The Council was formed in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill with the mission of promoting the environmentally safe operation of the Valdez Marine Terminal and the associated tankers. The Council has an annual operating budget around $4.2M with a total staff of 18 and over 50 volunteers.
Joe Banta, project manager for the Council’s environmental monitoring program, retired this past April. In 1990, Banta was the first project manager hired for the Council, serving for almost 30 years.
In his early years at the Council, he managed oil spill planning projects for the Council’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response Committee. He later took a position working with the Scientific Advisory Committee, managing the Council’s long-term environmental monitoring program, and projects to study issues such as oil spill dispersants, the toxicity of crude oil, and the social effects of oil spills on communities.
Prior to joining the Council, Banta witnessed the Exxon Valdez oil spill first hand as a Cordova fisherman and helped with the spill response, rescuing oiled wildlife. Banta was called upon over the years to advise other communities about oil spills. After the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, he visited that area, helping those dealing with the effects of the oil. That same year, he testified about how the Exxon spill affected him, his family, and his community to a U.S. Senate Committee who was looking into the effects of the BP disaster.
”Even though the faces changed over the years since the Council was formed, the one constant was Joe Banta,” said Donna Schantz, executive director for the Council. “Joe not only gave advice to the oil industry and regulators, he was a mentor to anyone seeking to learn about environmental stewardship. I had the pleasure of working with Joe for the past 20 years and he will be missed.”
Valdez project manager Love takes over science programs
Banta’s position has been filled by Valdez staff member Austin Love. Love has been the Council’s manager for projects related to operations at the Valdez Marine Terminal for the past five years, working closely with the Council’s Terminal Operations and Environmental Monitoring Committee. Love has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
New project manager assistant in Anchorage
Hans Odegard has taken the position of project manager assistant, left vacant by Shawna Popovici. Odegard grew up in Eagle River, Alaska, and graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in business administration. Hans has fished commercially out of Prince William Sound, worked in agriculture in Palmer, held various positions within the School of Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and worked as a social worker at Cook Inlet Tribal Council in Anchorage.
The Council is seeking a Scientific and Environmental Monitoring Program Manager. This science project manager position coordinates a variety of science and environmental monitoring research projects that are consistent with the Council’s mission. This position is responsible for:
Managing the contracts and activities of research consultants and scientists
Developing research programs and projects
Applying research results to oil spill contingency planning, policy positions, and scientific reviews
Disseminating research information to the public, industry, and regulators
The Council is seeking a candidate who works effectively with other team members; has strong organizational, research, and communication skills; works well under pressure; and is committed to its mission.
Minimum qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree or relevant job experience. A Master’s degree in an appropriate field is preferred.
The ideal candidate will have:
Three years of project management experience
Demonstrated contract management
Public speaking skills
Knowledge of the petroleum industry
Experience or education in environmental science, another relevant scientific field, or an engineering discipline.
Competency with Microsoft Office and Adobe products and document management software such as Filemaker Pro, is desirable.
Experience working with volunteers, the Exxon Valdez oil spill impacted region, cross cultural communication, and the Alyeska marine terminal and oil shipping in Prince William Sound are a plus.
The minimum base salary is $75,000 and may be adjusted depending on experience. An additional 25 percent of base salary is added after 60 days for benefits. This position is located in Anchorage, Alaska.
How to apply:
To apply, please submit:
A cover letter detailing your qualifications
At least three professional references
Candidates can apply via email at email@example.com, or by mail addressed to 3709 Spenard Rd., Anchorage, AK 99503, Attn: Director of Administration.
For more information please download the full job description:
After five years spreading awareness about the Council’s work to citizens in the communities affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Lisa Matlock recently left the Council. As outreach coordinator, she worked with all of the Council’s committees, but particularly with the Information and Education Committee, fostering public awareness, responsibility, and participation in the Council’s activities through information and education.
Matlock joined the Council in 2013 with twenty years of experience in science education and extensive knowledge of coastal Alaska. From her first days at the Council, she traveled the region, presenting educational programs, talking to city councils, and coordinating community receptions. She promoted programs that involve students in the Council’s mission and took the information booth to many conferences each year. Along the way, she encouraged young and old alike to become stewards of Prince William Sound.
Matlock is responsible for one of the Council’s most popular new programs in recent years: community tours of Alyeska’s oil spill response training for local vessels. Local mariners, mostly fishing crews, are trained each year in spill response techniques so that they are prepared to help in case of a spill. The trainings are held in Valdez, Cordova, Whittier, Seward, Kodiak, and Matlock’s former home, Homer.
“Each spring I watched a fleet of fishing boats carrying noisy, funny-looking machines and pulling long orange and yellow lines around in circles near the Spit,” Matlock has said about the program “I can remember asking, “What are they doing out there?””
When Matlock joined the Council in 2013, she found out. She decided more people needed to know about Alyeska’s program, so she set about making sure that happened.
The resulting program, a partnership between the Council, Alyeska, local businesses, and nonprofits, has travelled to Seward, Cordova, Homer, and Whittier so far. Hundreds of local residents now understand how this unique spill response program works. Today, this program strengthens an important bond between communities, fishermen, industry, citizen oversight groups, and marine conservation efforts.
New outreach coordinator
Matlock’s replacement, Betsi Oliver, joined the Anchorage staff in September.
Her science educator background began with a job as a science camp counselor which led her to an internship as an environmental educator at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge soon after college. In the ten years since, she has served as an AmeriCorps volunteer creating outreach materials about Prince William Sound, worked at the Bureau of Land Management’s Campbell Creek Science Center, guided sea kayak tours from Seward for two summers, and ran the youth engagement program at Alaska Geographic.
Oliver created a new program for Alaska Geographic, guiding teens and local teachers on sea kayak expeditions in Prince William Sound, part of the Chugach Children’s Forest program. The program was co-funded by the Council as part of efforts to involve students in the mission of the Council.
Prior to joining the Council, she worked as the grants manager for Anchorage Park Foundation, taught wilderness first aid, and led courses for the Chugach School District.
“The overlapping combo of science, teaching, outreach, travel, connection to small Alaska communities, complex partnership cultivation, volunteer coordination, and in particular long-term impact to the communities and environment creates a work profile that feels very meaningful and fulfilling,” Oliver says about her new position.
Popovici moving on
Shawna Popovici, the project manager assistant for the Anchorage office, resigned in January.
Popovici worked closely with the Council’s Information and Education, Scientific Advisory, Legislative Affairs, and Board Governance committees and managed the Council’s extensive internal document management system.
Popovici accepted a management position with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. She will be heading up the Interpretation and Education efforts for the division.