Governor’s climate change advisor makes as much as he does



Governor Bill Walker hired a senior climate change advisor who earns $145,000 a year, which is the same as his salary. And she has been commuting by jet from Seattle to Alaska, at State expense,  since signing on with the administration. She racked up over 11,000 airline miles in her commute during a three-month period.

The Governor’s Office has been paying for the airline tickets, cab rides, hotels, and other travel-related expenses for Cayenne “Nikoosh” Carlo, according to travel documents obtained through a public records request.

Dr. Carlo, who has a PhD in neuroscience and who is deeply involved in arctic and climate change issues, is on contract to work 130 hours per month, or about 33 hours per week.

Her job description is to work on “services as directed by the Governor or his designee.” In this case, the governor’s designee is Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, who is his lead person on all things climate related for the administration.



Must Read Alaska asked for and received travel records for Carlo, through October.

Carlo’s travel authorization reports show she is assigned to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and traveled between Seattle and Juneau several times, beginning in July.

Carlo flew from Seattle to Juneau between July 31 and Aug. 3, and again from Seattle to Juneau and Anchorage between Sept. 6-20.

She flew from Seattle to Juneau again between Oct. 3-5., and between Oct. 29 to Nov. 1.

Oct. 16-22 she flew roundtrip from Seattle to Anchorage for AFN.

The carbon footprint for those trips is over one metric ton of CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, according to the Carbon Footprint Calculator, which offers suggestions on how to offset your carbon footprint. In this case, Carlo could plant trees in Kenya, the web site offers.

Two months after Carlo’s hire, Walker signed Administrative Order 289, creating a “Alaska Climate Change Strategy and Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team.”

“The Strategy creates a flexible and long-lasting framework for Alaskans to build a strategic response to climate change informed by the best available science, integration of indigenous and local knowledge, and consideration of Alaska’s economic interests. The order also calls for State departments to review their previous work on climate change, and identify immediate adaptation and response actions they can take.”


On Tuesday, Walker announced the members of that team, with Lt. Bryon Mallott as the leader:

Ralph Andersen of Dillingham. Anderson is the President and CEO of Bristol Bay Native Association and a member of Clarks Point Tribal Council. Ralph is also Chairman of the Bristol Bay Partnership and the Western Alaska Salmon Coalition, and is former Co-Chairman of the Alaska Federation of Natives.

Linda Behnken of Sitka. Behnken is the Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) and has 34 years of experience as a commercial fisherman. Linda is a Commissioner of the International Pacific Halibut Commission and has previously served on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Lisa Busch of Sitka. Busch is the Executive Director of the non-profit Sitka Sound Science Center, where she is responsible for operations and organizational development and health. Lisa has prior career experience as a radio producer and environmental journalist, and has worked extensively in providing communication training for scientists.

Luke Hopkins of Fairbanks. Hopkins is former Mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and has previously served on the Borough Assembly and the Board of Directors of the Alaska Municipal League. Luke was a member of the Immediate Action Work Group of the former Sub-Cabinet on Climate Change, where he helped to develop policies to protect coastal communities imminently threatened by climate change.

John Hopson, Jr. of Wainwright. Hopson, Jr. is Mayor of the City of Wainwright, President of the North Slope Borough Assembly, Chairman of the Eskimo Whaling Commission and Vice Chairman of the Voice of the Arctic Inupiat. John has been engaged as both a community and corporate leader on the North Slope for over a decade.

Nicole Kanayurak of Barrow (Utqiaġvik). Kanayurak is a 2017 Knauss Marine Policy Fellow working in the NOAA Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, focusing on international fisheries legislation and negotiations. Nicole is currently the youth representative to the Inuit Circumpolar Council and former representative to Future Arctic Leaders, and has held a variety of positions working for the North Slope Borough.

Mara Kimmel of Anchorage. Kimmel is married to Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and is adjunct faculty at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. Mara’s doctoral research focused on the relationship between land rights, governance and human development in Arctic and sub-Arctic communities.

