Skip to content

Alaska Library Association 2007 Juneau Conference

The Alaska Library Association is holding its Authors’ Dessert Reception on February 23 for 7:30 – 9:30 the downtown branch of the Juneau Public Library. Twelve of the 23 authors listed have UAS ties including current faculty Cathy Connor, Richard Dauenhauer, Ernestine Hayes and Professor Emeritus Wally Olson. Click for the full list of authors.

Click for more information on the conference.  

Robert H. Armstrong

Bob Armstrong has written about and photographed nature in Alaska since 1960. His books include Guide to the Birds of Alaska; Alaska’s Birds; and Alaska’s Fish. In addition, he coauthored The Nature of Southeast Alaska; Alaska’s Natural Wonders; Southeast Alaska’s Natural World; Whistlers on the Mountains; Along the Mt. Roberts Trail in Juneau, Alaska; and Dragonflies of Alaska. He has two new books coming out this spring – Dragons in the Ponds--a children’s book about dragonflies, and Life around the Mendenhall Glacier—a book about the plants and animals you can see in the area. He has also authored and coauthored numerous scientific and popular articles on fish, birds, mammals, plants, and insects in Alaska. He has worked as a fishery biologist and research supervisor for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and as an Associate Professor for the University of Alaska where he taught courses in fisheries and ornithology. Bob Armstrong currently lives in Juneau where he continues to photograph and write about Alaska's natural history.

Carol Biggs

Carol Biggs, M.S. Ecopsychology, is owner of Alaska Nature Connection and Counselor without Walls. Though relatively new in the field, ecopsychology is actually the oldest psychology since humans evolved into a species. She offers classes on wild edible/medicinal plants, stress management, spiritual wellness, self-esteem enhancement and addiction recovery, designed as an experiential, multi-sensory, natural integration process, allowing Nature the opportunity to counsel and educate. A Juneau resident since 1960, Carol is author and photographer of a 2-volume, full color set of Wild, Edible, and Medicinal Plants: Alaska, Canada and Pacific Northwest Rainforest: an Introductory Pocket Trail Guide, as well as Nature's Gifts, a deck of 52 cards on recycled paper, based on 53 natural senses for enhancing natural meditation, education, and psychological well being.

Jeff Brown

Jeff Brown is Alaska's Professor of Play, as appointed by Governor Sarah Palin. He also served as Commissioner of Mirth under Governor Murkowski, Minister of Merriment for Governor Knowles and Balloonist Laureate for Governor Hickel. Somehow these titles make him think he is qualified to write The Alaska Joke Book for Kids. Working with other funny people, he co-compiled On the Road to Tok, featuring black and white images from humorous Alaska postcards in the mid-1980's. As host of the weekly public radio show titled "We Like Kids!", Brown has compiled three books of children's music and one of the stories for Good Year Books. He is the author of two maze & puzzle books about Alaska, and one each for Michigan, Colorado, and Washington. As a magician, he has authored The Sherlock Holmes Book of Magic and Crayon Magic.

Cathy Connor

Cathy Connor is Associate Professor of Geology in the Environmental Science program at the University of Alaska Southeast. Following an early fascination with mud and rocks, Cathy received her Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in geology from Stanford University in 1974 and 1975 respectively. After a stint in the Peace Corps teaching geology to Malaysian undergraduates south of Kuala Lumpur, she returned to the U.S. She began working in Alaska in 1978 as a field assistant in the U.S. Geological Survey’s Branch of Alaskan Geology, and worked on mapping projects in the Nixon Fork, Valdez, Gulkana, Ambler River, and Port Moller quadrangles from the western Brooks Range to the Wrangell Mountains to the Alaska Peninsula. She completed her Ph.D. in Geology in 1984 at University of Montana; there, her work focused on the sediment records left by glacial Lake Ahtna in the Copper River Basin of south-central Alaska. Cathy moved to Juneau in 1983 and began work on the Roadside Geology of Alaska with co-author Daniel O’Haire. The book was published in 1988 by Mountain Press of Missoula, MT. She began teaching and doing research at UAS in 1991, and helped to launch the Environmental Science degree program in 1998. Currently, she is working on a complete revision of the Roadside Geology of Alaska and will expand its coverage to include the Yukon and northwestern British Columbia regions. Local artist and UAS librarian Elise Thomlinson will create artwork for the cover and book. For information about Connor’s professional publications please visit

