The AMIQ Institute

The Flying Tomato Productions - Biographies


Susanne M. Swibold


Susanne Swibold is an artist, explorer, teacher and naturalist. Her idiosyncratic eye and passionate curiosity have led her to collaborate with renowned paleontologists, building safety designers, and modern dance choreographers. Susanne has a B.F.A. from the Chicago Art Institute and University of Chicago and a M.F.A., University of Michigan. She has taught art, photography and film in the United States and Canada. The recipient of Canada's highest award in the arts, Susanne has produced independent films and published widely in books and periodicals. She is a research associate at the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary. Susanne has been invited to lecture and conduct seminars internationally on her visual techniques and conservation efforts in the Bering Sea.


Helen Corbett


Helen is a writer, activist and scholar who has worked with Susanne in the Bering Sea since 1981. She has a B.A., University of Alberta and B.Journalism, Carleton University. Helen has worked as a journalist and broadcaster, and recorded sound and co-produced the Pribilof documentary films. Helen's writing has earned her a grant from the Canada Council and an Alberta literary award. A research associate at the Arctic Institute of North America, she spent part of 2001 as a Ford Fellow in the Berkeley Workshop on Environmental Politics [].
Helen is writing a book about the environmental history of the Bering Sea.


Nina Kiiaikina


Aleut cultural specialist Nina Kiiaikina joined the Amiq Institute in 1994. A Russian Aleut, Nina was born and raised on Bering Island, Commander Islands, Kamchatka. She worked as a telecommunications technician for 23 years, before joining the staff of the Aleutsk Regional Study Museum, Nikolskoye village, Bering Island, in 1992. She worked as museum director from 1993 to 1998, and was invited by the late ethnologist and academician Rosa Liapunova to study museology in St. Petersburg. Nina is a self-taught Aleut basket-weaver, and received a Native American scholarship to the Smithsonian Institution in 1995 to study ancient Aleut grass weaving. She has taught basket-weaving in her village and in Canada, and was featured as a guest instructor at an international basketry symposium in British Columbia in 1999. Nina has taught Aleut traditional skills in many Alaska villages, including St. Paul, St. George, Akutan, Unalaska, Atka and Nikolski.