Meera Kohler of Anchorage. Kohler is the President and CEO of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC), a non-profit electric utility owned by the residents of 58 communities throughout Alaska. Meera was a member of the former Alaska Climate Change Sub- Cabinet.

Michael LeVine of Juneau. LeVine is the Senior Arctic Fellow at Ocean Conservancy. Michael’s work focuses on sustainable management and stewardship of ocean resources, as well as the creation of economic opportunity in the face of changing ocean conditions.

Mark Masteller of Palmer. Masteller is an Assistant Professor at University of Alaska where he teaches classes on energy efficiency and renewable energy as part of the sustainable energy program. Mark serves as the Alaska Director for the Cascadia Green Building Council and as a board member for the Matanuska Electric Association. He has over 20 years of experience in wildlife research and management as a wildlife biologist.

Molly McCamon of Anchorage. McCammon is the Executive Director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS). As part of her work, Molly leads the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network and co-leads the Alaska Harmful Algal Bloom Network and the Alaska Integrated Water Level Observing Network.

Denise Michels of Nome. Michels is a former Mayor of Nome and recently joined DOWL as a Senior Project Manager and will work with Newtok. Previously, while at Kawerak, Denise helped Shishmaref with their relocation efforts. Denise is a former member of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, the Northern Waters Task Force, and the Adaptation Advisory Group of the former Sub-Cabinet on Climate Change.

Chris Rose of Anchorage. Rose is the founder and Executive Director of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP), which is dedicated to increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout Alaska. Chris was a member of the Mitigation Advisory Group of the former Climate Change Sub-Cabinet, and has previously served as the Commissioner of the Mat-Su Borough Planning Commission.

Isaac Vanderburg of Anchorage. Vanderburg is the Executive Director of Launch Alaska, Alaska’s first energy accelerator. Launch Alaska is focused on building companies in the energy sector who are working on climate solutions in the sectors of food, water, energy and transportation.


Janet Weiss of Anchorage. Weiss is the President of BP Alaska Region and has worked in the energy industry for over 30 years, with experience in Alaska, Wyoming and the Gulf of Mexico. Janet is a member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Advisory Board and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Advisory Board.

Duncan Fields of Kodiak. Fields is a technical advisor to the Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition and the owner of Shoreside Consulting, a natural resources consulting firm based in Kodiak, Alaska. Duncan is an attorney and fisheries advocate, former member of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and former president of the Kodiak Island Borough School District.

Jim Johnsen of Fairbanks and Anchorage. Johnson is the current President of the University of Alaska, as well as a commissioner on the Denali Commission and a member of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation Board. Jim’s many executive roles in higher education have included statewide academic initiatives to align primary and secondary education sectors and to achieve higher attainment levels throughout Alaska.

Reginald (“Reggie”) Joule of Kotzebue. Joule is a former state legislator in the Alaska House of Representatives and former Mayor of the Northwest Arctic Borough, as well as a member of the UK-based Polar Research and Policy Initiative. While serving as Mayor, Reggie was appointed by President Obama to the President’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

Sam Schimmel of Kenai Peninsula and St. Lawrence Island. Schimmel is a student and alumni of the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) Champions for Change Program. Sam has worked on numerous legislative and executive initiatives for Native youth, including a 2016 bill establishing the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children and a roundtable discussion with Alaska’s congressional delegation and Governor at the 2017 Alaska Federation of Natives conference.

Fran Ulmer of Anchorage. Ulmer is Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. Fran is a member of the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy and the Board of the National Parks Conservation Commission, and was appointed to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.


  1. I wonder just how she is related to Walker. Maybe one of his law partner’s daughters????just sayin’

  2. The state is allegedly broke and Democrats want an income tax, but has plenty of cash to pay this team of paper fondlers to fret about………climate change! (AAAAHH!! climate change!! we’re all gonna die!!)

    Just one more reason to know the government is lying every time they claim that they MUST have more of your money because they can put it to better use than you can.

