Our Team

Noor Johnson

Principal Investigator

Noor Johnson is a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder and the principal investigator (PI) for ELOKA. She is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on environmental knowledge production and governance in the Arctic. At ELOKA, Johnson’s work focuses on building tools and approaches to support community data management. She also supports network-building for exchange among Indigenous community-led observing and cultural knowledge documentation programs and projects.  

Matthew Druckenmiller

Co-Principal Investigator

Matthew Druckenmiller is a research scientist at NSIDC focusing on the implications of climate and environmental change on Arctic coastal communities and marine mammals. His training and background span geophysics, engineering, geographical information science (GIS) science, and science-to-policy. His areas of interest include coastal sea ice dynamics, community-based data management, and coastal environmental observing strategies.

Betsy Sheffield

Project Manager/Product Owner

Betsy Sheffield has worked in various capacities with the ELOKA project since its beginnings in 2007, initially as a user services representative and since 2012 as product owner and project manager. With a background in environmental studies and an interest in health and food security, Betsy brings passion for people and problem solving to her role.

Natasha (Tash) Haycock-Chavez

Outreach and Network Manager

Natasha (Tash) Haycock-Chavez works to facilitate projects, build community, and engage both local and scientific communities. Tash is passionate about working at the intersection of Indigenous interests and research, and has experience working in Arctic science communication and outreach. She also has a master’s degree in Geography where she was invited by the community of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, to conduct a geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis for their community-lead protected area. Her research pointed to the importance of community-led research, and she is excited to integrate some of these lessons into her current role at ELOKA.

Brendan Billingsley

Software Engineer

Brendan Billingsley is a software engineer and architect who contributes to all aspects of software development for the ELOKA project with a specific emphasis on Nunaliit atlases. He is particularly interested in using his software development skills on projects that help people and the planet. Brendan has extensive experience as a full stack developer on web application projects.

Joshua W. Brown

Postdoctoral Researcher

Joshua W. Brown is a postdoctoral researcher focusing on Indigenous data and storytelling. As a University of Montana graduate, Joshua Brown examined Salish people's food sovereignty and food systems while earning a PhD in cultural and applied anthropology. At ELOKA, Joshua will develop a research project focusing on storytelling with Indigenous data, drawing on existing partnerships and activities of the ELOKA network of partners. Joshua's previous work centered around revitalizing the Salish language within his home community through organization projects and policies. He is excited to work with Indigenous communities and others partnered with ELOKA.

Agnieszka Gautier

Science Writer & Multimedia Specialist

Agnieszka Gautier is part of the Science Communications Group at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). She joined the ELOKA team in 2012 to assist with content management of its website, create visual graphics and materials, and develop news and stories about ELOKA and its community engagements. With a background in literary non-fiction writing, photography, and film, Agnieszka is interested in using multiple forms of storytelling to shed light on different perspectives and experiences.

K. Malulani Castro

Indigenous Evaluation Specialist

K. Malulani Castro is a first-year PhD student at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability where he works with Kyle Whyte. Malu’s scholarly and professional work is broadly focused on organizational evaluation and planning. Specifically, he is interested in understanding how Indigenous communities historically, traditionally, and contemporarily understand and implement evaluation as a means of nation-building, self-determination, and land-based living. Malu’s kuleana (responsibility) is to be a steward of the land and those it feeds—even beyond the shores of his ancestral homes of Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Sofia Vakhutinsky

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sofia Vakhutinsky has worked as an undergraduate research assistant at NSIDC since 2019 and is currently studying geography with a geographical information science (GIS) emphasis and economics, as well as minoring in geology, and atmospheric and ocean science at the University of Colorado Boulder. She was involved as a contributing author to the 2020 Arctic Report Card, and recently joined the ELOKA team to learn more and contribute to GIS research relevant to Indigenous communities.

YiSha Shen

Undergraduate Student

YiSha has worked for National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) as an undergraduate student researcher since fall 2021. Growing up around Boulder, Colorado, she decided to do her undergraduate program at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Marketing. Her interest in science includes anything related to bacteria, the environment, and its ecosystems. She has been working with ELOKA to update the Atlas of Community-Based Monitoring in a Changing Arctic and to add video content to the Yup'ik Atlas.