out research on the ecological roles of canopy-dwelling plants and animals in tropical and temperate rainforests, using mountain-climbing techniques to ascend trees in Costa Rica and Washington State. She is also deeply interested in public engagement of science. She has innovated collaborative projects to bring science lectures, conservation projects, and nature imagery to those who do not or cannot have access to science and nature, such as urban youth, seniors, and incarcerated men, women, and youth. She is currently working on integrating interdisciplinary aspects of disturbance, recovery, and the resilience of human-affected systems. Website


Peter Impara, Ph.D., Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College. Peter is a geographer with interests in landscape and disturbance ecology, climate change science, and wildlife conservation, especially regarding habitat mapping and assessment. He teaches programs in wildlife conservation that include significant considerations of socio-political issues surrounding conservation.


Shawn Hazboun, Ph.D., Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College. Shawn is an environmental sociologist whose work focuses on community responses to environmental and economic change, as well as general public opinion on environmental risks and policies. Shawn has graduate degrees in environmental studies and sociology, and has taught college-level field study programs in Alaska, Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia. Website


Participating Faculty

We also enrich your unique learning experience in the Wrangells with the help of a large and diverse set of participating faculty. They include long-time community members, park rangers, artists, writers, policy makers, and scientists conducting research on climate change, hydrology, ecology, glaciology, and anthropology.


Ben Shaine, Ph.D., Resource Faculty, The Evergreen State College. Ben participated in research and policy advocacy during congressional designation of the national park in Wrangell-St. Elias, has more than forty years experience working with college field programs in the Wrangells. Website 

Tim Bartholomaus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences, University of Idaho. Tim is a glaciologist, geophysicist, and professor whose research reveals the factors leading to fast glacier flow and rapid ice loss. Website

Sophie Gilbert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology, University of Idaho. Sophie studies how wildlife behavior, populations, and communities respond to environmental change. Website

Stephens Harper is district ranger with the National Park Service and a 15-year McCarthy resident. He addresses unique aspects of NPS management in Alaska, including the evolving relationship between this agency and local communities. 

Sophie Littée, B.A., French/ International Relations UCSB, is WMC kitchen & gardens manager / Summer Field Studies recruiter and coordinator. She’s a river and outdoor enthusiast, speaks French and Spanish, and loves to share what the Wrangell Mountains can offer.

Kristin Link, B.A., has a certificate in Science Illustration from California State University Monterey Bay. She teaches field sketching. and has been involved with The Wrangell Mountains Center. in many capacities. Website

Leif Mjos, B.S., is a broadly trained naturalist and summer resident of McCarthy. He is interested in topics such as avalanche ecology, which link ecology and geology. When not in Alaska, he works in the lower 48 to conserve desert tortoises.

Mark Vail is a 30-year local homesteader with a Naturalist/Historian background, sharing stories and insight into homestead living and boreal forest ecology.


Header photo credit: Sophie Gilbert.