Alaska’s premier marine research conference is going all virtual in 2021, a decision prompted by health and safety needs in the midst of a global pandemic, but one that has hardly damped enthusiasm of participating harvesters, processors and fisheries scientists.
The North Pacific Research Board in Anchorage, a leading sponsor of the annual event, says they’ve received over 200 abstracts for the gathering, almost half of which are oral presentations.
In past years the event has been held at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, with keynote speakers on the first day, followed by three days of presentations, poster competition and workshops. The complete agenda, including the names of keynote speakers, is still a work in progress at this point, for what will be a three-day symposium, Jan. 26-28, all online.
Research will be presented by geographic theme, including the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, and the Arctic. Topic areas will include ocean physics, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local traditional knowledge, and more.
Potential topics for this year’s panels include coastal resiliency, ocean noise, marine debris in a changing Arctic, perspectives on changing Bering Sea ecosystem, socioeconomic costs and opportunities of shifting fish and marine mammal populations in Alaskan waters, the future of Arctic research in and around local communities post-COVID and the economics of climate change as they relate to fisheries, subsistence, tourism and shipping.
Oral and poster presentations will continue to be the main focus this year. Organizers say that showcasing Alaska’s marine science remains the top priority despite challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic. They are also exploring additional events, including virtual panels, social hours and more. Updates will be posted online at http://www.alaskamarinescience.org.
To register at no cost online simply go to the website and click on the registration form.
Abstracts, keynote speaker biographies, post session information, workshop details and more will all be available via the AMSS online guidebook, also accessible via the website.