Marilyn SigmanAuthorpicture3cropped.jpg

Homer, Alaska


MFA  Creative Writing and Literary Nonfiction, Creative Nonfiction | 2015 | University of Alaska Anchorage | Thesis:  Ecology of Desire: Writing Science into Natural History Writing
M.S.  Wildlife Management | 1977 | University of Alaska Fairbanks | Thesis: The Importance of the Cow-Calf Bond to Overwinter Moose Survival
B.A.   Human Biology | 1974 | Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay|University of Alaska Press | Alaska Literary Series. February 2018 | Winner of the 2020 Burroughs Medal for outstanding natural history writing

Literary Publications
2016  We Alaskans, Alaska Dispatch News | “When Death Comes to Bishop’s Beach in Homer.” 1-24-2016
2013  49 Writers Blog
2009  Alaska Quarterly Review | “Class notes: A Brief History of Impermanence.” Winter Issue.
2007  Alaska Quarterly Review | “Raven Re-Makes the World.” Fall Issue
1986  Alaska Fish and Game Magazine | “Alaska habitats: summer pageant on the tundra.” 18.5
1985  Alaska Fish and Game Magazine | “Mendenhall Wetlands Refuge”

Readings, Interviews, and Presentations
Guest Presenter | “Writing about Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Context of Indigenous and Western Science Worldviews” |  Writing in the Sciences undergraduate course | University of Alaska Anchorage Kachemak Bay College, via Zoom, 11-1-2021
Guest Author and Reading | Climate Scholars Program course with Entangled as a required reading | University of Alaska Fairbanks, via Zoom, 10-19-2021 & 10-20-2021 
Guest Author | Four weekly readings, presentations and discussions about Entangled as the featured book |  University of Maine MacGillicuddy Humanities Center 2021 Climate Change Symposium Reading Group, via Zoom,  February-March, 2021
Reading and Presenter | “An Evening of Entanglement” event in conjunction with “Entangled” museum exhibit | Pratt Museum, Homer, Alaska, via Zoom, 9-4-2020
Keynote Speaker and Reading | Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition Annual Membership Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, 11-1-2019
Constitution Day Keynote Speaker and Reading | Friends of Kodiak Public Library, Kodiak, Alaska, 9-17-2019
“10,000 Years of People and Birds in the Ecosystem”  Reading and Presentation| Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, Homer, Alaska, May, 2018 and 2019. 
“Northern Soundings” | KUAC Radio Interview with Robert Hannon, Fairbanks, Alaska, 5-1-2018
“New Book Looks at the History of People and Ecological Change in Kachemak Bay”| KBBI Radio Interview by Renee Gross, Homer, Alaska, 1-5-2018
Readings and Presentations: Soldotna Public Library, Soldotna, Alaska | Resurrect Art, Seward, Alaska | University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska | University of Alaska Anchorage Bookstore, Anchorage, Alaska |
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies Homer, Alaska, January – June, 2018 
Author Interview by Deb Vanasse | 49 Writers Blog, 11-2-2009

Literary Honors and Awards
2020  John Burroughs Medal awarded to Entangled for a distinguished book of  nature writing that combines scientific accuracy, firsthand fieldwork, and excellent natural history writing
2018 “Stray Hopes” essay selected for Salmon Shadows Art and Humanities Project competition | Alaska Humanities Forum/Salmon Fellows Program, Anchorage, Alaska
2016  MFA thesis nominated by the UAA/Anchorage Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences for the Distinguished Master’s  Thesis Award for the Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business sponsored by the Western Association of Graduate Schools
2006  Honorable Mention, General Public Nonfiction| UAA /Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest, “Minding the Birds”
2005  Honorable Mention: General Public  Nonfiction| UAA /Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest,  “A Peculiar Beauty: The Mind is a Brittle Instrument”

Teaching Experience, Creative Writing
2021 Guest Lecture | Science Writing (Nancy Lord, instructor) John Hopkins University
2017  Guest Lecture | Research-Based Writing (Nancy Lord, instructor) Kachemak Bay Campus of University of Alaska Anchorage, Homer, Alaska
2017  Invited Presentation and Reading | Creative Writing and Literary Arts Residency Program University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska
2016  Guest Lecture | Science and Nature Writing (Nancy Lord, instructor) Kachemak Bay Campus of University of Alaska Anchorage Homer, Alaska
2013  Line by Line Workshop | Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies Peterson Bay Field Station, Kachemak Bay, Alaska

