faculty listing

A Photo of  Courtney Carothers

Contact Information

School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
1007 West 3rd Avenue, Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99501-1936
Phone: (907) 274-9699

Courtney Carothers Associate Professor

Commercial Fisheries • Community Development • Fisheries Human Dimensions • Fishery Management


  • Environmental Anthropology
  • Political Ecology
  • Marine Policy
  • Fishing Communities


  • B.A. 2000 Cornell University (Biology and Society)
  • M.A. 2004 University of Washington (Anthropology)
  • Ph.D. 2008 University of Washington (Anthropology)

Office Hours

Tues and Thurs 9:00-11:00am (Note: office hours held at 106C Professional Studies Building, University of Alaska Anchorage campus)

Research Overview

I am an environmental anthropologist with broad interests in human-environment relationships, particularly in marine and fisheries systems. My areas of research include: processes of marine enclosure and privatization; political ecology; local and traditional knowledge; science and technology studies; subsistence, mixed and alternative economies; and socio-ecological change.

Current Research Projects

  • Gender, Environment, and Change: Exploring Shifting Roles in an Inupiat Community
    (National Science Foundation; Co-PI: Zanotti)
    This environmental anthropology study will provide a detailed ethnographic picture of the ways in which Alaska Native communities are responding to global challenges while at the same time retaining and practicing their core indigenous values in the face of many uncertainties. Previous research has identified indigenous groups and women as some of the most vulnerable populations affected by pronounced political, economic, and environmental shifts. In this study we seek to examine gendered responses to the processes of globalization and significant social-environmental change and the shifting roles of women in the midst of such changes. This research will provide an in-depth study of the gendered, multigenerational responses to specific contemporary changes in Barrow, Alaska, an Iñupiat subsistence-based community and economic and administrative hub of Arctic Slope region. While it is widely recognized that women play important roles as providers in this region, more research is needed on the evolving nature of women's "work" given new vocational and educational opportunities in the context of shifting mixed economies, increasing regulation of the environment, cumulative oil and gas exploration and extraction, and pronounced environmental change.
  • Graying of the Fleet in Alaska's Fisheries: Defining the Problem and Assessing Alternatives
    (Alaska Sea Grant and North Pacific Research)
    This study seeks to better define the problem of the "graying of the fleet," a pressing concern for the state of Alaska, and to assess and develop alternatives that will help address this growing problem. This ethnographic research project based in the vital commercial fishing regions of Bristol Bay and Kodiak, Alaska will: 1) document and compare barriers to entry into, and upward mobility within, fisheries among youth and young fishery participants; 2) examine the factors influencing young people’s attitudes towards, and level of participation in, Alaska fisheries; 3) identify models of successful pathways to establishing fishing careers among young residents; and 4) identify potential policy responses to address the graying of the fleet and develop specific recommendations consistent with the state and federal legal frameworks.
  • Fisheries Privatization, Sociocultural Transitions, and Well-Being in Kodiak, Alaska
    (National Science Foundation)
    Scholars and fishermen alike view the privatization of fishing rights as a fundamental driver of change in fishing livelihoods and communities. Expanding upon ethnographic research conducted in rural fishing communities in the Gulf of Alaska, this project explores the social and cultural shifts linked to the privatization of fishing rights in the diverse fishing community of Kodiak, Alaska.
  • Climate Change and Subsistence Fisheries in Northwest Alaska
    (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
    This study will document local observations of climate change relevant to subsistence fisheries in three communities in Northwest Alaska: Noatak, Selawik, and Shungnak. Utilizing a participatory research design, scientists and community partners will systematically document traditional ecological knowledge of climate and related ecological changes that affect the harvest, processing, and practices of subsistence fisheries. This documentation, along with an analysis of the prevalence and perceived importance of such observations, will inform adaptive subsistence management that can respond to changing environmental conditions.
  • Subsistence Use and Knowledge of Beaufort Sea Salmon Populations
    Local observations of increasing numbers of salmon in subsistence fisheries has generated a need for more information about salmon use, distribution, and survival in the North Slope region. This study addresses this knowledge gap by synthesizing relevant research and conducting ethnographic fieldwork with Inupiat informants about changing salmon populations. This study will document the historic and current importance of salmon as a subsistence resource and will also contextualize salmon among the suite of subsistence resources in this region.


