Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Speakers Named for Alaska Symposium

Changing oceans, earthquakes, tsunamis and the scientific legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster are themes for keynote speakers at the 2019 Alaska Marine Science Symposium which opens Jan. 28 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Richard Thoman, a climate specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, will speak about changing oceans, warming water and decreasing sea ice already generating cascading impacts to the biology, and the larger climate and environmental system for which researchers have only limited understanding. He will also review some of the ongoing changes in oceans around Alaska. Thoman recently retired as a climate science and services manager for the National Weather Service Alaska Region.

Peter Haeussler, a research geologist with the US Geological Survey, will discuss earthquakes and tsunamis in southern Alaska and their relationship to the 7.0 earthquake that struck southcentral Alaska on Nov. 30. His current research is focused on understanding active tectonic processes in southern Alaska, with studies on the frequency of earthquakes, the location and rate-of-movement of active faults and mountain building.

Jeff Short, who retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will speak about the scientific legacy of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Prince William Sound.

The fourth keynote speaker, Jude Isabella, is the editor-in-chief of Hakai Magazine – an online publication focused on coastal science and societies – part of the Hakai Institute in British Columbia.

All four keynotes are to be delivered on the afternoon of Jan. 28 at the Hotel Captain Cook. The following days of the symposium highlight the Gulf of Alaska on Jan. 29, the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands on Jan. 30 and the Arctic on Jan. 31. A related poster session is slated for the first two days of the gathering at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel.

Symposium organizers include the North Pacific Research Board, the Alaska Ocean Observing System and Alaska Sea Grant.

The complete agenda is available online at

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