At the Aleutian Life Forum, pressing conservation issues will be brought forward for discussion and action through information sessions and community workshops. The agenda will be posted here, along with a list of invited speakers, and poster session and workshop information. Please check back in!
Sustainable Fisheries in a Changing Climate
This session, sponsored by the North Pacific Research Board, will address information and analyses relevant to sustainable fisheries in the Aleutians Islands. The Aleutians represent a distinct ecosystem in Alaska with unique physical processes and habitat, species assemblages, stock structure and interactions, and social and economic challenges. Talks are encouraged on a wide range of topics, including retrospective analyses, physical and biological models, stock structure and assessment, species distribution and interactions, habitat studies, climate impacts, and consideration of local and commercial fisheries and economic issues. The goals are to encompass a wide range of issues critical to informing and managing sustainable fisheries and aims to identify data gaps and important issues relevant to improving understanding of fisheries, local communities, and the Aleutian marine ecosystem.
This session, sponsored by the new Alaska Ocean Acidification Network, will focus on ocean acidification in Alaskan waters. We are looking for presentations that cover topics such as OA monitoring, modeling, research, impacts to fisheries and local communities, and other social and economic implications. Please keep in mind this is not a technical audience. We are looking for presentations that link research questions or findings back to people and communities.
Coastal Hazards of Erosion, Inundation, and Contaminants
As coastal changes drivers, including erosion and inundation, increase in frequency and scale, our rural communities will need additional and more precise information to be able to protect communities and resources. The interactions between these processes are not well understood, but can have unexpected consequences. Contaminants are a distinct challenge in the Bering Sea and Strait, with local, global and mystery sources impacting the region’s limited lands, productive waters and essential resources. Understanding the sources, options for addressing contaminants, and new findings can help us address these stressors, sponsored by Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association.
Establishing Effective Local Observer Networks
Sponsored by the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska, establishing effective local observer networks to the communities of Alaska that are directly affected by impacts of climate change can help build resilient measures by adaptation or mitigation. Observations may include consistency of recording biotic, abiotic, and anomalies in the community with assured quality control. By establishing effective local observer networks, communities may influence sustainable decision making, preservation of cultural values, and adaptive measures to the community. Local and regional observations are important to not only the communities, but to the state and the rest of the world as we enforce a holistic view of the observational impacts brought on by climate change.
The wreck of the Selendang Ayu on Unalaska Island in 2004 underscores the risks faced by coastal communities, resources and the maritime industry. Two 'Great Circle Routes' have served as marine highways supporting international trade between North America and Asia for more than 200 years. New, and novel types of traffic are also transiting the Aleutians and Bering Sea in support of resource development opportunities in the Arctic, while diminished seasonal sea ice has generated concern about increased shipping through the Bering Strait. This session will focus on understanding and addressing risks associated with vessel traffic and oil spills in the Aleutians and Bering Sea region, sponsored by the Aleutian and Bering Sea Islands Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
Effective Science Communication
Communicating science effectively across disciplines can foster collaboration, innovation, and support for the sciences. Being able to communicate the importance and relevance of scientific research to broader, non-scientific audiences, can promote understanding of the significance of the science, encouraging informed decision-making at all levels. Effectively communicating pressing conservation issues can enhance decision-making using science-based and traditional knowledge for the wise-use of Alaska’s marine and coastal resources, developing the capability to adapt in a changing environment. For this session, we are seeking presentations that will focus on effectively communicating current conservation issues to wide-ranging audiences, sponsored by Alaska SeaGrant.
Community and Tribal Workshops
Our aim is for a 3-4 day conference including:
Workshops that promote local capacity for dealing with coastal issues
Listening sessions for regional managers/entities to engage with stakeholders around management planning, development of research priorities
- Community events to engage locals in the content of the conference