CIRCAC announces 2017 scholarship awards

$5,000 awarded for environmental sciences and maritime studies

April 24, 2017—Kenai—The Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) is pleased to announce this year’s CIRCAC Memorial Scholarship recipients to students focused on pursuing coursework in environmental sciences or maritime studies.

Receiving the $2,500 James Carter Memorial Scholarship in Environmental Sciences is Michaela Zurflueh from Kodiak Island. Zurflueh graduates this year from Kodiak High School, where she has already completed a number of college level fisheries courses. She is enrolled at the University of Alaska, Southeast and plans to major in environmental science and minor in marine biology or fisheries. Zurflueh’s interests span from environmental regulations to oil spill response and fieldwork.

Filip Reutov from Homer has been selected to receive the $2,500 Captain Barry Eldridge Memorial Scholarship in Maritime Studies. Reutov was born in Kachemak Selo and is a 2015 Homer High School graduate. Reutov has fished commercially since childhood with his father in Cook Inlet and Bristol Bay. He ultimately wants to buy his own fishing vessel and run his own commercial fishing operation. Reutov will be attending the Marine Mechanic Institute in Orlando, Florida.

Both candidates impressed CIRCAC’s Scholarship Committee with their passion and enthusiasm for Alaska and their respective communities of Kodiak and Homer.

“One of the goals of the Scholarship Program is to inspire the next generation of Alaskans to continue the work we’re doing to protect Cook Inlet and our areas of concern,” said CIRCAC Executive Director Mike Munger. “Since first starting this program, we have been continually impressed by the quality of applicants.”

CIRCAC initiated the Memorial Scholarship Program, named in memory of the late Captain Barry Eldridge and the late James Carter, in 2015. The program has now helped six area students reach their educational goals.

CIRCAC is a federally mandated citizens’ organization, formed under the Federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90). Its mission is to represent the citizens of Cook Inlet in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet. In pursuing this mandate, the Council strives to help protect the environment, fisheries, economic vitality, cultural resources and recreational interests of Cook Inlet.

For more information, contact Lynda Giguere at 907.398.6205, call 907.283.7222, or visit