Castellini takes over this week from John Eichelberger (UAF), who we interviewed last week. The UArctic Vice-President Academic is responsible for strategic leadership over our education activities.

Dr. Michael Castellini earned his PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1981 and has been a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 1989.  He was the founding Science Director for the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, the Director of the Institute of Marine Science, Associate Dean and then Dean for the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.  Dr. Castellini is now the Interim Dean for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Graduate School and Research Director for a National Institutes of Health education enhancement program at UAF. His research focuses on how marine mammals have adapted to life in the sea and he has participated in many public outreach programs discussing climate change, the Arctic and Antarctic, including how animals at those locations are critically dependent on sea ice.  Dr. Castellini has chaired or co-chaired 16 PhD or MS students, been a committee member on dozens more and taught core classes in marine physiology to graduate students for 20 years. He has published more than 100 scientific journals articles or book chapters and has participated in over 20 scientific field expeditions on land, sea and ice. Dr. Castellini is involved in local, state and national panels and committees dealing with policy issues related to the Arctic, marine mammals, ecosystem management and agency oversights.

We asked him about his goals as Vice-President:

"I have had the chance to spend over 36 months on the sea-ice and continental ice in the Antarctic. In the Arctic I have been able to work with native hunters, whalers, students and educators on climate change, social impacts and biological systems. The contrast between the South, where no one lives, and the North, which is home for millions, is amazing to experience. That history, and my work with many graduate students over the years, was integral to my decision to become part of the UArctic program. My goals are to provide opportunities for those not familiar with UArctic to see its value, and to open up new pathways for current UArctic members to work together on academic programs."

We welcome Michael to the UArctic family, and greatly look forward to working with him on these issues. UArctic also thanks the University of Alaska Fairbanks for continuing to support this key role.