Learn about Louisiana from Hoonah’s New Americorp VISTA Sean Williams

Hoonah Indian Association is excited to bring on Sean Williams through the Americorp VISTA program. He hails from Tennessee originally and is receiving a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Louisiana State University’s College of the Coast and Environment. Sean studied environmental planning and management with a focus on coastal resources and wetland science. Academically, he is interested in the topics of science-communication, ecological restoration, GIS / aerial photography, climatology, and environmental hazards. His passions outside of work include hiking and camping, fishing, photography, writing, and cooking.  

As Sean is learning about Hoonah, we took a moment to learn a little bit about Louisiana:

  • Where’s the best place to get Cajun in Baton Rouge : Jambalaya Shoppe
  • What’s the biggest alligator you’ve seen : In the diversion off the Mississippi I saw one that was probably 15 feet
  • Is the TV Reality Show “Swamp People” Real? : I’m not sure, but there’s definitely people that live in the marsh like that
  • What is the hottest pepper you’ve ever eaten? : I put Tobasco sauce on everything, so I don’t have taste buds anymore.
  • What’s the coolest thing about Louisiana? : Louisiana has most of the United States’s wetlands, and there’s a ton of diversity. Its a lot of fun to explore those wetlands. Oh, and the food is really good!
  • How do you make you make Gumbo?: It’s starts with the Rue, and that’s a family secret!
  • Is it really hot all of the time? : Compared to Hoonah, yes, but in the winter in LA it’s temperature and nice. About 60 degrees.
  • What’s the best thing you’ve seen in Hoonah so far? : Everyone in the community has been really  nice and friendly and that’s been the best part. Seems to be a very integrated place and family friendly.

Sean feels honored to have the opportunity to learn about the coastal region of Southeast and its Tlingit heritage. The overarching goal of his project is to work with the community to intertwine traditional ecological knowledge with the best available scientific information. He also hopes to contribute to the community by getting youth interested in higher education, and possibilities for careers in science and natural resources. Sean’s position in Hoonah is funded by the American Indian Higher Education Consortium through the Americorps VISTA program. 

The overarching goal of Sean’s position is to understand the risks to Port Frederick’s marine and economic resources. From there his project may branch into creating jobs that may help mitigate the impact of those risks, as well as educate our youth on our changing marine systems. Aspects of Sean’s work include reviewing scientific papers, creating public outreach from scientific information, familiarizing himself with Hoonah’s forests and plants. You can expect to hear more from Sean in the near future : he will be working to community needs through surveys and community meetings. He will be taking his newfound knowledge to create a scientific framework in order to create resilient subsistence resource management.  

Feel free to reach out to Sean in-person, by text or phone call: 225-636-1816 



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