Literary Conferences and Service
2018-present  “Reading Between the Lines” Book Reviews for Friends of Homer Public Library, KBBI Radio, Homer, Alaska
2020  Invited Review, Alaska climate change book proposal, University of Washington Press, Seattle, Washington 
2016  Invited Panel presentation, “Writing about Science in the Anthropocene,” Associated Writing Programs Conference. Los Angeles, CA
2015  Selected to write non-fiction passages for State of Alaska K-12 English and Language Arts statewide test questions
2013  Facilitator of panel presentation, “Writing About Science Creatively,” Alaska Marine Science Symposium. Anchorage, AK

Environmental/Science Education and Marine Science Outreach
Advisor, Polar Literacy Project. National Science Foundation Advancing Informal Science Education Literacy grant | 2019 – 2022
Education Consultant | Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies | 2020
Co-Principal Investigator, AlaskaCoastWatch for Action Project,
Gulf of Mexico Research Program Community Capacity/Community Resilience Grant | 2017-2019
Education Consultant | Beaufort Lagoons Long-Term Ecological Research Project | University of Texas at El Paso | 2019
Education Coordinator, K-12 Schoolyard Program| Northern Gulf of Alaska Long-Term Ecological Research Project | National Science Foundation grant | 2017-2019
Educational Consultant, Science/STEM Curriculum Development
| Maqpuq Project | North Slope Borough School District | 2010-2019
Educational Consultant, Professional Development |
Beluga Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Youth Engagement Project | Native Village of Buckland Tribe. 2016

Publications in Environmental/Science Education and Environmental Science:
2019  (Editor) Guidance for Culturally Responsive Outreach and Engagement of Indigenous Alaskan K-12 Students. Report of a Working Group.
2016  (Co-author) Rezabeck, C. M. Sigman, and B. Parsons. Evaluate EE Programs for Systemic Change in Your Community. Clearing. July 19, 2018.
2015  (Editor) Community-Based Monitoring of Alaska’s Coastal and Ocean Environment: Best Practices for Linking Alaska Citizens with Science. SG-ED-78. Alaska Sea Grant, Fairbanks, Alaska
2013  (Co-author) Dublin, A. Anderson, M. Sigman, R. Barnhardt, and S. Topkok. “COSEE Alaska Ocean Science Fairs: A Science Fair Model that Grounds Student Projects in Both Western Science and Traditional Native Knowledge.” Journal of Geoscience Education 62.2 (2013): 166-176.
2013  (Lead author) Sigman, M., R. Dublin, A. Anderson, J. Warburton, G.I. Matsumoto, D. Dugan, and J. Harcharek. “Using large marine ecosystems and cultural responsiveness as the context for professional development of teachers and scientists in ocean science.” Journal of Geosciences Education 62.1 (2013): 25-40.
2008  Community Involvement, Environmental Education, and Community Outreach in the EVOS Restoration Process. Includes “Handbook for Community Involvement in EVOS Restoration.” Final Report on EVOS Project 08075. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.
2007  (Lead author) Sigman, M. and B. Murphy. “Kachemak Bay CoastWalk: Twenty-One Years of Observing changing shores.”  In Community-based Coastal Observing in Alaska. Reid Brewer, editor. AK-SG-07-03. Alaska Sea Grant.
2004  (Co-author) Trowbridge, E.; M. Sigman; B. Murphy; L. Villarreale, and K. Mangin. Gulf of Alaska CoastWalk Curriculum. Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Homer, Alaska.
1999 Alaska Coastal Ecology Program Teacher Guide (to Kachemak Bay). Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Homer, Alaska. Who’s Who in the Intertidal Zone? Atlas for Peterson Bay Field Station, Kachemak Bay. Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Homer, Alaska.
1997  “Case Study: the Tillamook Bay National Estuary Project.” In The Rain Forests of Home:  An Exploration of People and Place. Island Press.

1988-92 Author, co-author, and/or editor of five multi-media Alaska Wildlife Week/Alaska Wildlife Curriculum K-12 Teacher Activity Guides and multi-media packets distributed statewide. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Juneau, AK.

Professional Honors and Awards
2021   Lifetime Achievement Award in Conservation | Alaska Conservation Foundation
2019  Alaska Ocean Leadership Award in Marine Science Outreach
2012  U.S. Department of Interior | Partners in Conservation Award to Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan Working Group (member)
2008  Jerry S. Dixon Award for Excellence in Environmental Education | Alaska Conservation Foundation 
2005  First Place, National Association of Government Communicators and Silver Award | Association of Communication Excellence; Life on the Beach video and teacher guide
1995  Oregon Governor’s Organizational Leadership Award for the Tillamook Bay National Estuary Project
1992  National Outstanding Contribution Award | Director of  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for “Wetlands and Wildlife” curriculum
National Certificate of Merit | Secretary of the Interior for “Wetlands and Wildlife” curriculum
1986  Outstanding Contribution Award | Habitat Division, Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

