2013 'Urban in Alaska' Conference

by Michelle Saport  |   

Friday, March 29, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Student Union, Den For most people, Alaska conjures up images of wild and vast wilderness; yet, over half of Alaskans actually live in urban areas. The "Urban in Alaska" conference will bring together scholars from the University of Alaska system as well as professionals working in the field for a one-day workshop and conference to present and discuss topics relevant to urban studies in Alaska. Topics include: architecture, public space and urban design; health, education and food; labor, migration and refugees. Full schedule:

8:45 a.m. - Introduction, How to Theorize "the Urban" in Alaska Presented by Bree Kessler, M.S.W., M.P.H., M.S., assistant professor of public health at UAA

8:55-10 a.m. - Architecture, Public Space and Urban Design

  • "Lost Anchorage: Architecture in the Wild" with Klaus Mayer, architect and board director for Alaska Design Forum
  • "Community Vision & Genius Loci (The Spirit of a Place)" with Sheila Selkregg, Ph.D., associate professor of public administration
  • "A State in Time" with Bruce Farnsworth, writer, community organizer, founder and director of the MTS Gallery in Anchorage (2005-2011) and member of the art group Light Brigade Kor4
  • "Conflict Over Public Space: Responses to Chronic Public Inebriates in Anchorage" with Sharon Chamard, Ph.D., associate professor in the Justice Center

10:10-11:45 a.m. - Health, Education and Food

  • "Food pantry Users' Experience of Hunger in Anchorage" with Tracey Burke, Ph.D., M.S.W., associate professor in UAA's School of Social Work
  • "Food Security in the Urban Frontier" with Liz Hodges Snyder, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of public health
  • "Factors Associated with Bullying Among Anchorage High School Students" with Gabriel M. Garcia, Ph.D., M.A., M.P.H., assistant professor of public health
  • "Measuring Civic Health in Anchorage" with Diwakar Vadapalli, Ph.D., assistant professor at UAA's Institute of Social & Economic Research (ISER)

11:55 a.m.-1 p.m. - Labor, Migration and Refugees

  • "Producing a Mexican Alaska" with Sara Komarnisky, Ph.D. candidate in sociocultural anthropology at University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • "A Microcosm of America? Ethno-racial Diversity and Segregation in Anchorage, 1980-2010" with Chad R. Farrell, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology
  • "Refugee Groups in Anchorage: Common Themes & Resettlement Issues Across the U.S." with Judy Owens-Manley, Ph.D., director of UAA's Center for Community Engagement and Learning, clinical associate professor of social work

The conference is free and open to the public. Audience participation is encouraged. For more information, please contact Bree Kessler at bckessler@uaa.alaska.edu.

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