Posted: Monday, August 07, 2000

Christine Clauson Brodersen

Lifelong Alaskan Christine Clauson Brodersen died July 30, 2000, in her home in Juneau after a long battle with cancer.

She was born Nov. 19, 1948, while her family resided in Pelican. She spent her childhood in Pelican and graduated from high school in Petersburg in 1967. She graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in biology in 1971 and a teaching credential in 1972.

Upon her return to Alaska, she taught briefly at Pelican and Juneau-Douglas High Schools before pursuing a 25-year research career at the Auke Bay Laboratory of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service. Her research on the toxicity of oil to marine life helped establish the scientific basis for the Kachemak Buy-Back Bill, which protected biologically important areas of Kachemak Bay from oil leasing. It also provided much of the justification for Alaska's water quality standards for oil pollution, which are among the most stringent in the world.

Following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, she devoted her full-time efforts to evaluating the persistence and impacts of the oil on marine resources of the spill region. In addition, she also determined the basic biology and the habitat requirements of several species of Alaska shellfish.

Her family wrote that her kindness, teamwork and attention to detail were inspirational to her colleagues, and her contributions to larval biology and oil pollution effects are an important scientific legacy.

She enjoyed using her artistic skills to develop presentations and illustrations to help explain scientific and environmental issues to other researchers and the general public. She frequently assisted with science projects in the public schools. Often she served as a science fair coach or judge. In addition, both family and friends benefited from her artistic endeavors. She was also a superb cook, an avid gardener and quilter, and she often contributed to commemorative quilts.

She is survived by her husband Mark and son Carl of Juneau, and by her parents John and Betty Clauson of Pelican. Chris was preceded in death by her brother Eric in 1992.

A memorial service will be set at a later date.

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