Alexis Cooper, Interim Executive Director / Accounting

Alexis Cooper is our Interim Executive Director, leading our team through an exciting growth phase. She has lived in the Copper River watershed for over 10 years with consistent ties to working in our beloved salmon economies. With a technical background in commercial fisheries management and policies, Alexis works hard to track the numerous grant agreements, partnership agreements, Invasive Plant mini-grant award dispersal, and tracking along with important contributions to policy and procedures in-house. Highly detail-oriented, Alexis ensures we all track to the very dollar every step of the way.

Kate Morse, Program Director

Kate officially joined the CRWP team in September 2008, soon after receiving her Masters in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from University of Oregon. She was quick to implement her skills in collaborative processes and facilitation to help develop and sustain new programs for the CRWP, including our watershed-wide education efforts, Copper Basin invasive plant program, and other various tourism and stewardship-based projects. She also helped to fine tune our organizational membership and business sponsor programs, helping grow the organization to where we could hire a full-time operations manager. Today she is the lead on fish habitat restoration projects in addition to continued efforts to engage everyone in exploring and connecting to their watershed. She is also a full-time mom to twin daughters and enjoys spending her time off hiking, boating, camping, harvesting wild foods, and looking for adventure with her family.

Ashley Taylor, Watershed Restoration & GIS Staff

Ashley started working for CRWP in 2019. She has worked in the Invasive Plant Program as a field technician and coordinator as well as the web and technical communications person. She now works in the Fish Passage and Restoration Program as the GIS and Data Specialist. She has a Master’s degree in GIS and Web Map Programming and 9 years of environmental fieldwork experience.  She enjoys working for CRWP and finding new ways to apply GIS and spatial thinking to projects throughout the watershed. When not in the office, she loves outdoor activities and exploring Alaska with her partner and their pup, Hobbes.

Kimberlee Casavan, Operations Manager

After moving to Cordova almost 6 years ago, Kim fell in love with the Copper River watershed. She has a wide range of on-the-job experience to complement her Bachelor of Arts degree. She is excited to put her talents to use as the Operations Manager with the CRWP Team! Each year Kim has been in Alaska, she continues to learn more about the watershed and the importance of preserving its habitat. In her free time, Kim enjoys knitting, crafting, and gluten-free baking.

You can find Kim and her partner Lee, enjoying hikes, bike rides, subsistence fishing, and berry picking on the weekends.

Colleen Merrick, CRWP/CRNA Climate Change Coordinator

Colleen Merrick is a biologist living and leading climate adaptation efforts in South Central Alaska.  She coordinates the efforts of the Copper River Native Association villages, Tribal members, and partner agencies to promote and implement the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Originally trained in human health, Colleen shifted her focus to fisheries in 2018 to work in the management of stocks across the North Pacific.  She was trained by NOAA, and was fortunate enough to visit many remote locations across the state. While this work was challenging and fulfilling, the human health and cultural aspect of her training was missing.

She now resides in Copper Center and can employ her diverse skill set to organize and manage adaptation strategies for those living on the front lines of climate change.  Experience managing remote health centers and various businesses lends to her ability to bring people and supplies together in a timely and efficient manner, and her background in healthcare and fisheries motivates her to find the best way to balance goals of habitat conservation and thriving peoples.

Amanda Jackson, Watershed Stewardship Program Manager

Amanda Jackson is the newest member of our team as of November 2023, and is based out of Copper Center, AK where she is our first full-time permanent upriver representation as the Watershed Stewardship Program Manager. She has a Bachelors of Science in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX with a focused background in outdoor educational outreach directly related to non-profit projects and workshops. Since her time in the Copper River Basin, she has worn several hats ranging from federal, state, tribal, and non-profit positions utilizing her diverse skills in biology-related fields of wildlife, fisheries, natural resources, and educational outreach. Amanda has performed critical stewardship practices with a focus on environmental awareness while maintaining essential partnerships throughout the community that will become of great value to her position with Copper River Watershed Project. In both Cordova and the Copper Basin, she will be planning and implementing various invasive species plant management efforts, coordinating working groups within the community, as well as supporting salmon stream restoration projects.

Amanda enjoys all things outdoors, no matter the season. Her hobbies include biking, kayaking, fishing, camping, sledding, skating, ice-fishing, and most of all, exploring on weekend trips to find new locations for recreation.

Michelle McAfee, Communications Specialist

Michelle McAfee started working with CRWP in the summer of 2022. She came aboard as the Communications Specialist to manage our social media and help with newsletters, emails, and website updates. Thirteen years ago she fell in love with the Copper Basin and McCarthy, where she spent most of her summers. She works remotely from Southern Oregon, where she is based, and she loves staying connected to the

Copper River watershed through her work at CRWP. She is also a writer and photographer and loves hiking, camping, and gardening.

Amy ScudderPartnership Administrator

Amy Scudder began working for CRWP in 2024 and loves to find meaningful, place-based connections with the lands, waters, and people that both nourish and connect the Copper River Watershed. As someone who could never decide if she was a “water” or “mountain” person, she is thrilled to be engaging partners who connect the vast geology and hydrology in the region. Amy holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Science and is currently pursuing an M.A. in organizational leadership and conflict mediation. During free moments, she can be found hiking the Wrangell mountains, exploring glaciers, biking as much as possible, adventuring with her teen children, cooking, reading, and knitting.

Kathryn SchluterInvasive Plant Technician – Cordova

Kathryn Schluter joined CRWP in 2024 as our Cordova Invasive Plant Technician. She is from Pennsylvania and a junior at Colgate University majoring in biology. At school, she works for the Outdoor Education department where she leads hiking, canoeing, and kayaking trips. “In my free time I like to spend time with my friends, family, and my two dogs, Norman and Jerry. I have always been interested in the efforts the CRWP has taken to ensure salmon habitats are kept safe and healthy, and part of that comes from managing invasive plant species like reed canarygrass. As the Summer Invasive Plant technician, I hope to be able to learn more about how to safely manage invasive species to protect our local ecosystems and be able to get to know the Copper River Watershed better!” —Kathryn Schluter


Kirsti Jurica, Hydrology & Watershed Restoration Staff

Riki Ott

Founding Director

Kristin Carpenter

Founding Executive Director

Other Very Important Staff Members


Waylon, Kate’s “first born”, was trained early on to be a super napper in the office, lazily greeting visitors, although more enthusiastically those with treats in their pockets (Thanks UPS!). However, in the field he is a go-getter, usually the first to find the next minnow trap, and often the most eager to see what we caught.