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Collaborative research to be presented at UAS

Posted: October 11, 2012 - 12:00am

This Friday’s installment of the “Evening at Egan” lecture series at the University of Alaska Southeast will feature a presentation on “Collaborative Research in Southeast Alaska” by the director of the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center.

The ACRC is a relatively new institute within UAS that develops and delivers educational opportunities, facilitates and convenes research, and promotes learning for the community about temperate rainforests. It partners with multiple state, federal, Native and non-governmental entities to achieve this goal.

Allison Bidlack will give an introduction to the Center, and facilitate a series of short presentations highlighting several examples of collaborative rainforest research in Southeast Alaska.

Jan Straley of UAS Sitka will speak about her collaborative work with the fishing fleet to investigate the causes and consequences of sperm whale predation on long line gear.

The United States Forest Service’s Rick Edwards will speak about the new Héen Latinee Experimental Forest, and opportunities for ecological and cultural research, education and collaboration.

Anne Beaudreau of University of Alaska Fairbanks will speak about a new National Science Foundation-funded research program spearheaded by UAS and UAF that will examine the icefield to estuary social-ecological system in Southeast Alaska. She will discuss the program’s broad objectives that will motivate collaborative, cross-disciplinary studies examining the effects of a changing physical environment on the biological system and human communities near Berners Bay.

The ACRC began in 2009 as a collaborative effort to expand and enhance education and research opportunities among six cooperating partners: UAS, UAF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, the U.S. Forest Service Alaska Region, and the City and Borough of Juneau.

The Center’s membership has expanded to 18 organizations, which include the University of Alaska Anchorage; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service; NOAA National Weather Service; The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Geological Survey; Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska; Juneau Economic Development Council; the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources Operations; Geos Institute; Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems, and Management; the Sitka Sound Science Center; and the Prince William Sound Science Center.

Bidlack joined the ACRC in August 2012.

Prior to that, Bidlack was the Science Coordinator for the Ecotrust Copper River Program in Cordova. She has a background in wildlife ecology, with emphases on population genetics and habitat modeling using geographic information systems. Her previous research projects have included assessing the population genetics and phylogeography of the Prince of Wales flying squirrel in Southeast Alaska, investigating the distribution and habitat use of carnivores in the San Francisco Bay Area, and creating habitat models for Chinook salmon in the Copper River watershed.

Bidlack has a deep and abiding interest in the temperate rainforests of North America, and believes in the importance of gathering and synthesizing ecologic, economic and social information to help support and maintain the vibrant cultures, communities, and ecosystems of the region.

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