UAA and Chugach National Forest join to present 'Classrooms for Climate' Conference May 4-7

By: Staff   Apr 12, 2011

MacArthur Genius Fellow, Majora Carter, to give keynote address May 4

ANCHORAGE, AK –The Chugach National Forest and the University of Alaska Anchorage are joining together to present the Classrooms for Climate Conference, a symposium on the changing Chugach, northern ecosystems, and the implications for science and society.

Alaska is ground zero for climate change, and the Chugach and neighboring landscapes are an extended classroom for researchers, educators and students around the world who seek to unravel the potential physical, biological, cultural and socio-economic impacts. This conference is a first step in bringing together partners in inquiry, education and management from across Southcentral Alaska and beyond.    

“A number of agencies and universities are conducting climate-related research on the Chugach, and the Forest Service is interested in collecting this breadth of knowledge as we examine our role and response to climate change,” said Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron.

Majora Carter, one of the nation’s pioneers in successful urban green-collar job training and placement systems, will give the keynote address Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Wendy Williamson Auditorium on the UAA campus. In 2001, Carter founded the Sustainable South Bronx as a model for achieving environmental equality through economically sustainable projects. Her talk, which is free and open to the public, is entitled “Hometown Security: Climate Adaptation, Social Innovation and Local Solutions.” Her work has earned numerous honors, including Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People In Business and a MacArthur Genius Fellowship. In addition to being president of her own economic consulting firm, Carter is a co-host on Sundance Channel’s “The Green,” and a host of a new public radio series called “The Promised Land.”

Other featured presenters at the conference include Dave Cleaves, the US Forest Service’s National Climate Change Advisor speaking to “Changing Forests, Enduring Values;” Shad O’Neel from USGS, on “Disappearing Sea Ice and Rising Sea;” author Charles Wohlforth, on “Nature and Human Nature;” The Wilderness Society’s JP Leous, on “A National Perspective: Opportunities in a Post-Restoration World.” In addition, U.S. Arctic Research Commission Chair, Fran Ulmer will speak, and more than 20 sessions addressing a full range of issues on our changing climate. All told, there will be more than 85 presentations on topics ranging from outdoor recreation to dynamics of wildlife, human health impacts to adaptive and educational strategies.

Classrooms for Climate is the initial project of a new partnership between the Chugach National Forest and UAA, designed to share information and resources and maximize the benefits of knowledge of their mutual environment.

“The Chugach is a ‘natural campus’ for the University of Alaska Anchorage and we’re pleased we are part of a growing, collaborative relationship between our organizations,” said UAA Chancellor Fran Ulmer.

UAA and the Chugach National Forest are co-hosting the conference in partnership with the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, Alaska Geographic, the Northern Forum, Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA), and the Institute of the North.  

Early Bird conference registration is available at a discounted rate through April 15.  For a complete schedule of events and to register, visit


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UAA Contact: Jessica Hamlin ● (907) 786-1288 ●

Chugach National Forest Contact: Sara Boario ● (907) 743-9500 ●