Aleut Native Community of St. Paul Island
Phillip A. Zavadil was born and raised in Southern California and now lives on St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska. Phil, as most people know him, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Economics.
He has continued his education in an informal institutional setting within the community of St. Paul Island where he has learned more about the land, sea, sky, life, and culture in this island and surrounding system through observation and active participation in a traditional way of life
For the past 10 years Phil has been a co-director for the Ecosystem Conservation Office (ECO) for the Tribal Government of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, a federally recognized Alaskan native tribe. As an ECO Co-Director, Phil — along with his wife, Aquilina D. Lestenkof — administers environmental and natural resource programs and projects ranging from waste management to wildlife research and subsistence harvest monitoring.
Phil’s interest in the Bering Sea developed over time on St. Paul Island, as he grew to appreciate and respect the beauty and complexity of the Bering Sea ecosystem, particularly the northern fur seal. St. Paul Island is home and breeding grounds to over 500,000 fur seals, so it is not a coincidence that most of Phil's work involves studying, protecting, and conserving the fur seal for future generations to be able to appreciate and use as a subsistence resource.