Janessa Esquible

Janessa Esquible

Ph.D. Student


PO Box 8
Bethel, AK 99559



University of Alaska Fairbanks
M.S. Fisheries

Michigan State University
B.S. Zoology





I'm Janessa Esquible, born and raised in southwest Detroit (Mexicantown), Michigan. I am Mexican-American and Ojibwe and a member of the Walpole Island Band in Bkejwanong territory. My first move to Alaska was in 2014 after completing my Zoology degree at Michigan State University with a specialization in American Indian Studies. Since 2016, I've been employed by Orutsararmiut Native Council, the Tribe of Mamterilleq/Bethel, Alaska, as a Tribal Biologist (2016–2020) and more recently transitioned into the Natural Resource Director position.


Selected Publications

Esquible, J.A., and S. Atkinson. 2019. Stranding trends of Steller sea lions Eumetopias jubatus 1990–2015. Endangered Species Research 38:177–188. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00945

Esquible, J.A., K. Burek-Huntington, S. Atkinson, A.C. Klink, E. Bortz, T.A. Goldstein, K. Beckmen, K. Pabilonia, and R. Tiller. 2019. Pathological findings and survey for pathogens associated with reproductive failure in perinatal Steller sea lions Eumetopias jubatus. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 137(2): 131–144. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03421

Lipka, C.G., T. Hamazaki, M. Horne-Brine, and J. Esquible. 2019. Subsistence salmon harvests in the Kuskokwim area, 2016. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Fishery Data Series No. 19-09, Anchorage.

Research Overview

I am interested in how Indigenous ways of knowing and understanding are used to guide fisheries management decisions along the Kuskokwim River and in Waawayaatanong. I am also interested in how Anishinaabe, Yup'ik, and Athabascan values are reflected in fisheries management and bridging knowledge systems. I feel it is so important for scientists, managers and biologists to reconsider what constitutes "knowledge" and to promote Indigenous land-based knowledge systems as co-equal to western science. I am hoping to document and better understand the inequities inherent in fisheries management and natural resource management more broadly in efforts to contribute to positive change and a more equitable and inclusive space for Indigenous people, Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies within the fisheries realm.


Current research projects

  • Indigenizing salmon science and management



  • Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center Fellowship Award, 2016–2018



  • Orutsararmiut Native Council