Liza Hasan

Liza Hasan

M.S. Student

Marine Biology

2150 Koyukuk Drive
147A O'Neill
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220


University of Colorado Boulder
B.A. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology



Subtidal Habitat Mapping in the Cook Inlet Lease Area for Current and Predictive Sea Otter Habitat Associations





Liza earned a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2019 from University of Colorado Boulder. A research diving–based semester abroad program on the Caribbean island of Bonaire inspired her to pursue a career in marine science. Two days after graduating, she left Colorado for Alaska to work with Brenda Konar as the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society American Academy of Underwater Sciences Scientific Diving Research Intern. Her newfound love of Alaska and its marine ecosystem turned a summer internship into joining the Konar Lab as an MS student and calling Alaska home. Liza is studying habitat associations of sea otters in Cook Inlet and has the opportunity to join surveys with NPS, USGS, and NOAA. In her free time, Liza enjoys adventuring on skis, shoes, bikes, and boats with her dogs Simba and Willow.


  • Population distributions
  • Habitat mapping
  • GIS


Research Overview

My research focuses on nearshore subtidal habitat mapping to investigate habitat associations of sea otters in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Sea otters are a Federally Protected Species whose population is expanding into areas where they were previously absent. Through habitat mapping, we can gain a better understanding of critical habitat for these keystone predators to assist management agencies in decision-making centered around oil and gas exploration and leasing activities. My research uses a remotely operated vehicle to survey the subtidal environment: a novel approach in benthic habitat mapping. I hope that my research will provide an ecological perspective for management of sea otters and benefit the growing field of habitat mapping and geospatial technology.



  • AAUS Scientific Diver
  • SDI Rescue Diver
  • FAA Section 107 Pilot
  • VideoRay ROV Basic Operator
  • CPR/First Aid


Awards / Honors

  • Oil Spill Recovery Institute Graduate Research Fellowship, 2020–2022
  • Coastal Marine Institute Graduate Student Research Award, 2020–2021



  • Oil Spill Recovery Institute
  • Coastal Marine Institute
  • Our World Underwater Scholarship Society