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Annual Meeting of AAAS Arctic Division Will Explore Resilience of Human and Earth Systems in the North

News, Arctic Science Conference, Meeting, Teaser
Scene from Valdez, Alaska | Flicker/Paolo Lucciola

Climate change, demand for oil and natural gas, industrial development, and tourism are profoundly impacting the Arctic's cultural and natural systems. Themes of resilience and adaptation are therefore at the top of the agenda of the 2014 Arctic Science Conference, organized by the AAAS Arctic Division.

The 27-28 September meeting at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will bring together researchers in the physical, life, and social sciences, as well as educators, artists, and members of the local community.

"The majority of the papers will be very interdisciplinary, bringing together science and policy issues that are affecting Alaska and the circumpolar countries of the Arctic," said AAAS Arctic Division Executive Director Larry Duffy, who is also a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Organized under the theme "Resilience and Adaptation: Interdisciplinary Research, Communities and Health," the meeting program offers sessions in four categories: Resilience and Sustainability; Health, Biomedicine and Biochemistry; Interdisciplinary, STEM and General Science Education; and Art as Communication.

Highlights include presentations on:

  • Existing, planned and proposed infrastructure and operations supporting oil and gas activities in the Arctic
  • Musk ox invasions in Nome, Alaska
  • The importance of cultural values in coping and hope in rural Yupik communities
  • Alaska Native perceptions of food, health and community well-being

A poster session and reception will follow the technical sessions on Saturday, 27 September. All conference sessions are open to the public, and a special discounted general admission registration fee for the public is available.

AAAS's four regional divisions — Pacific, Arctic, Caribbean, and Southwestern and Rocky Mountain (SWARM) — serve as regional networks for scientists, organizing meetings on regional issues, and promoting publications from scientists active within the division.

Founded in 1951 as the Alaska Division, the Arctic Division was established to foster scientific communication in the then rather isolated Arctic territory. The name was changed to Arctic Division in 1982 to reflect the membership's growing interest in high latitudes outside of Alaska. Most of the Division members reside in Alaska and Canada's Yukon, Northwest Territory, and Nunavut, but any AAAS member who has an interest in the Arctic may join.