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Jeff Libby
Photo of Jeff Libby
Director, Applied Environmental Research Center; Executive Director, Arctic Domain Awareness Center; and Director, Center for Strategic Partnerships and Research
1901 Bragaw Street
Phone: (907) 786-0432
Jeff Libby serves as the Executive Director for the Arctic Domain Awareness Center. He also serves as the Director for the Center of Strategic Partnerships and Research (CSPR) and the Director for the Applied Environmental Research Center (AERC). The AERC operates on a Cooperative Agreement with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Defense with an additional Cooperative Agreement through the national Park Service. Jeff previously served as an Associate Dean for the University of Alaska Anchorage, Community and Technical College. He holds an MBA and an M.S. in Project Management as well as an International Master of Business Administration. Jeff also has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences with a concentration in Environmental studies and a diploma in Expertise in Coaching and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Mr. Libby is passionate about the Arctic, environmental impacts and climate change. He has been instrumental with student engagement opportunities and is known for developing the first federally recognized and approved research technician apprenticeship program authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor.


Heather Paulsen
Photo of Heather Paulsen
Director of Business Development and Grants and Contracts
1901 Bragaw Street
Phone: (907) 786-1663
Heather Paulsen serves as the Director for Research Operations at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is also the Finance Director of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center. Ms. Paulsen also serves both ADAC and the Applied Environmental Research Center (AERC) as the Authorized Official Representative since August 2014, following a 10 plus year career in Higher Education in Finance.  Ms. Paulsen provides oversight of federal task orders and management of Department of Defense and Department (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracts. She previously served as the Director of Business Development and Grants and Contracts for the UAA Business Enterprise Institute and the Director of Finance for the UAA, Business Innovation Zone (a 501c3 affiliate of the University). Her responsibilities included: operational and financial management of the first 501c3 affiliate education and economic non-profit approved by the University of Alaska System Board of Regents from startup, the DHS CoE ADAC financial management, and the financial and operational management of the Business Enterprise Institute. She has a proven track record and experience of leading financial strategies to facilitate ambitious growth plans from the financial day to day operational aspects from oversight and delivery of annual budgets, to expenditure tracking, operating budgets, and long range financial planning, investing, and forecasting all while ensuring appropriate federal, state, and local compliance and arm’s length controls between the organizations to safeguard stakeholders. Ms. Paulsen holds a Master's in Project Management, Master’s in Business Administration in Technology Management and a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Mathematics.

 Project Managers

Cameron Wilson
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AERC Project Manager
1901 Bragaw Street
Phone: (907) 786-0321

Cameron Wilson joined the Applied Environmental Research Team at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) in spring of 2020. He recently completed his M.S. in Civil Engineering at UAA with a project titled Per Capita Water and Fixture Use in Rural Alaska. The project involved collecting data on water use ranging from per capita consumption based on community water production to measuring how much water is used at each individual fixture within the home at any given time. He designed, built, and programmed custom sensors to accomplish the task and then deployed them in several villages. He is now involved in a variety of projects including coastal GPS surveying and modeling, pacific salmon studies, forestry, and the identification/eradication of invasive plant species. Originally from North Carolina, he grew up in the earthmoving business and has experience operating heavy equipment and project implementation. He earned his B.S. in Biological Engineering from NC State focusing on bioprocessing and alternative fuels, then immediately after graduating and completing his research, he drove to Alaska seeking opportunity. After only a few short months, a field engineering position led to five years in the west Texas oil fields before he was finally able to come back to Alaska to continue his education and a career in research.

Research Technicians 

Samuel Franklin
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Research Technician
1901 Bragaw Street
Phone: (907) 786-4937

Samuel Franklin was born and raised in Anchorage Alaska, and joined the Applied Environmental Research Center in summer of 2020 as a participant before moving into a research technician position a month later. He graduated from the University of Alaska in spring 2021 with a B.S. in Natural Sciences, concentrations in biological and geological sciences, and a minor in public health. In 2016, he worked as a research technician for UAA maintaining experimental sites and collecting data for climate change studies at Thule Airbase in northwestern Greenland. In his current role at AERC, he primarily works in Pacific salmon monitoring, forest resources, and coastal surveying on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to fulfill goals within the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan.


Tasha Chenot
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Research Technician
1901 Bragaw Street

Tasha Chenot joined the Applied Environmental Research Center (AERC) in May of 2021 as a research technician. Raised in the Midwest, Tasha discovered an interest in environmental management while attending Haskell Indian Nations University. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science focusing on the restoration of urban wetland habitat in northeastern Kansas, implementing projects geared towards long-term water quality monitoring and native plant restoration.  In her current role at AERC, Tasha supports a range of field research activities, including invasive plant species assessments and rare plant inventories.


Kevin Fitzpatrick
Photo of Kevin Fitzpatrick
Apprentice Research Technician
1901 Bragaw Street
Phone: (907) 786-4192

Kevin Fitzpatrick is an Applied Environmental Research Center Apprentice Research Technician and has lived in Alaska since 2003.  After earning his degree in chemistry in 2016 from the University of Alaska Anchorage, Kevin began teaching introductory lab classes in the chemistry department.  His prior laboratory experience involved quantifying protein binding chemistry abnormalities in Wilson’s and Menke’s Disease.  He began his graduate fellowship with the Arctic Domain Awareness Center in the summer of 2019 to identify the photo-enhanced toxicity of dispersed and burned crude oil to arctic mussels and earned his Masters degree in Analytical Biochemistry.  He plans to complete his Masters degree in the Fall of 2021.

Since joining AERC in 2021, Kevin has engaged in several field research projects.  He has become experienced with smolt and spawning adult salmon identification and genetic sampling.  He works with field botanists specializing with the identification and management of plant species on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson  collecting and processing highly accurate data and utilizing ArcGIS and other similar programs for project deliverables.  He is skilled in habitat management, conservation efforts, and report writing.