SAC # 78

Sustaining Alaska's ecosystems and cultures in a rapidly changing world



TIME | 21 January 2010, 4pm onwards

LOCATION | Seminar Room, Centre for Innovation, 87 St. David St.

SPEAKER | Professor Terry Chappin


Human activities are altering many factors that determine the fundamental properties of ecological and social systems. Is sustainability a feasible goal in a world in which these controls are changing with a directional trend over time? This is global problem, but Alaska is particularly appropriate place to address this question because of rapid climate warming. This talk will describe the changes that are occurring in Alaskan ecosystems and suggest a strategy for sustaining the ecological and cultural services that ecosystems provide to society.

About the Speaker

Terry Chapin is a Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biology and Wildlife at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Most of his research is about the effects of changes in climate and wildfire on Alaskan ecology and rural communities. He is especially interested in ways that communities and agencies can develop options that increase sustainability of ecosystems and human communities over the long term in spite of rapid climatic and social changes. Through his research, he tries to determine how climate, ecology, and subsistence resources are likely to change in the future. This information should enable people to make more informed choices about options for long-term sustainability. Terry teaches classes at the university, directs the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program and assists Gary Kofinas in directing the interdisciplinary (IGERT) program in Resilience and Adaptation.


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