Board of Directors

Robin Mayo

President, Copper Basin
Executive Director, Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment

Robin Mayo grew up in Fairbanks and currently lives in the Willow Creek area of the Copper River basin.  She has worked as a fiber artist, sheep shearer, tour guide, horse packer, and vegetable grower.  Robin is currently the Executive Director of Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, which she considers to be about the greatest job in the whole world.  Extra-curricular activities include keeping up with the activities of two adventurous daughters, and making a different kind of soup every week.

Pete Mickelson

Vice President, Cordova

Pete first arrived in Cordova by a 16-foot homemade cedar strip canoe in 1972. An avid birder, his background includes ornithological studies based in the Chugach National Forest as a Professor with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Wildlife and Fisheries Program. Now enjoying semi-retirement, Pete leads an off-the-grid subsistence lifestyle in Cordova. He serves as a board member for the Cordova Chamber of Commerce, volunteers for the Shorebird Festival,  and writes novels that include an accurate natural history of the Copper River Delta. Pete believes that tourism is the bright future of the watershed.

alexis-cooperAlexis Cooper

Treasurer, Cordova
Alexis served as the Executive Director for Cordova District Fishermen United for 4.5 years, a membership organization that represents gillnet and seine salmon fishery concerns for Prince William Sound. Alexis’ love of gardening is challenged in Cordova’s rainforest climate but her green thumb finds ways to brighten up the space around her.

nik-merlinoNik Merlino

Secretary, McCarthy

Nik was born in Seattle, WA and began coming to Alaska in his youth with his father and brothers. He first came to the Copper Basin at 10 years old and over time found his way back to McCarthy where he lives with his family (wife GIna, daughter Cassidy, and son Dylan). Nik discovered his love of rivers while on a family raft trip on the Goodnews River in western Alaska when he was 11. Now Nik and spends his personal and professional time exploring the rivers of the Wrangell Mountains and Copper Basin.

Erica Thompson-Clark

Board Member, Cordova

Born and raised in a commercial fishing family in Kodiak, Erica grew up on the ocean, earning her first full crewshare at 15 and getting her 100 Gross Ton Captain’s license at 22. After three years stationed in the midwest, Erica and U.S. Coast Guard flight mechanic husband Dan moved back to Cordova in 2014 and promptly increased the population again when they celebrated the birth of their daughter Hazel Jade in November 2014. Erica holds a Masters of Education from University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

dorne-h-copyDorne Hawxhurst

Cordova, Board Member

Dorne works from Cordova as an administrative attorney at the Alaska Court System. She manages the 1,200 forms offered by the court system to judges and litigants, and acts as a heathcare advocate for court employees. Her history with salmon goes back two decades when she served as Executive Director of Cordova District Fishermen United.

Jackie McMahan

Board Member, Gakona

Jackie believes the Copper River valley is a truly special place for a child to grow up and that is why her family settled in Gakona nearly ten years ago. She loves the freedom of space and opportunity for outdoor experiences offered in the Copper River valley and she appreciates that salmon are an important part of her Alaskan lifestyle. She hopes to do her part to help Alaska protect an irreplaceable salmon resource.

CRWP Staff


Riki Ott

Founding Director


Kristin Carpenter

Executive Director


Kate Morse

Program Director


Shae Bowman

Operations Manager


Chantel Caldwell

Invasive Plants Coordinator

A message from a former Board President

“I came to the Copper River Valley in 1975 and was one of those ‘newcomers.’ Over the years I have seen changes in the communities and have watched many more newcomers arrive harboring the same feelings I have…a love for the beautiful mountains and country, rural community atmosphere, friendly neighbors, few people, clean environment, a ‘country life.'”

“Over the years there have been changes. Some were gradual, and some happened all of a sudden. The construction of the Alyeska pipeline; the designation of the Wrangell Mountains as a National Park and Preserve; the Park Service acquiring Kennicott Mining District; the Gulkana River becoming the king salmon capitol of Southcentral Alaska, to name a few. More recently, I have seen 11 new residences on the short 12-mile stretch of road I live on; development of a Princess Tours lodge on the bluffs of the Klutina River; residents having to use a bike path along the Edgerton Highway because of increased tourist traffic; plans to pave the McCarthy road; talk of paving the Denali Highway; talk of constructing a road and/or trail from Chitina to Cordova; and increased commercial events such as extreme skiing and snow machine races.”

“I am not sure if all these changes are good or bad. But in light of them more changes will follow. I would like to have a voice in our destiny. Growth is inevitable. I cherish this sacred place we call the Copper River Valley and want to see it grow in a healthy way. That is why I am a member of the Copper River Watershed Project. I believe that if we all work together, we can grow together in a way that will maintain our cherished values that attracted us here in the first place.”

“The Copper River Watershed Project gives us that forum to work from. The CRWP is willing to help with projects that the community determines are important to keep our lifestyles. Join me in becoming a member of the CRWP and be a voice for our community.”

Janelle Eklund, Kenny Lake
former CRWP President