Alaska Marine Science Symposium kicks off with goals of cultivating habitat discussion

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:16 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Marine Science Symposium is an event where those invested in Alaska’s coastal habitats can all gather and discuss pressing issues in their fields.

Monday was opening day at the Dena’ina Center, and the symposium runs all week, ending Friday.

“It’s a really great way to showcase marine science of all kinds,” North Pacific Research Board Science Director Matthew Baker said. “Everything from physical oceanography, up through plankton production, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, human dimensions that are related to marine resources, and ecosystem perspective.”

One of the biggest functions of the symposium is that it allows those who are invested in all the different aspects of marine habitat to all get on the same page.

“One of the benefits of this type of conference — it’s one big plenary, everyone’s hearing the same talks, and it fosters a lot of exchange that might not otherwise occur,” Baker said.

Thomas Farrugia, Program Manager at the Alaska Ocean Observing System, said it allows for discussions to take place between people from different perspectives on marine habitats.

“A state like Alaska, it’s so huge, you know, you can really easily kind of do your own thing in your corner of Alaska, but really, everything’s connected in the oceans,” Farrugia said.

Some of the topics that will be discussed include communicating ocean sciences, the disappearance of crab stocks in Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea, climate change, and Indigenous perspectives on coastal issues.

For those interested in attending the symposium, registration can be completed at the Dena’ina Center where the event is taking place, or on the event website.