Molly Cain joins Alaska Sea Grant as associate director

Alaska Sea Grant welcomes Dr. Molly Cain as associate director. Based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Troth Yeddha Campus, Cain serves on the management team and is responsible for leading Alaska Sea Grant’s research program and overseeing state and national fellowship programs.

Woman with long curly hair wearing maroon sweater smiling. Yellow autumn leaves are in the background.
photo courtesy of Molly Cain

Dr. Cain has a background in watershed hydrology, with expertise on how human activities impact downstream waters and how natural systems such as floodplains affect the broader ecosystem. Her research has focused on issues that lie at the intersection of science, management, and policy. She earned her Ph.D. in environmental science from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

Dr. Cain brings a wealth of international and national policy experience. As a Fulbright Research Fellow, she investigated water management at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. More recently, she was a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, serving as a member of NOAA Research’s Congressional Analysis and Relations Division. In this role, she worked with NOAA leadership and scientists to communicate NOAA science to policymakers, and was the lead contact on congressional matters for the National Sea Grant Office and other NOAA research programs. Dr. Cain worked for NOAA remotely from Fairbanks, Alaska. 

“Molly’s experience in conducting university research on issues that are important to watershed ecosystems and the people that inhabit them, combined with her federal agency background, suit her perfectly to work with our program,” said Ginny Eckert, Alaska Sea Grant’s director.

Dr. Cain looks forward to working with Alaska Sea Grant. “By bringing together impactful research with extension and education components, Alaska Sea Grant is where the rubber meets the road in using science to address local resource management and community needs,” said Cain. “I look forward to working with our researchers and students to support science-based efforts that will have a lasting impact for Alaska’s communities and ecosystems.”