Home > Staff Members
Sitka Sound Science Center
834 Lincoln Street
Sitka, Alaska 99835
Lisa Busch is the Executive Director of Sitka Sound Science Center. She has extensive informal science education and community organizing experience. A graduate of Tufts University she majored in geology and environmental studies. She also holds a masters degree in Northern Studies from University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lisa also produces the award winning natural history radio series called Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North. She is a hiker and a runner and a mother of two girls.
Director Scientist in Residency Fellowship Program
Victoria O’Connell is the Research Director of Sitka Sound Science Center and serves as the Director of the Scientist in Residency Fellowship Program. Ms. O’Connell served as Groundfish Project Leader for the Southeast Region groundfish project of Alaska Department of Fish and Game and was responsible for research and management of state managed groundfish in southeastern Alaska. Tory’s work has been funded by NMFS, National Undersea Research Center, Alaska State Department of Fish and Game, and the North Pacific Research Board. She has worked extensively as a scientist in the schools presenting and developing unique hands-on activities in the Sitka School District, Sheldon Jackson College, and University of Alaska Southeast. She is the mother of two grown daughters and enjoys visiting them in the far corners of the world where they live.
Lon Garrison – Aquaculture Director
Lon Garrison is the Aquaculture Director for Sitka Sound Science Center. He has worked in aquaculture for 25 years in Alaska and was most recently the operations manager for NSRAA. He is president of the Sitka School Board and active in Sitka Folk.
Lynn Wilbur hails from California and is the Aquarium Director for the Sitka Sound Science Center’s Molly O. Ahlgren Aquarium. Lynn graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from Sheldon Jackson College and with a Post Graduate Diploma in Marine Science from the University of Otago in New Zealand. She serves the aquarium by collecting and caring for the residents, overseeing tours, and heading up the Sitka Science camp in the summer. She also works for the Sitka Native Education Program and enjoys traveling, working, photographing, and SCUBA diving in diverse places such as the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, the Galapagos Islands, and Peru. In Alaska she is an avid sailor, kayaker, and diver, and enjoys collecting subsistence foods.
Lily Herwald – Director of Community Engagement
In 2011, Lily Herwald accepted the position as Director of Sitka WhaleFest. Lily is a program planner who has successfully written over $15 million in funded proposals for municipalities, nonprofits and Alaska Native organizations. She led award-winning Alaska Public Broadcasting organizations as General Manager of KCAW-FM, Treasurer of Alaska Public Radio Network, and President of Alaska Public Broadcasting Inc. Lily’s evaluation work helps organizations gauge and improve their impact in serving people and communities. She is an experienced planner and is also skilled in the nuances of leading successful programs. We are very excited to have Lily as a part of the WhaleFest team!
Grant Miller – Hatchery Technician
Grant Miller is the Maintenance Technician. A long time commercial fishermen, Grant has been a past chair for NSRAA and an Alaska Board of Fish member. A big fan of Sitka and community involvement, Grant sits on the Ports and Harbor Commission, Sitka Economic Development Association and the Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. He has a dog name Malo who has expertise in guarding salmon smolt!
Dave Arp joined the Sitka Sound Science Center staff as our first business manager. Dave was most recently the Business Manager for the Sitka School District where he headed up the finance team for five years. He was vice president of investments for Stolat Partners LTD in Duluth, Minnesota working as a mortgage-backed securities broker and in a private investment fund. He has experience on the board of other non-profits including United Way of Greater Duluth, in Duluth, MN where he was on the finance and technology committee. He holds a business administration and finance degree from University of Minnesota and has served on the SSSC Advisory Panel since its inception and was past vice chair and treasurer of the Board.
Alaina Avery is originally from Massachusetts, and studying Marine Biology at Boston University gave her the opportunity to do coursework and marine research in Woods Hole, Dominica, Ecuador and the Galapagos. After graduation, she worked for six years in Education (and dabbled in Husbandry) at the Maritime Aquarium in Connecticut, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. Alaina came to the Sitka Sound Science Center in July of 2011 to volunteer with the Sitka Americorps program. The program lasts a year, but after getting to work on an orca skeleton rearticulation, help with egg take and teach local students marine science, it might be hard to convince her to leave.
Madison Kosma – Marine Education Specialist Vista Volunteer
We are pleased to welcome Madi Kosma who is working with Sitka WhaleFest and on the Alaska Marine Science and Fisheries Career Coalition as a VISTA member. She works to build sustainable processes and systems that will serve the Festival and the Coalition for years to come. Madison comes to us from Hawaii where she studied marine biology at the University of Hawaii. She is enthusiastic and energetic.
Ashwin is originally from India, and lives in Juneau, Alaska. He got his B.S. degree majoring in Chemistry, Botany, and Zoology from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, India. Deciding that he was a glutton for punishment, he moved to Florida, where he obtained another B.S. degree in Biology from Florida Atlantic University. He then decided to leave the sunshine and move to the frozen north. He obtained his M.S. in biology from Northern Michigan University. His thesis focused on comparing growth-related metabolic enzymes between river-resident and lake-resident brook trout. After this, he continued his northward migration, obtaining a Ph.D. in fisheries from the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2011. His dissertation was on the growth physiology of juvenile Pacific herring, larval Pacific cod, and larval walleye pollock, using cellular nucleic acid ratios as a growth index. His current research interests include studying growth rates, assimilation efficiencies, and consumption rates of juvenile rockfish, sablefish, and Pacific cod held at different temperatures and nutritional levels, using natural biomarkers. In his spare time, Ashwin enjoys weightlifting, running, hiking, and cooking.
Laurinda Marcello is the Hatchery/Wild Straying Project Coordinator. Originally from Sitka, Laurinda holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in math from Lewis & Clark College. She earned her master’s degree in fisheries from the University Alaska Fairbanks where she was the recipient of the Rasmuson Fisheries Research Fellowship. While there, she collaborated with members of an international working group for Ecosystem Studies of Sub-Arctic Seas. She has previous experience working on feeding studies of salmon and has worked at the research station at Salmon Lake. Laurinda is excited to be back in her hometown. During her free time she enjoys karate and outdoor activities.