Over the weekend, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center held the first of two lectures that it will be hosting this month. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.
The Kodiak Audubon Society and Friends of the Kodiak Refuge sponsored a Friday evening talk by Reid Brewer, an Assistant Professor with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program. The presentation was titled "Under Aleutian Waters: A Look at an Undiscovered Ecosystem in the Presence of a Changing Climate." Brewer, who is based in Unalaska, says the talk is based on two years worth of research done in some of the most remote parts of the Aleutian Islands.
(Brewer 1 :13s "…looking at biodiversity.")
What the researchers came back with were hundreds of photographs and video clips, much of it underwater footage. Brewer says so far they’ve identified 12 new species, and are waiting to hear about a couple more.
(Brewer 2 :24s "…which is fantastic.")
Climate change is something that scientists study over time, so Brewer says the information collected will give researchers some baseline data with which to study the region in the future.
(Brewer 3 :16s "…that’s changed over time.")
Brewer also used his trip to Kodiak to meet with students at local schools as well as community members during a roundtable discussion at the refuge visitor’s center Saturday morning. He’ll also be taking his presentation to five other Alaska communities: Petersburg, Ketchikan, Cordova, Juneau and Anchorage. Brewer says the marine advisory program is interested in gathering input on how climate change is affecting coastal communities throughout the state.
(Brewer 4 :20s "…impacting those resources.")
The refuge visitor’s center will host another lecture this coming Saturday on climate change. This time, the refuge in conjunction with the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, will have a talk from Michael Schlesinger, a professor of atmospheric sciences and director of the Climate Research Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Schlesinger’s climate models have been used by the Energy Model Forum and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in 2007 was a co-recipient–along with Al Gore–of the Nobel Peace Prize.
I’m Casey Kelly.