Region of the resilient

Welcome to one of the last best places, home of the world’s richest waters. There’s no place in the world quite like ours. If you put a pin in the ground, we challenge you to find another place with more within 100 miles: glaciers, 12 distinct ecosystems, a pristine rainforest the size of some East Coast states, and rivers full of world-famous Copper River salmon. We believe that research here is a rare opportunity to study something pure vs. something that’s been lost.

We look at the big picture and pull it all together. That’s what sets us apart. We’re committed to understanding how one place on earth can maintain a reliable economy and natural environment for the long term. We endeavor to consider science, economy, climate and people with nearly every step, and we use collaboration and systems-thinking to address the global nature of today’s challenges.

We invite you – donors, researchers, partners, funders, elected officials, citizens – to join us in better understanding one of the world’s last, great natural regions, home of the world’s richest waters.


The Prince William Sound Science Center envisions communities that maintain socioeconomic resilience among healthy ecosystems.

There are two outcomes inherent in our vision. The first is socio-economically resilient communities: This outcome requires the region to support the livelihoods of its citizens. The second outcome is healthy ecosystems: This outcome requires users of the region’s ecosystems to steward renewable resources with consideration for natural cycles and systemic change.


Our mission is to advance community resilience and the understanding and sustainable use of ecosystems.

We are unbiased in our approach, and we approach all projects with the attitude that they can lead to positive impacts, sustainable use of resources, and a resilient region.


A group of Cordova fishermen, scientists and resource managers begin sharing bad coffee and explorin...
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Local leaders commit to develop a community-based organization as a repository for knowledge gained ...
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Exxon Valdez runs aground on Bligh Reef, spilling more than 11 million gallons of crude into Prince ...
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Earth Day 1989

Legal papers for the creation of the Prince William Sound Science Center are filed. The City of Cord...
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Our nonprofit subsidiary, the Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) is created via provisions in the O...
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Sixty commercial fishing boats blockade the Valdez narrows, stopping oil tanker traffic and demand m...
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Research programs expand as this place is recognized as a global environmental stronghold critical t...
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The PWSSC purchases the 39-foot research vessel New Wave for surveys in Prince William Sound and the...
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The PWSSC partners with NASA and USGS to look at carbon and glaciers in the face of climate change. ...
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The PWSSC begins long-term research into one of the world’s keystone species – wild Pacific salm...
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Education programs continue to grow. Oil spill curriculum, marine robotics, “Field Notes” radio ...
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After decades of work, we dive deeper into the topic of resilience – what it means, and what it ta...
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Our long-term research confirms the obvious: the ocean is, in fact, much warmer. Returning fish are ...
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Rob Campbell, PhD

Biological Oceanographer

907-424-5800 ext 241

Shelton Gay, PhD


W. Scott Pegau, PhD

Research Scientist & Program Manager

907-424-5800 ext 222

Lauren Bien, M.S.

Science Education Coordinator

907-424-5800 ext 231

Hayley Hoover

Education and Outreach Specialist

907-424-5800 ext 237

Signe Fritsch

Communications and Development Manager

907-424-5800 ext 232

R.J. Kopchak

Founder, Emeritus

Elizabeth Swain

Administrative Assistant

907-424-5800 ext 221

Ben Gray

Fisheries Research Assistant

907-424-5800 ext 234

Board of Directors


Angela Butler
Eyak Corporation, General Manager, Cordova Operations
Cordova (2012-‘15, 2015-’18)

Andrew Smallwood
1st Vice Chair
Area E Seiner
Cordova (2010-’13, 2013-’16, 2016-'19)

Caryn Rea
2nd Vice Chair
Conoco Phillips (2016-’19)

Margaret Stock
Cascadia Cross-Border Law Group , LLC
Anchorage (2014-’16, 2016-'19)

Laura Meadors
Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Director
Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. (2014- ‘17)


Nolan Watson
Senior Vice President
McLellan & Copenhagen, Seattle – PWSSC Board member (1992- ‘03)


Katrina Hoffman
Prince William Sound Science Center
Cordova, Ex-officio member

Douglas Causey, Ph.D
Professor of Biological Sciences
University of Alaska Anchorage (2012- ’15, 2015-’18)

Mike Mahoney
Area E Drift Gillnetter
Cordova (2010-'13, 2013- ‘16, 2016-'19)

Clarence Pautzke, Ph.D.
Retired Executive Director
North Pacific Research Board Anchorage (2011–’14, 2014-’17)

Jeffrey M. Welker, Ph.D.
Professor of Biological Sciences
University of Alaska Anchorage (2009- ‘14, 2014-’17)

Todd Telesz.
Senior Vice President; Power, Energy & Utilities
CoBank (2017-'20)

Craig Tillery
Deputy Attorney General, Retired
Alaska Department of Law (2017-'20)

Sheyna S. Wisdom.
General Manager and Senior Scientist
Fairweather Science LLC (2017-'20)


Here you’ll find our most recent IRS form 990 and audited financial statement. If you’re in need for further financial statements or reports, please contact us.



Partners are vital to our work. The majority of our work is based on partnership and collaboration, and we work with dozens of organizations and state and federal agencies to achieve our goals. An example is our work with theAlaska Ocean Observing System to pilot a PWS Observing System (PWSOS) project. The goal of this project is to provide easily accessible data about the past, current and future of Alaska’s oceans and coastal waters. As part of an evolving national program, this system currently includes web cams, meteorological data, ocean observations and ocean and atmospheric models.

One of our most important partnerships is with the Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI), a support research, education, and demonstration organization designed to respond to and understand the effects of oil spills in the Arctic and sub-Arctic marine environments. The PWSCC administers OSRI, and OSRI is run by PWSSC CEO Katrina Hoffman.


Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Alaska Experimental Forecast Facility – Univ. of Alaska Anchorage

Alaska Ocean Observing System

Alaska SeaGrant Marine Advisory Program

Alaska Sea Life Center

Copper River Watershed Project

Cordova School District

Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council

GW Scientific

Native Village of Eyak

Oil Spill Recovery Institute

Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation

Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council

School of Fisheries and Ocean Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

PWS Nowcast Forecast Ocean Model and (EPWS/NFS) Extended PWS Nowcast Forecast Ocean Model

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

USFS Cordova Ranger District

SALMON Project


The mission of the Prince William Sound Science Center is to advance the understanding and sustainable use of ecosystems in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. Our vision: communities that maintain socioeconomic resilience among healthy ecosystems — both here, and everywhere.

Want to make a difference? Think you’re a fit for our mission and vision? If yes, we’d love to hear from you. We encourage you to check this page regularly for employment and volunteer opportunities.