Northwest Digest

Staff and Wire reports

Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Murkowski hires ocean policy coordinator

JUNEAU - Gov. Frank Murkowski has hired a federal policy analyst who has worked in ecosystem-based management as the state's new Ocean Policy Coordinator.

Heather Brandon, currently a marine policy analyst at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., will begin her work for the state on March 7.

As staff support to the state's Ocean Cabinet, Brandon will help coordinate the state's outreach and response to federal fisheries- and ocean-related legislation. She will work out of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The cabinet is expected to have a busy year in 2005 because Congress is getting ready to review a number of ocean policy and fisheries bills.

The cabinet includes four state commissioners, fisheries policy adviser Alan Austerman and John Katz, Alaska's director of state and federal relations.

Brandon, a former wetlands biologist and National Environmental Policy Act consultant for the private sector, was also previously a research assistant at the University of Washington in Seattle and Juneau's Alaska Fisheries Science Center,

Murkowski said in a written statement that Brandon's "extensive knowledge of fishery management and policy issues, experience at the federal and state levels, and legislative background will ensure that Alaska's voice is heard."

Brandon received a master's degree in marine affairs in 2004 from the University of Washington and a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Oregon in 1997.

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