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UAS Spring Forum

Sustainability and Juneau Energy

The UAS Spring Forum April 4 marked the first major public outreach activity of the UAS Sustainability Council. Nearly 100 people attended the all day event at the UAS Egan lecture hall, where a full slate of panelists presented provocative ideas. Heated roundtable discussions provided opportunities for everyone to engage, and attendees walked away with some new perceptions and questions.

Instead of the broadly conceived notions that have given the Forum direction in recent years, this year the organizers decided it was time to take on one specific issue: energy use in Juneau and what will it take to achieve environmentally acceptable and sustainable power generation. The workshop included presentations from Scott Willis with Alaska Electric Light and Power and David Lockard with the Alaska Energy Authority.

Two well-attended roundtable discussions explored the challenge of living sustainably in Juneau and Alaska. Panelists and audience members alike posited technological and social solutions to the problem of achieving energy sustainability, sharing ideas freely.

A session on making UAS a more sustainable campus focused on the recent loss of hydropower and greater dependence on fuel oil to heat buildings and run computers. Information Technology Director Michael Ciri said he rarely gets asked how UAS technology can be more sustainable. Instead, he said, people want a constant update of the latest and greatest technology. Ciri notes sustainability can be both ecological and financial for UAS.  Attendee Nancy Waterman observed, “The way to warm a room is to have more people in it, so let’s bring more full time students to our wonderful university.”

In addition to those attendees physically present, the event was streaming live on the internet so attendees as far away as Anchorage and San Francisco were able to contribute. If you happened to miss the event, thank Media Services, because you will be able to view the Forum as a telecast on UATV. The 2008 Spring Forum was sponsored by the International Polar Year.

The Sustainability Council would like to thank everyone who helped make the event possible, as well as everyone who came out (or tuned in).

Sustainability Council members include: Marquam George (Construction Technology), Kevin Maier (English), Chip McMillan (Education), Sanjay Pyare (Environmental Science), David Tallmon (Biology), Alex Simon (Sociology), and Rick Wolk (Management) from the faculty; administrative representatives Keith Gerken (Facilities) and Michael Ciri (IT); and student representatives Annie Dawson and Ryan Arment.


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