Nora Dauenhauer

Raised in a traditional Tlingit-speaking family, Nora Dauenhauer has been working for over 30 years studying, translating, and writing books on the Tlingit oral tradition. Until 1997, she served as principal researcher at the Sealaska Heritage Foundation. She continues to write and translate plays, poetry, and stories for publication and use in school curricula. Her collaborative works include Beginning Tlingit; Haa Shuka, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives; Haa Tuwunaagu Yis, For Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory; Haa Kusteeyi, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories; and Life Woven With Song. Her creative writing includes Alaska Reader: Voices from the North. She is anthologized in First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim.

Richard Dauenhauer

A resident of Alaska since 1969, Richard Dauenhauer is a former State Poet Laureate, having published three volumes of poetry: Frames of Reference: poems; Phonologies: poems; Glacier Bay Concerto: a Long Poem in Three Movements. Also a scholar of European Languages and Comparative Literature, he has co-authored many books with his wife, Nora, about Tlingit language and oral tradition. His Conflicting Visions in Alaskan Education is about the history of bilingual education in Alaska. He is President’s Professor of Alaska Native Languages at University of Alaska Southeast.

Nancy & John DeCherney

Everything you need to know, you can learn in the kitchen and at the dining room table, with excused forays to the nearest library. Nancy DeCherney grew up at a kitchen table and the library in Haines Alaska, and then went on to study at New College, St. Olaf College, the University of Oregon, and the Culinary Institute of America. After many years in the kitchens at the Fiddlehead Restaurant and the Governor’s House, she retired to cook at home, co-author The Fiddlehead Cookbook with John DeCherney and Deborah Marshall, and read books with her children.

Alexander Dolitsky

Alexander Dolitsky was born and raised in Kiev in the former Soviet Union. He received an M.A. in history from Kiev Pedagogical Institute, Ukraine in 1976; an M.A. in anthropology and archaeology from Brown University in 1983; and attended the Ph.D program in anthropology at Bryn Mawr College from 1983 to 1985, where he was also lecturer in the Russian Center. In the USSR, he was a social studies teacher for three years and an archaeologist for five years for the Ukranian Academy of Sciences. In 1978, he settled in the United States. Dolitsky visited Alaska for the first time in 1981, while conducting field research for graduate school at Brown. He then settled in Sitka in 1985. From 1985 to 1987, he was U.S. Forest Service archaeologist and social scientist. He was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau from 1985 to 1999; Social Studies Instructor at the Alyeska Central School, Alaska Department of Education and Yukon-Koyukuk School District from 1988 to 2006; and Director of the Alaska-Siberia Research Center (see <>) from 1990 to present. He has done about 30 field studies in various areas of the former Soviet Union (including Siberia), Central Asia, South America, Eastern Europe and the United States (including Alaska). He has been a lecturer on the World Discoverer and Spirit of Oceanus vessels in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions. He was the Project Manager for the WWII Alaska-Siberia Lend Lease Memorial, which was erected in Fairbanks in 2006. He has published extensively in the fields of anthropology, history, archaeology, and ethnography. His more recent publications include /Fairy Tales and Myths of the Bering Strait Chukchi/, Ancient Tales of Kamchatka, Tales and Legends of the Yupik Eskimos of Siberia, and Old Russia in Modern America: A Case from Russian Old Believers in Alaska. He is currently working on a book entitled /Allies in Wartime: The Alaska-Siberia Airway during World War II./

Allan David Engstrom

Allan David Engstrom was born in Juneau in 1969. Educated in Juneau and in Washington D.C. at Georgetown University in the foreign service school, he began study of Russian language and history. He has made frequent visits to Russia and has become a fluent conversationalist in the Russian language. His interest in the Russian/American history of Alaska has led to opportunities to speak before Russian historical societies in Moscow and St. Petersburg. He recently was honored by being inducted as a member of the Russian Geographical Society. His principal books include Alexander Baranov and the Pacific Empire and Yakobi Island, the Lost Village of Apolosova, and the Fate of the Chirikov Expedition.