    Thank you Suzanne for your continued excellent digging up the facts and reporting them.

  3. The focus on Dr. Carlo’s travels is the tip of the iceberg. Consider that the new Climate Change Team has fourteen members and six ex officio members. Presumably they meet frequently and presumably the travel, lodging and meal expense is paid for by the state. Does anyone believe that this is not political patronage? Our governor is buying relationships to assure his reelection.

  4. If you want to understand global warming, cut a tree Walker. Chaos and spending of our money continues!

    Impeach Walker

  5. This is a stunning little employment contract. If legal, it avoids the self-employment tax by providing for Social Security, but it does so by placing the employee in SBS. SBS, or supplemental annuity, is financially far superior for the employee, compared with Social Security but the employee is unlikely to be employed long enough to suffer the windfall elimination provision that normally comes with SBS. Neat. Ninety-three dollars an hour, airline miles, per diem; all to advise Walker and Mallott about global warming. It’s reassuring to know state government has enough money to spend in this way. She should advise that planting carbon sequestration trees in Alaska makes more sense than planting in Kenya as we don’t cut trees in Alaska. That advice alone should warrant another 5,000 Alaska Airline miles, maybe more. Seriously, can you imagine a governor spending money in this way and at the same time proposing and supporting an income tax?

  6. Wow, you can sure tell our state is flush with money. Pretty expensive team. Who is this woman sleeping with? Need some private investigations going on, get the dirt on them all. We can’t afford law enforcement personel, can’t get roads fixed, the drug problem is out of control…but we can afford these people? And it takes this many? BS

  7. At least its good to know our pfd instead of buying bread for our families went to this noble cause of algorian bullshit,,,

  8. What does this little group hope to accomplish? It will still snow 10 feet each year in Valdez, it will still rain 10 inches in Ketchikan, it will still get to -40 in Fairbanks and the west coast will still get damaging storms . There is nothing this group and the useless climate czar Walker hired can do change any aspect of weather.

  9. You are right on this woman’s carbon foot print. You think for being so concerned for the environment she would just live in Juneau or something to avoid releasing CO2 through jet plane.Apparently this liberal princess is too good to live in Alaska and must be allowed to fart CO2 at least once a week so she can eat good sushi and go to real yoga classes in Seattle. Also why are they hiring a neurosurgeon for a climate change pannel? What does that have to do with the study of climate change? That would be like hiring a plumber to retile the roof of your house. Real progress on instituting climate change policy will never happen until the champions of stopping climate change lead by example.

  10. Of what relevance to the State’s rather misguided effort on climate change is a person with expertise in neuroscience?

  11. You don’t get gigs like that with the State unless you have friends in high places, in your bed, or both. Let’s have some bio on this woman and figure out the “in” she has.

  12. I suggest her next trip be to the SUN as it is the most likely source of the “global warming. This would be a great place for her to accumulate more wealth doing nothing.

  13. How about Dr. Nicole Molders, or Dr. Akasofu on the team? Both distinguished professors who believe the man-made theory is bunk. At the very least, get some neutral scientists on board who don’t look like puppets of the Left.

  14. Agree with Geraldo, above. Nicole Molders and her husband, Gerhardt, are top atmospheric scientists at the UAF. Both with PhD.’s. Researchers and professors. Dr. Akasofu needs little introduction as he is a world famous scientist at UAF primarily in auroral research, but a top flight scientist in climate studies. All three of these individuals believe the anthropomorphic model of climate change is rubbish. Why aren’t any of these three named to Walker’s climate change staff? The answer is obvious. Walker is a left wing loonie and his side-kick is even wackier. Look at the members of the climate committee. Luke Hopkins? A guy with little formal education and the former mayor who starved-out low-income, wood burners in Fairbanks. What a joke he is. The Molders and Dr. Akasofu would add balance and they don’t rely on any affirmative action- type backgrounds to show off their degrees.

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