An important component of our Innovation meeting is including Subject Matter Experts to provide international and national insight for the MGRA planning. We are very excited to have their participation as part of Meeting #5 and hope you will join us for this interactive meeting with public. The meeting is on Tuesday, August 22nd at 7:00 pm at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library. A short bio for each of the Subject Matter Experts is found below.

Sustainable Tourism
Rachel Dodds, PhD, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Rachel is a Professor at Ryerson University and the Director of the Hospitality and Tourism Research Association. Rachel is a specialist in the field of sustainable tourism who has over 20 years of experience within the tourism sector. She has worked on a number of projects worldwide in sustainable tourism, climate change, eco/adventure tourism, research and marketing. Rachel holds a PhD in sustainable tourism and policy from the UK and a Masters degree in tourism and business administration from Australia. She is currently a board member for Transportation Options, was a past board member for Canada’s first climate change and tourism NGO. Rachel has a passion for change and making tourism more sustainable. She is an expert in sustainable tourism understanding the need to optimize and manage man-made and natural risks for tourism.

Brian Vander Naald, PhD, University of Alaska Southeast

Brian is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska Southeast and holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Miami University (Ohio), an M.A. in Economics from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oregon. He taught and conducted research in the Raymond F. Mikesell Lab for Environmental and Resource Economics at the University of Oregon. He has recently expanded his focus to include Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics, and an interdisciplinary approach to Climate Change. His research agenda has evolved to include using various non-market valuation techniques to examine under-studied Ecosystem Services including glacier ecosystems and recently evaluated the recreation value of the Juneau area glacier ecosystems.

Renewable Energy
Alec Mesdag, Director of Energy Services, AVISTA, Juneau

Alec holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Oregon State University. He currently serves as Vice President & Director of Energy Services for Alaska Electric Light & Power. In his current role he manages demand-side energy programs for the utility, helping to influence customer actions to optimize the use of energy in Juneau. He has been actively engaged with the MGVC to investigate alternative power sources for the facility with a focus on looking at the entire energy needs and strategies of the facility from heating and cooling to illumination and transportation modes. He is involved in the community’s effort in electrifying Juneau’s transportation network including private vehicles, coaches and watercraft.

Transit Systems for Parks
Paul Jewel, Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates, San Francisco, CA

Paul Jewel is a principal transportation planner with over 20 years of experience. Mr. Jewel brings a planning approach that balances the need to effectively handle the high volume of coach visitors with the need to minimize the negative impacts of buses and maximize the passenger experience. His experience includes improving the arrival experience, loading and unloading procedures and facilities, and specifying vehicle types including size and fuel type. His also specializes in community wide transportation planning and his firm recently completed the Juneau Transit Plan. Over the last decade Mr. Jewel has tended to direct most of his efforts towards demand and service studies for the National Parks Service (NPS) including work at Zion, Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks and his studies are very relevant to the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area.

Sustainable Building Design
Brad Lilijequist, International Living Future Institute, Seattle, WA

Brad directs the Living Community Challenge and Net Zero Energy Programs for the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). ILFI is reinventing the human world to operate comfortably without fossil fuels and the city to be a place of ideal human habitat; maximizing human happiness and fruitfulness while benefiting the planet.
As director of the Institute’s Net Zero Energy and Living Community programs, Brad is at the forefront of a global transformation toward a carbon-free future. He directed development of the Petal and Net Zero Energy Certified zHome, the first multifamily zero net energy community in the United States, as well as Issaquah Fire Station 72, the world’s most energy efficient fire station and recipient of the international 2012 ASHRAE Technology award. Additionally, he is author of The Power of Zero: Learning From the World’s Leading Net Zero Energy Buildings. Brad has nearly three decades of experience catalyzing change in the fields of planning, environmental policy, urban design, construction management and sustainable building.

Recreation And Visitor Trends
Meilani Schijvens, Rain Coast Data, Juneau

Rain Coast Data is a Juneau based economics firm specializing in the economy of Southeast Alaska and visitor industry analysis and trends. Past projects include visitor industry analyses completed for Juneau, Yakutat, Wrangell, Prince of Wales, Sitka, Haines, the Inter-Island Ferry Authority, and work on Alaska Statewide Visitor Statistics publications. Ms. Schijvens has completed in-depth regional economic studies – including Southeast Alaska by the Numbers, the Southeast Alaska Economic Asset Map, and the Southeast Alaska Economic Plan 2020 – each with in-depth chapters on the Southeast Alaska visitor economy.