Audubon Alaska has incredibly dedicated and dynamic board members, includuing Dr. Scott Rupp and Evie Witten.
Dr. Scott Rupp
Dr. Scott Rupp brings valuable experience to the Audubon Alaska Board through his extensive work centered around climate change and climate solutions. Scott has spent the past 15 years developing two programs: the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning and the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center. A major part of those efforts has been to develop capacity to understand, evaluate, and downscale global climate scenarios.
“Climate change is impacting almost every aspect of Alaska's ecosystems as well as Alaskan's lives,” said Scott. “The most important thing we can do is to continue to evolve our understanding of how the climate system is changing, the feedbacks and interactions, and how those changes will impact our flora and fauna. That knowledge base will be key to our ability to develop robust and sustainable conservation and adaptation strategies for the future.”
Scott’s extensive knowledge about Alaska stems from living in the state for 28 ½ years with his wife, Kerry Walsh, and his daughters Evelyn and Julianna, on a 320 acre homestead outside of Fairbanks, where they live offgrid and grow most of their own food, raise dairy goats and laying hens, and rescue sled dogs. They love the Alaskan outdoors and spend most of their free time exploring our great state. His favorite bird is the Pine Grosbeak because they provide vibrant color to a mostly white winter landscape in interior Alaska.
Evie joined the Audubon board six years ago and was elected to the role of Board Chair in November 2020.
She is currently the principal of Regeneration North LLC, a consulting firm providing expertise in natural climate solutions, fostering food security, and building ecological, community and organizational resilience in the North. She previously served as Deputy Director for Canada for The Nature Conservancy, as Director of World Wildlife Fund’s Alaska Field Office, and as a founding member and first Executive Director of Great Land Trust. Her conservation experience and interests run strong, from establishing and growing innovative and collaborative approaches to resource conflicts to developing community based conservation practices that address landscapes as a social, economic and environmental whole.
Evie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont and a Master of Forest Science from Yale University. She spent the summers of 1986 and ‘97 in Alaska as a student and then as a teaching assistant on a field ecology course, before making the move in 1988.
“I was a commercial salmon fisherman in Cook Inlet during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and while we navigated fisheries closures my tiny cabin filled up with friends and family working on response and clean-up,” said Evie. “That experience really shaped my early years in Alaska.”
She lives in Anchorage where she enjoys her garden, goats, and chickens, and all sorts of skiing and boating with her husband, Rand Hagenstein, and their 13-year-old daughter, Neve. Something birds have taught her is to be quiet, listen, and observe to be rewarded with beauty and a heightened sense of place. Her favorite bird is the Water Ouzel (also known as the American Dipper), a stocky little aquatic songbird that bobs on ice shelves and dives in fast-flowing streams all winter long in the north.
Evie lives by these inspiring words from author Albert Camus: “Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”