Monday, April 18, 2016

Kirsten Williams named SNRE outstanding student

Kirsten Williams kayaks in Resurrection Bay near Seward.
Kirsten Williams enrolled in the University of Alaska Fairbanks to study earth sciences. During her first semester, she took the introductory Natural Resources Conservation and Policy class, and she changed course.

“I found myself really enjoying what I was learning,” she said. She was particularly interested in the natural resources management policy and law classes from Dave Valentine and Julie Joly, economics classes from Josh Greenberg, forestry classes from John Yarie and outdoor recreation classes from Pete Fix.

Williams never did study earth sciences but that’s ok. She is the 2016 Natural Resources Management Outstanding Student. Meriam Karlsson, who is Kirsten’s academic advisor, said she was the faculty’s unanimous choice for her academic achievements, contributions to the UAF community and her various interests.

“She is a very well-rounded student,” said Karlsson.

Williams has played the violin since she was 6 and has played with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra while at UAF. She is receiving a minor in music. She has also been active in the student Resource Management Society club, and is one of two NRM students who received spring semester project awards from URSA, the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity. She is helping the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, which is developing a report for the Alaska Energy Authority on renewable energy possibilities. Her role has been to study hydroelectric power – what exists in Alaska, where it’s feasible and the economic impacts to nearby communities.

During the summers, she worked as a seasonal park ranger for the Alaska Public Lands Information Center in Anchorage, providing guidance to travelers and tourists.

Williams, who is from Anchorage, said she has considered law school but decided she is more interested in policy analysis. She hopes to work toward a master’s degree in environmental policy but she plans to work a year first.

She will be honored April 23 during an awards ceremony for departments’ outstanding students. Congratulations, Kirsten.

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