Trump's administration causes concerns at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium

Published: Jan. 26, 2017 at 4:51 PM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Dozens of scientists are meeting this week in Anchorage to talk climate change, fisheries, marine mammals and more, during the annual Alaska Marine Science Symposium; however, this year the climate is a little bit different.

“There's a palpable fear that scientists are concerned about the way that this administration views science in general,” said Sean McDonald, who is attending the conference from the University of Washington. “We think of science as important.”

During President Donald Trump’s first week in office, he has signed an executive order to shrink the federal workforce - a move that prospective scientists say could hamper their careers.

“Last week, I was actually looking at several federal jobs,” said Shea Steingass, a student at Oregon State University. “I'm planning to complete my Ph.D., in December. And with the hiring freeze, that completely shut that aspect down of my ability to apply for those.”

Additionally, CNN reports the new administration is expected to cut grants to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"We're reducing unnecessary regulations. We want regulations, but we want real regulations that mean something. I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist. I believe in it. But it's out of control," said President Trump.

Previously, President Trump called climate change a “hoax.” During the conference’s Arctic day on Thursday, many of the presentations touched on climate change and its impact on Alaska’s fish, wildlife, plants and people.

“So, naturally many of the people here are very concerned about the trajectory of the global climate and the consequences that they might have on people's livelihoods, their health and their safety,” said Dr. Tom Weingartner, with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Many of the scientists said they don’t take a partisan. Instead, they said they just want their science to speak for their community.