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Cherie Northon, Executive Director

Cherie Matson 5-22-21 2.jpg

Cherie has a master's and a doctorate in Geography from the University of California Berkeley, where she taught for 19 years. She is also a cartographer--working in GIS, remote sensing, and GPS-acquired data. Her areas of interest are habitat protection and improvement of the natural environment (flora and fauna), student outreach (K-12), and generating public participation in environmental issues. She has been the Executive Director of AWC since 2010.

Thom Eley, Research Biologist and Education Director


Thom has M.S. degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Oceanography and a doctorate in Resource Geography from the University of California Berkeley.  During his 40+ years in Alaska, he has worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Part of his experience involves management of lands and waters of several Interior watersheds.  Currently he oversees the "Creeks as Classrooms" program and the Citizens' Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP), and he works on issues involving monofilament fishing line as well as the effects of feeding waterfowl which encourages overwintering, crowding, and excessive fecal coliform loads in waterways.

Vangie Wight, Administrator and Outreach Coordinator


Originally from Maine, Vangie's parents traveled with their six children throughout many parts of the U.S. and Europe introducing them to several National Parks and historical sites and teaching them to have an appreciation and respect for nature.  They settled in Alaska in the late 1970s. Vangie remained here where she founded and manages the family business while raising three children.  She spends her free time hiking the many trails in local parks and along waterways in Anchorage with her two enthusiastic dogs.  She enjoys supporting the AWC mission with administrative and research work. 

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