  • Personal Website
    More detailed information on research projects, teaching, graduate students, and publications.
  • Halibut IFQ Holder Survey Results
    This website shares the results of a mail survey of initial and current halibut individual fishing quota (IFQ) holders exploring their reasons for buying and selling quota, their community history, and their opinions about the positive and negative impacts of IFQs on the halibut fishery and on their communities of residence.
  • Kodiak Fishermen Survey
    This website provides results from survey research on the perceptions of change among fishery participants in Kodiak, Alaska.
  • CV


Glazier, E., C. Carothers, N. Milne, and M. Iwamoto. 2013. Fish flow: Exploring ties in the social fabric of fishing on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. Pacific Science 67(3): 345-359.

Peterson, M.J. and C. Carothers. 2013. Whale interactions with Alaskan sablefish and Pacific halibut fisheries: Surveying fishermen's perceptions, changing fishing practices and mitigation. Marine Policy 42: 315-324.

Carothers, C. 2013. A survey of US halibut IFQ holders: Market participation, attitudes, and impacts. Marine Policy 38: 515-522.

Carothers, C. K.R. Criddle, C.P. Chambers, P.J. Cullenberg, J.A. Fall, A.H. Himes-Cornell, J.P. Johnsen, N.S. Kimball, C.R. Menzies, and E.S. Springer (editors). 2012. Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change. Alaska Sea Grant Press.

Carothers, C. and C. Chambers. 2012. Fisheries privatization and the remaking of fishery systems. Environment and Society: Advances in Research 3: 39-59.

Carothers, C. 2012. Enduring Ties: Salmon and the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq Peoples of the Kodiak Archipelago. Invited book chapter, Keystone Nations: Indigenous Peoples and Salmon across the North Pacific. B.J. Colombi and J.F. Brooks (editors). School for Advanced Research Press, Santa Fe, NM.

Moerlein, K. and C. Carothers. 2012. Total Environment of Change: Impacts of Climate Change and Social Transitions on Subsistence Fisheries in Northwest Alaska. Ecology & Society 17(1): 10. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol17/iss1/art10/

Carothers, C. 2011. Equity and Access to Fishing Rights: Exploring the Community Quota Program in the Gulf of Alaska. Human Organization 70(3): 213-223.

Carothers, C. 2011. Addressing rural livelihood and community well-being in Alaska’s fisheries. Pages 377-387 in North by 2020: Perspectives and Alaska’s changing social-ecological systems, Lovecraft, A.L and H. Eicken. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, AK.

Carothers, C. 2010. Tragedy of commodification: Transitions in Alutiiq fishing communities in the Gulf of Alaska. MAST 90(2): 91-115.

Carothers, C. 2010. Book Review of Aleut Identities: Tradition and Modernity in an Indigenous Fishery by Katherine L. Reedy-Maschner. 2010. McGill-Queen's University Press. Alaska Journal of Anthropology 8(1): 141-143.

Carothers, C., D. Lew and J. Sepez. 2010. Fishing rights and small communities: Alaska halibut IFQ transfer patterns. Ocean and Coastal Management 53: 518-523.

Carothers, C. 2009. Catch shares and conservation: Exploring community sustainability as a missing link. International Marine Conservation Congress Proceedings. All Academics Inc.

Glazier, E., J. Shackeroff, C. Carothers, J. Stevens, and R. Scalf. 2009. A Report on Historic and Contemporary Patterns of Change in Hawaiʻi-Based Pelagic Handline Fishing Operations—Final Report. A Publication of the Pelagic Fisheries Research Program Publication, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Honolulu.

Lowe, M. and C. Carothers, editors. 2008. Enclosing the Fisheries: People, Places, and Power. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 69, Bethesda, MD.

Carothers, C. 2008. “Rationalized out:” Discourses and realities of fisheries privatization in Kodiak, Alaska.In Lowe, M. and C. Carothers (editors). Enclosing the Fisheries: People, Places, and Power. American Fisheries Society , Symposium 69, Bethesda, MD.

Carothers, C. 2008. Privatizing the Right to Fish: Challenges to Livelihood and Community in Kodiak, Alaska. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Washington, Seattle.

Carothers, C. 2007. Impacts of halibut IFQs and changing Kodiak communities. In Cullenberg, Paula (ed) Harvesting the future: Alaska’s fishing communities, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, Fairbanks, AK.

Carothers, C. and J. Sepez. 2005. Commercial fishing crew demographics and trends in the North Pacific: 1993-2003. Managing fisheries, empowering communities, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, Fairbanks, AK.

Pimentel D., R. Doughty, C. Carothers, S. Lamberson, N. Bora, and K. Lee. 2003. Energy inputs in crop production in developing and developed countries. In Food Security & Environmental Quality in the Developing World. In Lal, R., D. Hansen, N. Uphoff, and S. Slack (editors), CRC Press.