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Unalaska Hosts Science Conference Centered On Western Alaska

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WAISC/Sea Grant
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Unalaska is hosting a regional science conference that’s slated to bring dozens of experts to the island later this month, along with new research on energy, fisheries, and climate change.

Melissa Good is one of the organizers of the four-day Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference (WAISC).

"It’s usually in Dillingham," said Good. "We’re getting a treat this year by actually bringing it to Unalaska, so local residents can be a part of it.”

Good said Unalaskans will find a lot of useful information at this year’s WAISC conference, hosted by Alaska Sea Grant.

The program includes presentations on how to get involved in citizen science, prevent oil spills and other pollution, and combine traditional knowledge with western science.

Good said commercial fishermen can even learn about expanding their businesses, planning for retirement, and marketing their product.

“Are you a small boat owner here in town? Do you want to learn how to sell fish straight off your boat? There are a lot of resources on that that we want to present," she said.

Scientists will also share research from all over western Alaska.

“One of our talks is going to be on urban muskox in Nome," said Good. "The talks will cover everything from birds in Little Diomede to the commercial fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. We’re covering the western area pretty well.”

It costs $100 to register for the conference, scheduled April 26-29, but there is a free informational meeting the first day. That workshop is focused on forming a regional committee devoted to waterway safety.

“We’re looking for mariners, community members, vessel operators, fishermen -- really anyone who’s interested in developing proactive safety measures for the Aleutian Islands," said Good.

Register for the WAISC conference and check out the program here.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019.
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