Our Team


Liz Snyder

Co-Founder & Director, UAA

Liz is an Associate Professor of Public Health in the Master of Public Health Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), and sits on the board of the Alaska Food Policy Council (AFPC).  She integrates her training in the natural and social sciences (PhD, soil & water science; MPH, global environmental health) in applied research and community engagement addressing urban and rural food security, youth education on food systems, and rural water and sanitation.  She has chaired Masters committees on diverse food systems topics, including agricultural land classification and mapping, health impact assessment, impacts of tourism on subsistence caribou herds, distribution of submerged fish waste piles, social media strategies for food systems communication, and food systems policy analysis. Liz is a graduate of the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), co-editor of the two-volume book on urban agriculture entitled Sowing Seeds in the City, and recently guest-curated an exhibit at the Anchorage Museum called What Why How We Eat.


Rachael Miller

Co-Founder & Director, APU

Rachael is an Associate Professor of Business at Alaska Pacific University (APU) and serves as the manager of APU’s Kellogg Spring Creek Farm Campus, an 800+ acre farm located in Palmer, Alaska. She has worked in food systems entrepreneurship for over 12 years. Rachael is co-founder of the for-profit food technology company The Food Corridor that collaborated with the food community to develop software to facilitate shared-kitchen networks in North America. She is also co-founder of MamaCarts, a social enterprise, micro-franchise street food vendor model based in Benin. Rachael is co-chair of the Alaska Food Policy Council and the 2019-20 Walter J. Hickel Professor of Strategic Leadership & Entrepreneurship.


Heidi Rader

Director, UAF

Heidi Rader is the Tribes Extension Educator for the Tanana Chiefs Conference region. In addition to teaching hands-on workshops in 30 remote villages in Interior Alaska, she also teaches online courses with a statewide reach. Rader uses a variety of ways to get research-based information out to the public, including YouTube, a mobile app, social media, a blog and news columns. Her focus areas include distance education, healthy lifestyles, gardening, and small-scale farming.


Silvia Leon-Guerrero

Graduate Assistant

Funding: APU Walter J. Hickel Professor of Strategic Leadership & Entrepreneurship


Michael Gray

Graduate Assistant

Funding: UAA Center for Community Engagement & Learning


Amanda Hansen

Graduate Assistant

Funding: UAA Center for Community Engagement & Learning

Silvia is a graduate student enrolled in the Executive MBA in Strategic Leadership at Alaska Pacific University (APU) and serves as a food systems research assistant for Walter J. Hickel Professor of Strategic Leadership & Entrepreneurship. Silvia has an undergrad degree in communication and works as a Project Manager for Alaska Native Organizations. Silvia is Unungax (Aleut); she is interested in and promotes the knowledge and use of traditional foods and traditional ways in community and familial food systems. One of Silvia’s favorite places to be is in an arctic open tundra berry patch where she harvests stores.

Michael Gray is a UAA Master of Social Work student entering his 2nd and final year. His work has always focused on food security and helping increase awareness of and advocating for improved food-related policies. Michael served for 8 years in the United States Army and after separating from the service, studied Horticulture at Iowa State University. He and his wife enjoy fishing on the Kenai, backpacking, and spending time with their 2 cats.

Amanda was born and raised in Los Angeles, California but moved to Colorado to attend an alternative high school for inner-city, at-risk youth. After graduating, she traveled and got a job as a raft guide for a company that takes individuals with disabilities down the river to experience adventure. Amanda eventually moved to Massachusetts where she found her love for food and worked on a 50-acre organic farm. On the off season, Amanda got a job working as a dog handler with a dog musher in Willow, Alaska. The moment she experienced her first dog sled adventure and held her first salmon her life changed forever. Amanda graduated from UAA in May 2019 with her Bachelor of Social Work degree. She is currently pursuing a Double Masters in Social Work and Public Health. Amanda is obsessed with food systems in Alaska - from hunting, and gardening, to fishing and foraging, and what these food sources mean for the health and welfare of Alaskans. This has led Amanda to her passions in environmental justice and her desire to use her degrees to tackle the complex problems arising from climate change.