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.

Matt Piche

Treasurer, Cordova

Matt Piché resides in the coastal community of Cordova and when not working on the Copper River and its delta he’s out recreating on it. Matt has a background in biochemistry, aquatic ecology and fish biology and a profession as a fish biologist for the Native Village of Eyak Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. His background and profession allow him to work with a diverse set of agencies and stakeholders to help ensure opportunities exist for robust fish populations to persist through periods of environmental and anthropogenic fluctuations. As a board member Matt hopes to give back to an organization that dedicates itself to protecting and promoting stewardship of a watershed that provides for so many Alaskans. Matt considers himself one of the fortunate few who can call the Copper River and its delta home.

Jackie McMahan

Secretary, 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.

nik-merlinoNik Merlino

Board Member, 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.

Kendra Harder

Board Member, Copper Center

A lifelong Alaskan, Kendra Harder grew-up in Eagle River. After visiting the Copper River basin area for recreation for several years, Kendra and her husband decided that they wanted to raise their family in the area and relocated to Copper Center in 2002. In 2006, Kendra opened up her salon, Kendra’s Kreations, in Copper Center after operating the business out of her home for several years. Kendra and her family love all the berry picking, fishing, and hiking that is available in the basin and love to call it home.

Amanda Weise

Cordova, Board Member

Amanda earned a degree in biology with a marine emphasis from Western Washington University and then went onto pursue a career with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. She spent time working in the Copper River area as well as the Yukon River area. Since becoming a parent, Amanda worked part-time at the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association where she saw a different side of the fisheries. Growing up in Cordova, Amanda cares deeply for the incredible and unique ecosystem that surrounds us. Now a full-time parent of three, Amanda feels fortunate that her children get to experience the Copper River watershed and hopes to help preserve what we have for many generations to come.

CRWP Staff

Staff & Board

Riki Ott

Founding Director


Kristin Carpenter

Founding Executive Director


Lisa Docken

Executive Director


Shae Bowman

Operations Manager


Kate Morse

Program Director


Chantel Adelfio

Invasive Plant Program Manager


Ashley Taylor

Invasive Plant 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