Q&A with Lisa Docken, Incoming Executive Director for CRWP
Fall is a time of transitions and in that spirit, CRWP is going through its biggest transition yet! As many of you know, over a year ago Kristin Carpenter, now out-going Executive Director at CRWP, announced that after 20 years of leading CRWP she was resigning. After a months-long, deliberate search process for its next leader, the CRWP is pleased to introduce its selection of Lisa Docken as its new Executive Director.
To help our members get to know Lisa better, Shae Bowman, CRWP Operations Manager connected with Lisa to bring you the inside scoop on all-things-Lisa and what she will be bringing to the team.
Q: Where are you from and when did you move to Cordova?
A: For those that don’t know, I am Canadian. I was born and raised just outside of Toronto, Ontario. You may see me ‘aboot’ the town of Cordova wearing a knitted toque (translation: a beanie). I officially moved to Cordova permanently at the beginning of April 2019. However, I have been spending close to half of each year in Cordova since 2015.
Q: What brought you to Cordova?
A: LOVE. I was dating and now married to a man that moved here for work. My husband, Nick Docken, works for the US Forest Service. It only took one visit after he moved to Cordova Fall 2015 for me to fall in love with Alaska, the people and the wilderness. I was hooked, pun intended.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I have numerous interests; maybe too many 😊. I am a CTA awarded Master Avian Taxidermist, yarn spinner, knitter, book worm. I love drawing and watercolor. Outside, I love to pick berries and mushrooms, garden, hike, camp, hunt, fish and play with our dogs. My interests keep growing but the number of hours in a day doesn’t; so I’m never bored.
Q: What are your favorite things about living in the Copper River watershed?
A: Access to wilderness for subsistence and recreation.
Q: What is your background in?
A: I’m working on completing my Doctorate in Environmental and Life Sciences, Avian Ecology and Physiology, Trent University. Before that, I studied animal physiology for my Bachelor’s degree and avian migratory physiology for the Masters. After working a few years conducting and managing research on flight dynamics in birds at Western University in Southern Ontario, Canada, I entered a PhD program investigating dynamics between birds, the tundra and climate in the Arctic.
Q: How do you first “meet” CRWP?
A: My first interaction with the CRWP and staff was the Wild Food Feast in spring 2016. This event is a wonderful pot luck that brings the community together. We celebrate locally sourced food and culinary adventures; it was so much fun! I believe I won for ‘best flying’ entry with my smoked duck.
Q: What made you want to apply for the position?
A: This position represents a special opportunity to assist an already phenomenal organization to support fish and fish habitat across a huge area of Alaska and to use my research science background to support applied projects both current and future.
I love the Copper River Watershed and the lifestyle it affords people.
Q: What are you looking forward to in this new position?
A: Well, after 12 years post-secondary education, I consider myself a professional learner. Learning new things is what drives me in so many ways…..see hobby question above as proof. There is a lot to learn both from staff and from the out-going Executive Director, Kristin Carpenter.
Q: What made you want to transition from a research career to a career as a leader of a non-profit?
A: Making things happen! Fish passage is a great example of something tangible that shows effort from so many organizations to make a direct positive impact for the environment and for people that depend on aquatic resources. Not that academics aren’t doing that, but I feel my skills are better suited for project coordination in this kind of working environment.
This is an exciting time as my husband and I put down roots in this community. I’m honored to be a part of the CRWP team!