Friday, September 16
Can Alaska's government be run like a business?
Dr. Clive Thomas, Retired UAS Professor of Political Science
This presentation is based on his new book, "Alaska Politics and Public Policy: The Dynamics of Beliefs, Institutions, Personalities, and Power". Dr. Thomas notes, “There is a widespread belief among many Alaskans (and Americans in general) that government would be much more efficient and there would be less waste if it were run like a business. Many candidates for office run on such a platform. This presentation will show that this belief is not possible in reality because the purpose of business is fundamentally different from that of government. This contention is based upon three major arguments. First, while efficiency and effectiveness can be definitively measured in business this is usually not possible in government. Second, the profit motive is not appropriate as a criterion for providing most government services. And third, the most significant reason is that, unlike business, politics is often the foundation of government decision-making.” Dr. Thomas worked for 30 years at UAS as a Professor of Political Science.
Friday, September 23
Ed Ricketts from Cannery Row to Sitka, Alaska: Science, History, and Reflections along the Pacific Coast
Jan Straley, UAS Associate Professor of Marine Biology
A brilliant scientist, a student of world literature, and two Alaskan adventurers travel from Seattle to Sitka in 1932 aboard a 33-foot boat named the Grampus. Little did they know, their research and conversations would shape the history of science and world literature for generations to come. This voyage of discovery is the subject of a presentation by Jan and John Straley. They will discuss the research and writing of the recently published book, "Ed Ricketts from Cannery Row to Sitka, Alaska", edited by Jan Straley and published by Shorefast Editions of Juneau. Jan Straley earned her Master of Science degree in Oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and is an Associate Professor of Marine Biology at the UAS Sitka Campus.
Friday, September 30
Climate Change and the Southeast Alaskan Woods: What's Happening in Our Warmer World
Dr. Brian Buma, UAS Assistant Professor of Forest Ecosystem Ecology
The temperate rainforest ecosystem is the most carbon-dense forest ecosystem on the planet, and it’s changing rapidly. The various forests around the world are experiencing new disturbances and a rapidly changing climate. The North Pacific forests are no exception. Over 400,000 hectares of yellow cedar have recently died due to a lack of insulating snow, a mortality event which spans 9 degrees of latitude, from southern BC to near Juneau. However, the forest also appears to be expanding, moving into higher elevation areas and recently de-glaciated locations. Overall, it appears the forest is growing, but perhaps simplifying. This talk will present the state of the science in terms of what’s changing and where things are going in the temperate rainforests of Alaska and the North Pacific.
Friday, October 7
Aquaculture in Alaska? The opportunity of the century!
Seafood consumption continues to rise around the world, fueled by increased aquaculture production. The US government through NOAA is advocating a 50% increase in US aquaculture production by 2020. Alaska, with huge marine and freshwater resources, should be a part of the aquaculture economy, which will also help to diversify our state's economy. Mr. Henderson is a lifelong Alaskan who grew up in Haines. He works for UAS as an adjunct professor in Sitka. He now lives in Kake, and is the owner of the oyster farm "Pearl of Alaska".
Friday, October 14
Reading What Couldn’t Be Written: Literary Scholarship in the Soviet Union, or How Socialist Realism Hijacked the Renaissance
Dr. Nina Chordas, Associate Professor of English
Dr. Nina Chordas spent two months conducting research in Moscow, Russia. As a Russian speaker and Renaissance scholar, she was interested in looking at Soviet interpretations of that historical period, which are markedly different from those of the West. In her studies and conversations with contemporary Russian academics, she learned that Soviet scholars, operating under heavy censorship, must be read “between the lines” in order to understand what they were really saying about the Renaissance and their own time.
Friday, October 21
Keynote Speaker for the Juneau World Affairs Council Forum: Human Migration and Refugees: Peril and Hope
Dr. James Hollifield
Professor James Hollifield is Professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University, Ora Nixon Arnold Chair in International Political Economy, and Director of SMU’s Tower Center. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Duke University in 1985. Global migration and the response of nation states is a major focus of his current research. His new project, The Emerging Migration State, argues that people move across borders for many reasons—economic, social and political—but rights are the key to migration governance, as modern states strive to fulfill three key functions: maintaining security, promoting trade and investment, and regulating migration. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center, he has published widely on international political and economic issues.
Friday, October 28
Dr. Theresa Arevgaq John, Expert on Indigenous Ways of Knowing
Dr. Theresa Arevgaq John, UAF Professor of Indigenous Stuides
Dr. Theresa Arevgaq John has authored numerous academic articles and is the co-author of “Yupiit Yuraryarait: Yup’ik Ways of Dancing.” Her work has been presented at professorial conferences on the local, national and international level. Dr. John currently serves on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and the International Indigenous Women’s Forum. She is a former member of the Alaskan State Council Arts and the former Chair of the Traditional Native Arts Panel. She is also the recipient of the Governor's Distinguished Humanities Educator Award and Alaska State Library Award. As an advocate for Native education, she is highly involved in various organizations and projects that promote traditional Native culture, history, spirituality, language and education. "I believe that we are all lifelong learners. It is very important to share our wisdom and knowledge with others. We can live in the world of peace and harmony.” Dr. Theresa Arevgaq John is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cross-cultural Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Friday, November 4
The Mathematician’s Laboratory
Dr. Chris Hay-Jahans, UAS Professor of Mathematics
Join us for a discussion about mathematicians and a glance into the mysterious place where they so often dwell. Really, who are these people? Why and how do they become who they are? And, why is it that they seem to think so differently from so many others? Embark on an exploratory, sometimes philosophical wandering in search of answers to these and similar questions. Hear about their views and beliefs through anecdotes about them, and through their own words – sometimes humorous, often deep or spiritual, and occasionally inspirational.
Friday, November 11
Negotiating Identity in America
Dr. Christina Gómez
According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 6.9% of the U.S. adult population could be considered multiracial. This growing population in the U.S. is having a significant impact on how race and ethnicity is constructed, as well as changing attitudes and perceptions about the meaning of race & ethnicity in the U.S. For our 2016-17 One Campus, One Book selection, "Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories", Professor Christina Gómez will discuss the significant growth of the multiracial population, the complicated understandings of a multiracial identity, as well as their everyday lived experiences.
Friday, November 18
The Tao of Raven
Ernestine Hayes, UAS Assistant Professor of English
Ernestine Hayes reads from her book, "The Tao of Raven", which extends narratives from "Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir". Using the story of Raven and the Box of Daylight and relating it to Sun Tzu's "Art of War", Hayes weaves strands of memoir, contemplation, and fiction in her newest work. Now a grandmother and thinking very much of the generations who will come after her, Hayes speaks for herself but also writes about the resilience and complications of her Native community.
Friday, December 2
‘Blue Carbon’ Ecosystem Services Provided by Marine Mammals
Dr. Heidi Pearson, UAS Assistant Professor of Marine Biology
‘Blue carbon’ is an emerging concept that describes how marine organisms can help to combat climate change by removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Through their feeding activity, marine mammals such as humpback whales and sea otters can help to stimulate the growth of marine plants and contribute to the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide. Humpback whales can “fertilize” surface waters by producing nutrient-rich fecal plumes. These nutrients then stimulate the growth of plankton, which absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Sea otters help kelp forests to grow by feeding on organisms that graze on kelp, such as sea urchins. By keeping populations of kelp grazers low, sea otters keep kelp forests healthy. Kelp forests, like forests on land, also absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. With the increasing populations of humpback whales and sea otters in Southeast Alaska, there is potential for these marine mammals to help to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels.