US Arctic Policy Leader to Speak at AMSS

Mark Brzezinski, executive director of the federal government’s Arctic executive Steering Committee, heads the line-up of keynote speakers for the annual Alaska Marine Science Symposium, coming up Jan. 25-28 in Anchorage.

The United States is currently chairing the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum of eight Arctic coastal and near-coastal states, as well as indigenous representatives. Their work is of great interest to the fisheries industry, since Alaska has warmed twice as rapidly as the rest of the US over the past 60 years.

Also among the keynote speakers are Wallace Nichols, and Kristin Laidre.

Nichols is a marine biologist, explorer and a former senior scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, whose interests span ocean and aquatic ecosystems, migratory species, marine protected areas, fisheries management and plastic pollution.
Laidre is an oceanographer and assistant professor of fisheries, and a principal scientist at the Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, working on problems of applied animal ecology.

The annual conference is organized by region. Arctic Ocean issues are on the agenda for Jan. 26, Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands for Jan. 27, and the Gulf of Alaska for Jan. 28.

Within each geographical region, talks are presented on a variety of research themes, including climate and oceanography, lower trophic levels, fishes and fish habitats, seabirds, mammals, humans, ecosystem perspectives.

A more detailed agenda is coming soon, but the daily schedule of presentations is already online at