Today kicks off the 13th Annual Invasive Species Conference organized by the Alaska Committee for Noxious and Invasive Plant Management, the Alaska Invasive Species Working Group and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. Gino Graziano is an invasive plants instructor for the extension service and helped coordinate this year’s conference, which is being held in Kodiak. He said Kodiak is a unique and fitting environment to hold an invasive species conference.
— (Invasive Conference 1 :30 “You know often we’re in Anchorage and Fairbanks for conferences because those are the hubs, but a few years ago we decided to every third year rotate it around to different parts of the state. And Kodiak seemed like a great option of a place to go to because it’s really unique in the sense of being an island that’s fairly well inhabited by folks as well as has a lot of introduced species that people use for benefits and a lot of introduced species like orange hawkweed and the like that have a potential to impact the resources folks care about.”)
He said the goal for the conference is to shed light on invasive species impacts, issues and management here in Kodiak, but also for statewide issues as well. The conference is open to the public, and registration for the three day conference costs $150. If the price is too steep for folks, Graziano said there are a number of free presentations that community members are encouraged to attend.
— (Invasive Conference 2 :48 “On Tuesday evening from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center we have Dr. Steven Seefeldt talking about Alaska hawkweeds and control of the orange one. He is a extension service agent out of Fairbanks that has done a lot of research on controlling orange hawkweed and how to do it and is seen as one of the experts in the state on how to pull that off, and that’s a pretty significant issue for folks in Kodiak. We also have free poster session on Wednesday from 5:15 to 7 p.m., which is also a costume party of sorts. Since it’s Halloween we decided if everybody who would like to come dressed up in their favorite invasive species costume and we’ll have some refreshments and food and folks can come on in and see the posters and talk with some of the folks that are around.”)
If community members look at the schedule online and think a particular presentation might be interesting he said they are more than welcome to drop in for a few without paying the registration fee. The schedule is made up of guest speakers and workshops that cover a variety of topics surrounding invasive species.