Science Night returned this year, better than ever! This annual event, hosted by the Prince William Regional Citizens Advisory Council, focuses on research related to the safe transportation of oil through Prince William Sound.
Individual presentations can be viewed below, or you can view the full playlist directly on the Council’s Youtube Channel: Science Night 2022
Ongoing Climate Change in the Northern Gulf of Alaska
Presentation by Rick Thoman, Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at UAF.
The changing climate of Prince William Sound and northern Gulf of Alaska pose significant challenges for societal activities. Past expectations may no longer hold and the future brings unexpected and unprecedented extreme events both on land and in the ocean. This presentation explored some of the ways the ocean and climate have changed and provided pointers to changes that will arise in the coming decades.
Kelp Farming in Alaska
Presentation by Melissa Good, Mariculture Specialist with Alaska Sea Grant.
The mariculture industry in Alaska is currently small, yet poised to grow. Seaweeds, including sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima), bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana), and ribbon kelp (Alaria marginata), are increasing in production with over 536,000 lbs harvested in 2022 (ADFG, 2022). There is support across the state to grow the industry with increasing interest from communities and coastal residents. This presentation gave background on the seaweed mariculture industry in Alaska, described some of the strengths and weaknesses, and concluded with available resources and upcoming initiatives.
Beyond Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX)
Presentation by Dr. David C. Podgorski, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of New Orleans (Affiliate Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alaska Anchorage).
David introduced why hydrocarbon oxidation products (HOPs) are of emerging concern to human health and the environment. Next, sources of HOPs, such as treated unsegregated ballast water and natural weathering of spilled petroleum, were discussed. Finally, preliminary results were presented from work that examined the toxicity of HOPs to bay mussels collected from Cook Inlet.
Invasive European green crab in Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems
Presentation by Jasmine Maurer, Harmful Species Program Coordinator at Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBNERR)
If you have heard of invasive European green crab you know they are bad news on a global scale. If you just read their name for the first time now you know the punchline. Jasmine explored invasive green crab biology, ecological and economic impacts of this global marine invader, and known status in Alaska. She also shared what we need to know; what we don’t know; and the ways state, federal, tribal, and local partners are working together on early detection, rapid response and public awareness of the invasive European green crab in Alaska.