Elton Engstrom

Elton Engstrom was born in Juneau in 1935. Although educated as a lawyer, he ran a fish processing company for most of his active years, working principally in Yakutat and Bristol Bay at Dillingham. He has written as a columnist for the Juneau Empire in the 1950's and more recently in the 2000's. His column is called "On the Waterfront." He and his son have jointly written four histories of Alaska, including Joseph O'Cain, Adventurer on the Northwest Coast, Alexander Baranov and a Pacific Empire, Life on the Nushagak and Yakobi Island, the Lost Village of Apolosova, and the Fate of the Chirikov Expedition.

Ed Ferrell

Ed Ferrell came to Alaska during the territorial days. Except for schooling in Utah, he has lived in Juneau for most of his life. He is a retired English teacher. He has published Biographies of Alaska Yukon Pioneers (five volumes), Frontier Justice, The Dangerous North, Strange Stories of Alaska and the Yukon, and Wolf Brother.

Nancy Ferrell

Originally from Wisconsin, Nancy Ferrell has lived in Alaska for many years. She taught at Mt. Edgecumbe hospital for three years. After raising a family, she was a part-time library worker. She has had 13 nonfiction books published for both adults and young readers, and has contributed numerous articles--fiction and nonfiction--to magazines. More recent books include Alaska's Heroes: A Call to Courage; Alaska: A Land in Motion; Destination Valdez; The Battle of the Little Bighorn in American History; and Barrett Willoughby: Alaska's Forgotten Lady. Nancy will be having a book entitled White Water Skippers of the North: The Barringtons published by Hancock House in mid-2007.

Jim Fowler

Jim Fowler is an illustrator and landscape painter who has lived in Juneau for almost 35 years. He has illustrated a dozen books for children, and his spot illustrations have appeared in other books and magazines. His most recent books are a re-make of Phyllis Krasilovsky’s 1960 classic, Benny’s Flag, the story of Benny Benson’s design of Alaska’s flag, and First Salmon by Roxanne Salonen. This winter, Todd Communications is planning to release a paperback edition of Jean Rogers’ The Secret Moose, the book which began Jim’s career in children’s books. His books have won various honors, including a 1995 Christopher Award for I’ll See You When the Moon Is Full, one of several collaborations with his wife, writer Susi Gregg Fowler.

Susi Gregg Fowler

Susi Gregg Fowler is a children’s writer and poet living and working in Juneau. Published works include eight children’s books, consisting of six picture books and two early chapter books, as well as poetry. She is noticing that her current writing life parallels her reading life, which is to say she’s working on a little bit of everything: a middle grade novel, new picture books, an adult novel, poetry and essays. She is a member of the Authors Guild and SCBWI. Her books include Circle of Thanks, published by Scholastic Books and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto; Albertan, the Animals, and Me, Albertina, the Practically Perfect, Beautiful, I’ll See You When the Moon Is Full (Winner of 1995 Christopher Award), When Joel Comes Home, and Fog, all illustrated by Jim Fowler; and When Summer Ends, illustrated by Marisabina Russo. Her poetry is included in One Hundred Years of Alaska Poetry, selected by Alaska Poet Laureate for the 2006 National Poetry Month Alaska website, and published in the Christian Science Monitor in October 2006.

Neal Gilbertsen

Neal Gilbertsen holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Oregon. He has been a commercial fisherman in Alaska for most of his life, and has taught at various universities including Lewis and Clark, Lake Superior State, Idaho State, and the University of Alaska Southeast. For the last six years he has been employed as an economist by the Alaska Department of Labor. He lives with his lovely wife, who doubles as his muse here in Juneau (although she is occasionally dissatisfied with both roles, especially when he ignores her generous corrections and suggestions about improving his performances as author and/or husband). They both have occasional aspirations to return to their home in Ketchikan.

