Joining USGS in 2016, Dee reports to the Alaska Regional Director and helps provide scientific management and strategic coordination among the Alaska Science Center, Volcano Science Center, Climate Adaptation Science Center, and other Federal and State partners operating in Alaska. His career has focused on promoting actionable science across disciplinary, institutional, and cultural boundaries.
Dr. Williams has worked in Alaska over the past 16 years to plan, design, and direct a wide range of physical, biological, and social research that monitors and mitigates potential impacts from energy sector development and ongoing environmental change. He earned a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Columbia University, with particular expertise in resource management challenges involving indigenous communities throughout the Pacific Rim. He also holds a Master’s degree in International and Public Affairs. He completed a Fulbright project in 2017 with the University of Ottawa that explored methods to develop a more systematic and rigorous inclusion of indigenous knowledge within the work of Arctic science and regulatory policy.
Before joining USGS, he served as the Alaska Regional Studies Chief for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management through the recent era of Shell Arctic Exploration, receiving a USDOI Cooperative Conservation Award in 2011. Prior to government service, he worked as a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and as consultant to international development organizations, most notably in the Gobi Desert of Northern China. He enjoyed a two year post-doc fellowship at the East-West Center in Hawaii. He has substantial publications in the field of environmental anthropology, and serves on multiple Steering Committees concerned with the advancement of Arctic science.
For fun, he enjoys musical performance, art projects, athletics and outdoor recreation, community service, and parenting.