Alissa Arp has extensive experience as a marine scientist and educator. She was a member of the original team of biologists investigating newly discovered hydrothermal vent ecosystems in 1979, and has conducted research, mentored graduate students, and published articles on the physiology of life in challenging environments ranging from life on the deep ocean floor to suburban estuaries. Alissa has been to the bottom of the ocean in DSV Alvin, DSV Sea Cliff, and the Johnson Sea Link, and at sea with NOAA, the Navy, and on many university research vessels. She was a member of the faculty on the Spring 2020 Semester at Sea voyage teaching Oceanography and Coastal Environmental Ecology.
Alissa has a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara and was a post-doctoral associate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography while studying biological oceanography. She has held professional appointments as a Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, and as the Director of the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, an estuarine research laboratory. Alissa served as Dean of the College of Science at Hawaii Pacific University in 2006, and in 2009 became the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Oregon University, and later as a member of SOU’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy until retirement in 2020.
Recently, Alissa has traveled extensively and purposefully as an eco-tourist to remote and ecologically sensitive environments. She has sailed on more distant oceans, including the Arctic, Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific, traveling expedition-style with National Geographic/Lindblad and other small ship operations. These travel experiences are woven into her teaching, bringing personal first-hand experience to classroom discussions.
Alissa recently relocated to Vashon Island off the coast of Seattle and is an avid collector of folk art from her worldwide travels, and an entrepreneur of her own business specializing in mid-century modern design and upcycling and repurposing of furniture.