New science writer joins Alaska Sea Grant

Zayleen Kalalo closeup
Zayleen Kalalo.

Alaska Sea Grant welcomes Zayleen Kalalo to the communications team as a science writer and public information officer. Kalalo, who is based in Anchorage, has a background in marine and environmental policy, tribal and stakeholder engagement, salmonid reintroductions, fish passage, and science communications.

Her new role will include interfacing with the media, working with Alaska Sea Grant staff and faculty to develop and share stories about Alaska Sea Grant-funded research, the work of Alaska Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Program, Alaska Sea Grant State Fellows and research trainees, and events and activities happening around the state. Kalalo will also assist with the program’s state and federal reporting.

Kalalo completed her Master of Science at the University of California, Davis, studying environmental policy and management, and specializing in environmental justice and conservation management. Her master’s research focused on facilitating a partnership with a local tribe to further salmonid reintroduction efforts, and included drafting outreach materials detailing traditional fish passage and reintroductions, customs used by tribes for centuries. For this project, Kalalo conducted Traditional Ecological Knowledge interviews with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe from the McCloud River region. 

Zayleen Kalalo standing on a beach, wearing a backpack.

Originally from Alaska, Kalalo spent most of her childhood on Alaska’s North Slope. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Alaska Anchorage, majoring in natural science with a concentration in pre-health. After graduating, Kalalo worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, conducting social science research, working in a genetics lab, sealing and tagging wildlife, and sampling commercially caught sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay. 

Kalalo more recently worked for NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region, coordinating congressional inquiries between headquarters staff and regional program staff. She also reviewed communication plans for a variety of federal activities and publications. That role provided critical experience that furthered her interest in science communications. 

Kalalo is excited to be back in Alaska and for the opportunity with Alaska Sea Grant. “As a lifelong Alaskan, I look forward to being back in the mountains and working alongside my colleagues who are dedicated to Alaska Sea Grant’s mission of supporting healthy coastal systems, strong economies, and vibrant communities.” Kalalo added, “I’m a salmon biologist by trade, and I really enjoy working in science communications and bridging the gap between scientists and the general public.”More information is available on Zayleen Kalalo’s staff profile page.