Inspiring youth to engage in activating democracy and emerge as game changers

Gershon Cohen | Bio

Gershon CohenDr. Gershon Cohen is a molecular biologist/clean water policy advocate who grew up in inner-city Philadelphia, where the only fish he ever saw were floating belly up in a pool of oil on the Schuylkill River: “We were so ignorant of the natural world, we didn’t know they were dead.”  Gershon moved to S.E. Alaska in 1983 and soon recognized the importance of protecting public waters and fish habitat. Gershon founded the Alaska Clean Water Advocacy (ACWA) project under the Earth Island Institute in 1998, after co-founding ACWA as an independent statewide non-governmental organization in 1992. As Project Director, he has focused ACWA’s efforts on protecting public waters from the toxic releases of pulp mills, mines and cruise ships. He co-founded Ultimate Civics with Riki Ott in 2009 and also co-founded the Great Whale Conservancy in 2010 to work towards reducing the number of ship strikes on blue whales. In 2006, he received River Network’s “River Hero” award after co-drafting and running a successful statewide ballot measure to stop cruise ship dumping in Alaska’s coastal waters. He received a lifetime achievement award from the national organization Clean Water Network in 2013.

Academic Training

  • Doctorate of Philosophy, Environmental Policy (1999)
    Columbia Pacific University; Dissertation: “Mixing Zones: Diluting Pollution Under the Clean Water Act” published in the Tulane Environmental Law Journal in 2000.
  • Masters of Science, Molecular Biology (1978)
    University of California at Riverside
  • Bachelor of Arts, Biology (1976)
    California State University at Fullerton

Additional Information

We the People Alaska

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you.

Start typing and press Enter to search