Alaska Sea Grant hosts science symposium for the Kodiak community

April 11, 2017

Harbor, docked boats, mountains The Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium is coming up. Photo by Dawn Montano.

Kodiak residents will learn about the latest scientific information coming out of their region, at the Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium, coming up April 18–21.

Julia Parrish will kick off the conference with her keynote “Seabirds, Citizen Science and a Warming World” on Tuesday evening. Parrish is a University of Washington professor and executive director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), the largest beached bird program in the world.

About 40 talks will be presented, on changing ecosystems, habitats, community monitoring, and other marine topics. Faculty and staff at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences account for 10 of the presentations. Scientists are asked to present in lay terms to residents and fishermen, with an emphasis on interaction between speakers and audience.

“I am quite pleased how the symposium has filled out. We have an exciting line-up. I had a lot of help from the steering committee,” said Julie Matweyou, symposium chair and Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent. Alaska Sea Grant is hosting the event.

Olav Ormseth, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will talk about an eight-year Gulf of Alaska study.

“The Gulf of Alaska hosts an incredible variety of fish. To a greater degree than is found in most marine ecosystems, these fish display a wide diversity of strategies such as survival, growth, and reproduction,” Ormseth says about this unique water body.

Kodiak High School students are on the symposium agenda, to talk about an earthquake signals project and others through “A World Bridge” partnership. And the 2017 presentation winners at the marine science bowl in Seward, who are from Kodiak High School, will give their talk.

Up to 100 people are expected to participate. Additional events for the community are a bird die-off workshop, a tour of the Alutiiq Museum, a whale-watching hike, a beach clean-up, and a poster session.

“Kodiak is a very busy community and there is a lot happening through many different organizations. The symposium is one event that kind of ties us in around the marine resource issues,” said Matweyou. “Our community looks forward to this symposium and it is a nice opportunity to bring in experts who are focused on their interests, particularly fishermen.”

— By Sue Keller

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education, and outreach program, and is a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agents provide assistance that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy marine and coastal resources.