2018-2019 Review Committee, Alaska State Science Standards revision
2008-13 Exxon Valdez Trustee Council Science and Restoration Panel
2005-10 Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Board Environmental Monitoring Committee
1993-95 Alaska Science Standards Committee (Appointed by the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education)

Professional Experience, Science/Environmental Communication and Education
2020-present Naturalist-in-Residence, Pratt Museum, Homer, Alaska. Co-curator of the exhibit Entangled: Exploring Natural History Collections from Kachemak Bay, July-September, 2020; appointed to the Collections Committee, October, 2021 
2019  Interim Executive Director, Pratt Museum, Homer, Alaska
2019-present Adjunct Instructor, Department of English, University of Alaska Anchorage Kachemak Bay Campus, Homer, Alaska.
2019-present Affiliate Faculty | University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Fairbanks, Alaska
2014-19  Associate Professor in Marine Education, 2009-2014 Assistant Professor | University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences/Alaska Sea Grant, Anchorage and Homer, Alaska
1998-2009  Executive Director | Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Homer, Alaska
1996-1998  Executive Director | Montana Natural History Center, Missoula, Montana; Adjunct faculty, University of Montana Environmental Studies Department, 1997
1993-1995  Assistant Professor | Oregon State University Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Executive Director, Tillamook Bay National Estuary Program, Tillamook, Oregon
1989-93  Program Coordinator | Alaska Wildlife Week, and Curriculum Developer, Alaska Wildlife Curriculum, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Juneau, AK

Teaching Experience, Science/Environmental Communication and Education:
2021 University of Alaska Anchorage: Critical Thinking | Distance-delivered (undergraduate)
2019-present University of Alaska Anchorage: Sharing Science with Diverse Audiences | Homer, Alaska (undergraduate)
2017-18  University of Alaska Fairbanks: Developing Place-Based Curriculum Units Aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, Juneau and Utqiagvik, Alaska
2014-17  University of Alaska Fairbanks: Teaching about Alaska Seas and Rivers, several Alaskan communities each year (UAF professional development course)
2011-14   University of Alaska Fairbanks:  Communicating Science, 2011-2014
2010-15   Communicating Science and Communicating about Climate Change workshops for scientists and science outreach specialists
2001-06   University of Alaska Anchorage: teacher professional development courses related to environmental education and alignment with state science education standards
1994  University of Montana: Natural History of Missoula
1988-2008  Instructor or facilitator, numerous naturalist and informal educator professional development workshops throughout Alaska

Science Outreach and Education Projects
2013-16   Outreach and Education Coordinator | EVOS Gulf Watch Alaska Project
2013-15  Workshop coordination to develop best practices for community-based monitoring in Alaska coastal environments (PI on National Science Foundation
2009-15   Program Manager | Alaska Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence
2007-2009  Science Content Advisor and Writer | Alaska Sea Grant Alaska Seas and Rivers curriculum development project

Science Outreach and Education Service
2012-18   Member, Steering Committee and Abstract Review Committees; Chair of committees for student awards and planning an annual Communicating Ocean Sciences Workshop, Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska
2012  Co-Director, annual conference of the National Marine Educators Association in Anchorage, Alaska
2002-09 Coordinator, Kachemak Bay Science Conference in 2002, 2006, 2009

Additional information:

Competitive Grants Received:  Principal Investigator or program/project coordinator on numerous grants received for science communication/outreach and environmental education projects from:  Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, North Pacific Research Board, Pacific Salmon Commission, World Wildlife Fund, Rasmuson Foundation, other private foundations

Invited Presentations: 
Numerous invited presentations at conferences related to marine science outreach and environmental education, including:
Statewide Conferences:  
Alaska Teachers of Science and Math, Alaska Forum on the Environment, Alaska Marine Science Symposium, AAAS Arctic Science Conference
Regional and National Conferences: National Science Teachers Association, Northwest  Aquatic and Marine Educators, National Marine Educators Association, North American Association of Environmental Educators, American Fisheries Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union
International Conferences: Ocean Sciences Meeting, International Polar Year Science and Education Conference, International Bioethics Forum

Professional Memberships and Service on Boards: President and Treasurer, Alaska Natural Resources and Outdoor Education Board of Directors, 2016-2019; founding member 1984-93, member 1998-2019; Chair, Alaska Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees, 2016-2018; Board member since 2011; Alaska Chapter Director, Northwest Aquatic and Marine Education Association Board of Directors, 2014-2017; Board member, Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition, 2011-17; Member: 49 Writers