News Reminder: 28th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium

Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change



NR: SG-2013/NR247

Anchorage, AlaskaAttention reporters and editors: Please mark March 26–29 on your calendars, and try to attend the 28th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. Scientists from around the world will present research on how the arctic marine environment is responding to climate change.

To learn more about the symposium, please visit Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change symposium on the web. Also available online is the complete symposium program booklet [PDF; 920 KB].

The four-day symposium will feature new and interesting research from 60 scientists on the impacts of a changing arctic climate on the region's ocean circulation and composition, whales, fish, polar bears, seals, seabirds, shellfish, and lower trophic level species such as plankton. Scientists also will discuss impacts of the arctic's changing climate on humans and human activities such as subsistence, oil, gas and other natural resource extraction, shipping, infrastructure, livelihoods and culture.

Keynote speakers include:

Invited guest speakers include Fran Ulmer, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Anne Hollowed, senior scientist at the NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center; Philip Loring, ecological anthropologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Mike Hammill, head of the marine mammal section of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and others. A complete list of speakers and the topics they will speak on is in the program booklet.

Sea Ice covering the Arctic Ocean reached a record low in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The steady loss of arctic sea ice is perhaps the most obvious sign of a warming planet.

Far less obvious is how individual marine species—from arctic cod that live just below and sometimes within the sea ice, to seals, whales, polar bears and ultimately humans—will respond to the loss of sea ice and other consequences of a warmer Arctic.

In one of the first major scientific meetings on the topic, Alaska Sea Grant will convene Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, the 28th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium, in Anchorage, Alaska, March 26–29, 2013.

The symposium is organized by Alaska Sea Grant, and guided by steering committee members from NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Pew Environment Group, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, North Pacific Fishery Management Council, North Pacific Research Board, and the Institute of Marine Research in Norway.

A photo of arctic cod beneath the Arctic Ocean sea ice can be downloaded and used with credit; see "Alaska Sea Grant planning major Arctic Ocean climate change symposium." Photo by Elizabeth Calvert Siddon (NOAA/UAF), arctic cod, Boreogadus saida, Arctic Ocean, Canada Basin north of Barrow, Alaska.

The Alaska Sea Grant College Program is a statewide marine research, education, communication, and extension service at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Alaska Sea Grant is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and private industry.

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program is a statewide university extension and technical assistance program that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy Alaska's marine and coastal resources.