Zach Brown grew up surrounded by the wilderness of Southeast Alaska. With parents in the National Park Service, Zach had ample opportunity as a boy to explore the mountains and fjords of this region, experiences that gave him a lasting love of the natural world. Undergraduate experiences in the high arctic led Zach to pursue a PhD at Stanford University, where he continued to study how changing sea ice affects the marine biological communities of the polar regions, especially the phytoplankton that form the first link of the food chain. During his time at Stanford, Zach was thrilled to undertake multiple research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. Completing his PhD studies in spring 2014, Zach set off on a 4-month, 2300-mile solo trek, hiking and paddling from Stanford to his Alaskan homeland, to spread the word about creating Inian Islands Institute, where he now serves as founding director.
Born in Hartford, CT, Justin Kim received a B.A. from Yale and an MFA from the American University in Washington, DC. He interned with the artist David Hockney, has taught at Yale, Dartmouth, Smith College and Deep Springs College in CA. The recipient of several residencies, he has exhibited both regionally and nationally. Justin’s work combines the grand tradition of figure painting with a contemporary sensibility, exploring themes including archetype, pastiche, authenticity and the relationship between technology and the artist’s hand. In addition to landscapes and figures, Mr. Kim works on miniature collages, combining forms and figures from traditional painting. His work generates tension between artifice and reality while challenging traditional painting structures.
Amity Wilczek is the former Vice President and Herbert Reich Chair of Natural Sciences at Deep Springs College. Working closely with students has been an important and constant emphasis, and prior to Deep Springs she taught and mentored undergraduates at Brown and Harvard University, where she received her PhD and multiple teaching awards. She studies a broad range of questions in evolutionary ecology using a holistic approach combining fieldwork, genetic analysis and mathematical modeling. Her current research explores how plants, both wild and cultivated, tolerate and adapt to diverse climates. As a teacher, she strives to emphasize the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge by incorporating practices that allow students to contribute to the process of building scientific understanding of the natural world. A natural world enthusiast, Amity expands her own experience and revives her sense of wonder through hiking and travel. She has, for instance, served as a naturalist lecturer for the Harvard Museum of Natural History on trips to Cuba, Australia, Costa Rica, Panama, the Azores and Canary Islands and New Zealand as well as excursions by private jet to the “Islands of the World” including stops in Malta, Sri Lanka, Borneo, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Rapa Nui, Tasmania, the Galapagos, the Maldives and the Seychelles.
Amelia Wilson is of Tlingit and Irish descent from the village of Hoonah, Alaska and member of the Chookaneidi brown bear clan. Amelia serves as Executive Director for Huna Heritage Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of Huna Totem Corporation established to foster and support educational and cultural opportunities. She is a motivated service-to-community oriented professional who enjoys volunteering at the local level as a city council member, vice mayor of Hoonah, member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, member of the Hoonah Liquor Board, Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a Tlingit dance group member of the Gaawx Xaayi Dancers. On a state level,Amelia was appointed by the governor of Alaska to serve on the Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board. Amelia is personally and professionally committed to the ongoing development of her cultural knowledge base, passionate about building bridges and believes in the power of unity.