Partnership Creates Director of Climate Initiatives Position; Primary focus: build resilience, remove barriers for Alaska Native communities that need to address climate change

December 28, 2022

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) recently named Jackie Qataliña Schaeffer as the Director for Climate Initiatives. ANTHC partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provided funding and support for this new position.
Schaeffer is Iñupiaq with family roots from Kotzebue. She has served the Consortium for the past six years as the Community Development Manager, working with Tribal partners on innovative sanitation systems, helping with relocation plans and performing outreach and education on climate change related issues. Schaeffer’s experience has uniquely qualified her for the Director for Climate Initiatives position.
“This position will strengthen the work ANTHC does within our communities that are threatened by climate change impacts. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to leading this effort,” said Schaeffer of her new position.
“We recognize that our strength and resilience come from our ability to work together to solve problems. Erosion, flooding and melting permafrost continue to threaten Alaska Native communities, impacting our cultures, and the ability to hunt and gather food to feed our loved ones,” said Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, President and CEO of ANTHC. “Through partnerships with NOAA and their continued efforts, we are able to address the environmental issues that worsen with climate change.”
For over twenty years, ANTHC has been a leader in working to understand and address climate change. With this new position, ANTHC has taken another step forward by developing new partnerships and consolidating several key climate programs. Funding for the position was acquired through a NOAA Climate and Equity grant. Grant objectives include creation of a Tribal advisory group, documenting statewide adaptation activities, and completion of a report on unmet needs.
Climate change is one of the leading public health challenges in Alaska. Many of our communities across Alaska face stress caused by storm and flood events, concerns about food security, and the challenges of building infrastructure today, for a changing future. The new Climate Initiatives Program will help coordinate activities across the organization and support the Alaska Tribal Health System in finding healthy ways to adapt to our changing world.
Learn more about upcoming pilot project announcements, NOAA’s ongoing environmental justice efforts, and NOAA resources for Tribes — including information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is a not-for-profit Tribal health organization managed by Alaska Native Tribal governments and their regional health organizations. ANTHC provides statewide services in specialty medical care; construction of water, sanitation and health facilities; community health and research; telehealth and information technology. For more information, please visit

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