Ernestine Hayes

Born in Juneau, Ernestine Hayes has won recognition in Native oratory and storytelling. Hayes attended the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau campus, as a non-traditional student, completing her undergraduate studies in 2001. She then received a master of fine arts degree in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska at Anchorage, and returned to Juneau to teach at UAS. Her current projects include a collection of linked short stories, a study of Raven tales, and a fictional treatment of Lingit history. Among the classes she teaches are Introduction to Creative Writing, Humanities freshman seminar, Memoir Writing, and Native American Literature. She is the grandmother of four. Her first book, Blonde Indian, An Alaska Native Memoir, was published by the University of Arizona Press in September 2006. Her writing has appeared in Travelers Tales Alaska, The Anchorage Press, Rasmuson Foundation grantees’ stories, and the Juneau Empire opinion column “Edge of the Village.”

Sarah Crawford Isto

Sarah Crawford Isto was born and raised in Fairbanks. Her father, a mining engineer from Missouri, and mother, a Montana ranch girl, met and married in Fairbanks in the 1920's as did three of her aunts and uncles. Sarah, her sister, and her cousins grew up in the period that spanned the Depression, World War II, the Post War Boom, the End of the Territorial Days, and the Fairbanks Flood. Sarah holds a master's degree in English from the University of Alaska and an M.D. degree from the University of Washington. She is a retired family physician who practiced for many years in Juneau, where she and her husband still make their home. They return to their roots by spending March and September in a remote Interior Alaska cabin. Sarah is the author of Good Company: A Mining Family in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Nick Jans

Nick Jans is a contributing editor of Alaska Magazine and a member of USA Today's editorial board of contributors. He's published more than 200 magazine articles, won numerous awards, and written seven books, including /The/ Last Light Breaking; A Place Beyond; Tracks of the Unseen; and The Grizzly Maze. Most recently, he's just completed a joint project with photographer Mark Kelley, /Alaska//: A Photographic Excursion. /His essays blend the rhythms of daily life in Alaska with high adventure.

Mark Kelley

Mark Kelley has been a photographer and publisher in Alaska since arriving here in 1974. He worked for the Juneau Empire for 14 years as a photojournalist leaving in 1993 to pursue free-lance photography and publishing full time. His photos have appeared on the covers of more than 200 publications. His books include Alaska’s Tracy Arm & Sawyer Glaciers; Alaska’s Watchable Whales; Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Juneau Portrait II and Southeast Alaska: A Photo Memory. His Glacier Bay book (written by Sherry Simpson) and the Tracy Arm book (written by Nick Jans) both won a prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award in 2001 and 2006 respectively. Mark is the first Alaska-based publisher to win this national award. His latest release previewing here at the reception is a new book on the entire state of Alaska written by Nick Jans called: Alaska: A Photographic Excursion.

Mary Lou King

Mary Lou King came to Alaska in 1958 for an adventure, and she assures us that in 2007, she is “still having an adventure.” Mary Lou has three children and numerous grandchildren. Her interest in Juneau trails started when she arrived in Juneau. While coordinating the “Sea week Program” in the Juneau schools, she recognized the need to identify and develop public beach access trails. Trails were built with volunteers, two paid high school students, the Taku Conservation Society & the cooperation of the City. Mary Lou wrote 90 Short Walks Around Juneau to highlight some of these trails. Mary Lou has also written booklets on various trails around Juneau and been an active advocate for the Audubon Society. Mary Lou’s interests extend to Northwest Coast style weaving. She is the co-author of two booklets on this subject, Ravenstail Weaving – Patterns and Projects and Instruction Manual and Dictionary for Ravenstail Weaving, and the author of Illustrated Instructions for Twined Spruce Root or Cedar Bark Baskets.

