8th Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference and Forum (2015)

"Networks: from nature to society"

April 15–17, 2015
Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center
Bethel, Alaska

4/2/15: The current conference schedule [PDF] has been added.

3/24/15: The banquet date has been corrected to Thursday, April 16th.

Applications for travel funding are now available.

Schedule and registration

The meeting times will be from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Wednesday and Thursday (April 15 & 16, 2015) and 9:00 AM to noon on Friday (April 17). A detailed schedule is now available.

Online registration is available. Registration fee: $60 Participant $30 Student (ID number required).

Need-based scholarships will be available on a case-by-case basis. Email Zach Fansler for more details.

The WAISC banquet ($40) will be the evening of Thursday, April 16. More details including menu and location will be posted soon.

Optional workshops

Soap-making—Thursday afternoon. Cost: $30 (new reduced price!); maximum 10 participants.

Natural dyes—Wednesday and Thursday afternoons (total 4 hours). Cost: $35; maximum 10 participants.

Workshop details and how to sign up


Hosted by the Kuskokwim campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the 2015 Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference will bring together researchers, Elders, educators, students, community leaders, and community members; to share concerns and insights about issues relevant to rural Alaska. This conference is a platform for reporting on and discussing regional research efforts as well as traditional knowledge, providing an interdisciplinary approach to inquiry and discussion.

At this conference we will explore connections between humans and the environment—to begin to better understand the unique networks that exist within and around communities in rural Alaska. We invite those who have an interest in any aspect of life in rural Alaska to join in this gathering, because we value each perspective that attendees bring as an integral part of the network. We are all coming to realize that we are stronger and better able to move into the future when we cast a wider net—sharing across disciplines/generations/geographic location/cultures.

In addition to regular and paneled sessions, this conference will include a banquet (Wednesday, April 16th) and workshops on traditional uses of plants, including natural dyes and soap making.

Organizers welcome submissions from all individuals and organizations working (currently or considering) on research projects in rural Alaska, and to any others who already call it home.

Poster for The Winter Bear

The Winter Bear

7:00 PM
April 15 & 16 2015
Yupit Piciryarait Cultural Center, Bethel AK

View/download flyer (1.2MB PDF)

The Winter Bear Project and Drew’s Foundation will present The Winter Bear, a play by former Alaska Writer Laureate Anne Hanley. This production tells the story of an Alaska Native teenager who rises above the traumas of his past to become a leader with the help of mentor Sidney Huntington and a Winter Bear.

All are welcome, and admission is FREE.

Conference questions?

For more information, email Rose Meier or call 907-474-6935.