Science for local people at a fast pace is the plan for the upcoming Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium – a virtual four days that will include visitors far beyond the island.  Sessions are organized around five themes: fish and habitat, harmful algal blooms, birds, mammals and crab.

“And this session on crab will cover some of our local research here, as well as highlight some of the Bering Sea work that our NOAA scientists conduct.”

Julie Matweyou is a Sea Grant marine advisor at Kodiak and symposium co-organizer. She says the science presentations roll along at a good clip.

“The presentations are organized into two hour blocks that will be delivered in the morning and afternoon, Tuesday through Thursday. And these sessions are made up of 24 presentations that will be 20 minutes in length and move quickly from one topic to the next. So it’s similar to other science symposiums. And it’s the format that we normally hold, where each presenter has 15 minutes to present their materials, and then about five minutes for question and answer. So all sessions will be live on zoom and interactive. There’ll be opportunity for Q&A during all the events.”

Kicking off the symposium Monday evening is keynote Dr. Steve Barbeaux of Seattle’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center. He will describe how the “blob” heatwave caused the 2018 Gulf  of Alaska cod crash and how the stock might fare in a warming world.

The  Kodiak Symposium has been held on a three year rotation since 2011as a way to share local science with the community. Everyone misses meeting in-person, Matweyou says, but the web does open it up to more people.

 “You know, there’s a lot of research being done right here locally, but there’s also different organizations that are working in our community from different areas. And so this is an opportunity for them to come share their results to the Kodiak community, as well as engage with each other. So we do have some out of state presenters and that’s exciting. So I think we will attract a larger audience.”

The Kodiak Marine Science Symposium is set for April 19-22.

“I just want to emphasize again, that this symposium is free and open to the public. Attendees can join any and all of the sessions, you can hop in and out of the zoom meetings as your schedule permits.”

All presentations will remain posted at the Kodiak symposium website.

Sign on at Alaska Sea