Dee Longenbaugh

Dee Longenbaugh has lectured and written about the history of Alaska, specifically Russian America and maps dating to that time period. Her articles have appeared in Alaska Magazine, The Map Collector, Alaska Journal, Mercator’s World, and other magazines. She co-authored a publication for the National Park Service, Physical and Cultural Landscapes of Sitka National Historical Park, Sitka, Alaska, and created an Inventory of Historic Sites and Structures, City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska for the Sitka Historic Preservation Commission. She was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London. She is currently writing a book about the history of mapping of Alaska.

David Moe

David Moe was born and grew up in Minnesota, graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris and came to Alaska in 1964 to teach high school in Ketchikan. He met his wife, Thordis Hammer, in Ketchikan, where she was born and also taught after attending Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. David left teaching to return to graduate school, and graduated from San Francisco State University with an M.A. degree in Educational Administration. However, rather than pursuing a career in education, Moe spent 32 years in the insurance industry, having his own office in Juneau for 16 years before selling the business. David started writing poetry in college. His book, My Spirit Sings, is a collection of poems he wrote over a period of forty years. He also spent four years in the Navy, and some of the poems are about that experience. Both David and his wife are now semi-retired, but continue to work part-time to keep active. They have two daughters, Kara and Sonja, who are both married with their own children; one lives in California and the other in Colorado.

Wally Olson

Wally Olson is Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus) at the University of Alaska Southeast and a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association. Wally came to Alaska in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and education and a Master’s Degree in history. In 1968, the University of Alaska Fairbanks awarded him its first Master’s Degree in Anthropology. He has lived and taught in Interior Alaska and spent winters at St. Michael on the west coast and on the DEW Line at Barter Island in the north. From 1971 to 1993, he taught at the University of Alaska Southeast and its predecessor, Juneau Douglas Community College. Over the years he has taught anthropology, history, geography, sociology, linguistics, philosophy and Japanese history and culture. He retired in December of 1993, but has returned to the Auke Bay Campus several times to teach courses in history and anthropology. In 1994 the Alaska Anthropological Association recognized him for his Lifetime Contributions to Alaskan Anthropology. In 1995, he was the recipient of the prestigious Edith Bullock Award for Excellence in service to UAS. In 2002 the Alaska Historical Society honored him with the Evangeline Atwood Award for Sustained Outstanding Contribution to Historical Activities in Alaska. Twice, the students of the University of Alaska named Wally the outstanding teacher and faculty member. He has published several books, including, The Alaska Travel Journal of Archibald Menzies, 1793-1794; Tlingit: An Introduction to their Culture and History; The History of Fort Durham; Through Spanish Eyes: Spanish Voyages to Alaska, 1774-1792; With Vancouver in Alaska, 1793-1794; and The Spanish Exploration of Alaska, 1794-1792. The Alaska Library Association named Through Spanish Eyes: Spanish Voyages to Alaska, 1774-1792 the best work on an Alaskan topic in 2003.

Jean Rogers

Jean Rogers was born in Idaho. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She taught school (5th grade) for two years. She now lives in Juneau with her husband George. They raised six adopted children, who are all now grown up. She is the recipient of an honored author citation from the Alaska State Reading Association and an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of Alaska Southeast. She is well known as "the lady who pushes books." She is the author of Goodbye My Island; King Island Christmas; Dinosaurs are 568; Secret Moose; Raymond's Best Summer; Runaway Mittens; and Left Field Bear. A musical based on King Island Christmas won the Frederick Loewe Award in 1997 and the Dramatist's Guild Prize in 1998 in New York. It has been performed in such faraway places as Canberra, Australia and Newfoundland, as well as across the United States.

Jim Ruotsala

As a child, Jim Ruotsala began frequenting the Alaska Coastal Airline Seadrome where he developed his love of aviation. Over the years, his photos and stories of bush pilots were compiled into two of Alaska’s finest aviation histories: Pilots of the Panhandle: Aviation in Southeast Alaska and Alaskan Wings: Aviation in Southeast Alaska: The Golden Years, 1935-1946. In 2000, he was given the Denali Award as Alaskan of the Year. He served over 40 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and retired from the Alaska State Defense Force in 1998.


Content maintained by Webmaster.