Teresa Cotsirilos


Teresa Cotsirilos reports on crime, criminal justice and public health in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta.

A graduate of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Cotsirilos most recently reported for Oakland North, where she covered Black Lives Matter and the Oakland Police Department. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Nation and other publications.

Prior to becoming a journalist, Cotsirilos sold eyepatches and other pirate supplies in San Francisco, wrote for a travel guide in Jerusalem and taught sexual education in rural Namibia. Please send her news tips at

Tom McCallson and Shana Silcott are flying to the US Virgin Islands tomorrow, to help as many people as they can.
Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK

Until a few weeks ago, Shana Silcott had talked to her mother every day of her life. Shana grew up on St. Croix, the largest hub in the Virgin Islands’ green archipelago. And when she moved to the mainland a few years ago, her mother was worried.

As the permafrost thaws, Kongiganak's cemetery is turning into swampland. Community members are now laying their loved ones to rest on raised platforms above ground.
Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK

On a crisp day in September, the village of Kongiganak, or Kong, filed into a little white church and laid Maggie Mary Otto to rest.

An image of Newtok's shoreline. In addition to increased erosion, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta may experience warmer winters and increased rainfall as the planet warms.

If you’re living in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta a hundred years from now, it’s going to be hot and wet. That’s according to a new study by scientists at the International Arctic Research Center, an institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Akiachak has hired a new interim Tribal Chief of Police after State Troopers arrested former Tribal Police Chief John Snyder for allegedly strangling his wife.

On Saturday night, the Bethel Police arrested William Wassilie after he allegedly threatened several officers with a shotgun.

Austin Fitka.

On Saturday, dozens of young athletes from across the Delta ran a brutal race through the sandpit off of Bethel's B.I.A. road. And while the middle school and high school students were technically competing against each other, the real enemy of the day was the course, which coaches described as a test of endurance. 

A woman from Alakanuk was accidentally shot and killed during a moose hunt on Wednesday night.

Originally from Bethel, Christopher Liu is the engineer behind the Muktuk Plot - a strategy that will help NASA pilot its next orbiter mission to Mars.
Courtesy of Christopher Liu.

Thousands of miles to the south of us, engineers at NASA are hard at work on the NeMO Mission, the next orbiter mission to Mars. This summer they got a little help from an engineering intern from Bethel, and something called the Muktuk Plot.

New ASB board members will be selected on October 3rd. The Board is looking for qualified applicants.
Dean Swope/KYUK

An election for the Lower Kuskokwim School District’s Advisory School Board (ASB) is coming up and Chris Carmichael, the principal at Gladys Jung Elementary, wants people to run. Four of the board’s seven seats are currently open.

John Smith in his ivory carving workshop. Smith is struggling to replicate the ancestral work that volunteers have found at Nunalleq, but he says that the process has been difficult.
Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK

After uncovering hundreds of artifacts, an exhausted team of archeologists on the Bering Sea coast just finished their dig at Nunalleq for the year. They plan to return to the 700-year-old village next summer. Provided, of course, that the winter storms don’t wash it away.

The discoveries at Nunalleq have had a quiet but profound effect on several residents. One of them is John Smith, an elder, former tribal judge, and longtime traditional ivory carver who’s struggling to replicate the ancestral work that has been found.