Dorothy Childers


Dorothy Childers
[email protected]
Award year


Dorothy Childers joined the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) as its associate director in 1995. She retired in 2018 after serving in several leadership positions. The AMCC is a community-based organization of people working to protect the long-term health of Alaska’s oceans and to sustain the working waterfronts of its coastal communities. Childers used her Pew fellowship to explore new approaches to fishery management that promote resilience of ecologically sensitive species and habitats to climate change, and to support a paradigm shift in national energy policy to curb global warming. Childers’ motivation for the project came from documented dramatic changes to coastal and marine sea life in the Bering Sea as a result of warming temperatures and loss of arctic sea ice. These harmful changes include diminished winter ice pack that forms later in the fall and melts earlier in the spring, thinning ice and less predictable conditions that make traditional hunting practices more dangerous, inundation of coastal villages from storm surges, shifts in the location and abundance of fish, and a reduction in polar bear habitat. As a result of her fellowship, Childers made substantial contributions to a series of important outcomes including, but not limited to, the building of a cultural and ecological foundation for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council northern bottom trawl boundary in the Bering Sea, formation of the Bering Sea Elders Group,  completion of the mapping project to form the basis for a northern Bering Sea conservation plan, publication of the “Northern Bering Sea: Our Way of Life” report, production of the ‘“Faces of Climate Change” DVD, and commitments to ongoing co-management efforts to bring together Western science and traditional knowledge for continued understanding of climate change and its consequences for marine life, ocean habitat, communities, and cultures in the Bering Sea region.

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