Jackie Qataliña Schaeffer promoted to Director of Climate Initiatives at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Jackie Qatalina Schaeffer lights a seal oil lamp in Nome, Alaska. October 2022.

After six years of working with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) on community development, Jackie Qataliña Schaeffer has been promoted to Director of Climate Initiatives. 

In her new position, Jackie will deepen her work with tribal, regional, and federal partners. Leveraging funding from NOAA, the program shares NOAA’s climate and equity priorities under the Biden Administration.

The project aims to accomplish three objectives:

  • Conduct a landscape assessment of Tribal climate change adaptation activities in Alaska and establish a baseline understanding of Tribal climate change challenges and responses.
  • Formulate and launch an Alaska Tribal Climate Change Advisory Group to ensure that Tribal climate change efforts across the State are led and prioritized by Alaska Native people.
  • Lead the Tribal review and publication of the Unmet Needs of Environmentally Threatened Alaska Native Villages Report, which will inform NOAA and other agency investment priorities.

Jackie also serves as co-Principal Investigator on the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) project funded by the National Science Foundation, as well as co-chair for the coproduction team focused on consequences of rapid environmental Arctic change on human well being.

Jackie says, “I look forward to working towards finding solutions to respond to climate change in an equitable manner and serving our environmentally threatened communities.”

ANTHC has been a leader working to understand and address climate change for over 20 years, and this latest promotion of Jackie to Director of Climate Initiatives represents another step forward. The role is focused on developing new partnerships and consolidating several key climate programs and will be funded through a NOAA Climate and Equity grant. Grant objectives include creation of a tribal advisory group, documenting statewide adaptation activities, and completion of a report on unmet needs.

Climate change is one of the leading public health challenges in Alaska, from the mental stress caused by storm and flood events, to concerns about food security and the challenges of building infrastructure today for a changing future. The new Climate Initiatives Program will help coordinate activities across the organization and support the Alaska Tribal Health System in finding healthy ways to adapt to our changing world.