Biologist Jan Straley honored at UAS Sitka graduation

Regent Dale Anderson, left, explains the award before making the presentation to Jan during the UAS Sitka Campus Commencement Ceremony on May 3.

Associate Professor of Marine Biology, Jan Straley, was recognized with the University of Alaska’s Meritorious Service Award on May 3 during the Sitka campus graduation ceremony.

The Board of Regents selected Straley for her work in marine research and education.

Straley has worked with the National Park Service in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve’s monitoring program and also studies humpback whales at the NOAA lab in Juneau. She’s been based at the Sitka campus since 1994.

“I am truly honored and humbled by this award presented to me by the Board of Regents,” Straley said. The letters of support were so glowing it was hard to realize that they were talking about me. It seems that when you work with great colleagues who are equally passionate about what they do it creates an enjoyable and productive team effort. I think of this award belonging to that team of researchers and educators, including my students and my incredibly supportive and creative family,” said Straley in a press release.

Straley has been studying whales in Alaska for more than 30 years and founded the Sitka WhaleFest and the Sitka Sound Science Center.

Straley is the first person to receive the award since 1995 according to the release.

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