Salmon is a defining factor in the culture of Alaska; it’s something we all have in common. But salmon, Alaska’s third largest industry, is also frequently a flash point of conflict over difficult issues such as racial justice, the urban-rural divide, and balancing sustainability against the needs of resource development.​

Alaska Humanities Forum, along with partner organizations, has designed the Alaska Salmon Fellows program to facilitate demanding conversations about salmon issues among leaders from a cross section of salmon policy, management, industry, activism, research, and cultural sectors.  

Alaska Salmon Fellows serves as a:

  • Pathway for new and stronger connections across the diverse sectors that have a key stake in the future of Alaska’s salmon; and to rich personal development as an innovative leader.

  • Network to share lessons and deepen understanding of differing perspectives among the Fellows, sparking new relationships and through them, other stakeholders.


  • System of Influence with other Fellows, advancing tangible opportunities to inspire innovative, systemic changes which address key issues and challenges for Alaska's salmon/people system.​

Awards & Expectations:

Salmon Fellows receive a $10,000 award ($5,000 at the beginning of the program and $5,000 upon successful completion of the program) to advance their efforts to achieve innovative, systems change. The program also covers travel expenses throughout the Program.


The Salmon Fellows program is rigorous. Much of the work, both individually and in collaboration with other Fellows, will be self-driven. To be successful requires a high level of personal investment by the Fellows in all aspects of this unique learning program including: gatherings, readings, virtual connections, coaching, feedback, and completion of innovative projects. ​


Working collaboratively, Fellows are expected to define, propose, and implement innovative Alaska salmon/people systems change initiatives during the Fellowship.  See an overview ​of the current set of initiatives here.


Alaska Humanities Forum will utilize a set of pre- and post- assessments to gain insight into the impact of the Alaska Fellows Program on individual participants as well as the system of influence statewide. Participants must be willing to participate in these assessments to help us discover the lessons which emerge over the course of the program.

Founding Partners:

Sarah Barton, Consult North

Erin Dovichin, Alaska Venture Fund

Ian Dutton, Nautilus Impact Investing

Erin Harrington, Salmon Project

Helena Jacobs, Salmon Connect

Liz Medicine-Crow, First Alaskans Institute

Andrea Sanders, First Alaskans Institute

Bob Waldrop, Salmon Project

Peter Westley, UAF Center for Salmon and Society

Courtney Carothers, UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences



Alaska Salmon Fellows is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.