5th Open Meeting of the  Northern Research Forum (NRF)
"Seeking Balance in a Changing North"
September 24-27, 2008

On behalf of the NRF, the 5th NRF Host Committee, and our corporate and agency sponsors, we welcome you to the 2008 Northern Research Forum website! We have a dynamic program planned, and new and exciting ideas continue to emerge. We think you will be quite pleased with this year's forum. We are working closely with the Anchorage Visitor's and Convention Bureau to design tours and will publicize activities that we think will be of particular interest to you. Several smaller optional tours will be organized for you; however, many self-guided opportunities abound in Anchorage and the nearby vicinity, and we encourage you to begin exploring your possibilities now. We invite you to access the Anchorage Visitor's and Convention Bureau's website, download or request a free Visitors Guide, and begin planning your travels from the comfort of your own home!

The 2008 Forum will be held in the Anchorage Museum located in downtown Anchorage. Our plenary sessions will be held in the Museum's Auditorium, and attendees will have the opportunity to join smaller, more intimate group discussions after each plenary session ends to address the questions raised by the plenary panelists. Each small group will meet in one of several of the museum's beautiful art galleries, and we anticipate that stimulating and engaging dialogue will occur in this setting. 

Conference participants will also have the opportunity to travel to the Athabascan village of Chickaloon and learn first-hand of this community's vision for the future. Chickaloon is actively pursuing new and sustainable practices, and tours will include their greenhouse (which is powered with wind and solar energy), the village's transportation department, their GIS and mapping division (which includes stream restoration), and the village's school. We will return to Anchorage in mid-afternoon, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center will serve as the site for an afternoon filled with a stimulating plenary, smaller group sessions, tours of the Heritage Center and a wonderful evening of dining and Native dances.

The Young Researchers will be active in the conference proceedings from the moment they arrive in Anchorage until their departure. Activities include a special dinner with President Grímsson (Iceland), Chancellor Fran Ulmer (University of Alaska Anchorage and former Lieutenant Governor of the State of Alaska), and members of the Steering Committee. Career development, Native talking circles, conference summaries and other activities will fill their days and evenings.

Plenty of opportunities will exist for purchasing beautiful, handmade Alaska Native arts and crafts while you are in Alaska. The gift shops will be open for your convenience at the Anchorage Museum, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the Alaska Native Medical Center. In addition, you will have a wonderful opportunity to purchase a number of smaller items made by the children in Chickaloon Village.

Additional details for the 2008 Northern Research Forum will be made available soon, but in the meantime, we encourage you take a moment now to register for the conference, complete your lodging reservations, and begin planning your travels to Alaska.

We look forward to meeting you in September!

Cheryl Wright
on behalf of the Host Planning Committee
University of Alaska Anchorage