Laura “Uutukuu” Eichelberger
Laura grew up in Fairbanks and graduated from West Valley High School in 1999. Her parents, John Eichelberger (UAF professor) and Alice Palen (art therapist at Aleutian Pribolof Islands Association) are originally from Syracuse, New York. She worked in civil rights in New York City before studying medical anthropology at the University of Arizona and public health at Johns Hopkins University. Laura does research for Alaska Native communities to assist in community-identified priorities. Her projects have included documenting community needs, health concerns, and cultural strengths around water and sanitation in Ambler, Buckland, Kivalina, Selawik, and Northwest Alaska regionally, as well as Newtok in Western Alaska. Laura works at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in the National Tribal Water Center, where she is part of a team who is evaluating the Portable Alternative Sanitation System. She loves seal oil and dried meat, fish camp, and playing with her kids.