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Goldstein Appointed New Director of Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center

Dr. Michael Goldstein, a wildlife ecologist, has been appointed the first director of the new Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center in Juneau.

Dr. Michael Goldstein, a wildlife ecologist, has been appointed the first director of the new Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center in Juneau. The center was recently established to help facilitate coastal temperate rainforest research and education and is a consortium of six public agencies including UAS.

"Mike’s background as the wildlife and terrestrial ecology program leader for the Forest Service’s Alaska Region will serve him well as ACRC’s director," said Assistant Director Paul Brewster, Pacific Northwest Research Station. "He has a deep understanding of the ecology and management of the coastal rainforest and knows how to promote greater understanding to enhance the kinds of partnership collaborations that create relevant results and applications."

The new center’s location in Juneau is ideal according to Goldstein. "The world’s largest contiguous temperate rainforest is centered here in Southeast Alaska and includes the Tongass National Forest. The rainforest reaches north and west to include Prince William Sound in Southcentral Alaska and stretches south along the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and northern California," said Goldstein.

"Coordinating our work efforts will pay off in direct applications for our Southeast Alaska communities," said University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh. "The collaboration will allow the University’s education and research programs to place greater attention on forest and wildlife ecology and the social and economic aspects of the coastal rainforest region." The center will engender and support public policy dialogue to foster a greater understanding of the interactions among rainforest ecosystems, communities, and social and economic systems, according to Goldstein.

"We’re really in the start-up stage right now and looking to grow the number of center partners," Goldstein said. "The synergy from this collaborative environment will allow us to coordinate activities among southeast Alaska’s communities and to understand and promote the values of the coastal Alaska rainforest ecosystems."

Goldstein has already initiated meetings with other educational and research entities to explore how they might participate with the center. As an example, the recent 24-hour BioBlitz held on nearby Douglas Island was a collaborative adventure among scientists, naturalists and the public to catalogue the biodiversity of the Fish Creek watershed.

Goldstein has a doctorate in wildlife and fisheries ecology from Texas A&M University and a master’s of science degree in environmental toxicology. He has worked for the Forest Service in Juneau since 2004.

The cooperating agencies include the University of Alaska Southeast; the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station; the U.S. Forest Service Alaska Region; the Alaska Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and the City and Borough of Juneau. A coordinating committee with representation from each agency will oversee the center operations. Goldstein will serve as the director for a 2-year term as an employee of the University of Alaska Southeast.


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