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UAS Evening at Egan Fall Lecture Series Begins This Friday, September 11

The annual fall lecture series Evening at Egan kicks off this Friday, September 11 at 7 pm with a virtual presentation by Alaskan author Heather Lende.

Juneau, Alaska

Date of Press Release: September 9, 2020

Heather Lende
Heather Lende

The annual fall lecture series Evening at Egan kicks off this Friday, September 11 at 7 pm with a virtual presentation by Alaskan author Heather Lende. Her latest book Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer is the selection for the Alaska Reads program for 2020. Alaska Reads is a statewide reading initiative spanning genre and sharing the work of diverse living authors. Alaska Reads bridges vast distances through a shared story. The biennial, statewide program seeks to build excitement around contemporary Alaskan authors and the stories they tell. The selection committee is made up of librarians and writers from the major regions of the state and is chaired by Frank Soos, former Writer Laureate for the state.

This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic all Evening at Egan events will be offered virtually using Zoom. Each event has a free registration link listed below, and also available on the UAS Juneau Campus Calendar After completing the registration, a confirmation email is sent with information on how to join the meeting.


September 11

Heather Lende, Alaskan Author

“Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer”

As the obituary writer in a spectacularly beautiful but often dangerous spit of land in Alaska, Heather Lende knows something about last words and lives well lived. Now she is distilled what she is learned about how to live a more exhilarating and meaningful life into three words: find the good. It is that simple--and that hard. Free registration

September 18

Derek Sikes, Curator of Insects and Professor of Entomology

“Climate Change Impacts on Insects in Alaska and Globally”

Although Alaska is known for its iconic megafauna, its microfauna contains rich examples of fascinating, but often very poorly known, diversity with immense ecological importance. This talk will review studies relevant to understanding the impact of climate change on the global arthropod fauna and that of Alaska. Free Registration

September 25

Zachary Brown, PhD, Executive Director Inian Islands Institute

"The True Nature of the Climate Crisis"

In this presentation, Brown will begin with stories and visuals from his background as a climate scientist working aboard icebreaking vessels in the Arctic and Antarctic seas. From there, he digs into the dramatic climate impacts observed here in Alaska, particularly over the tumultuous past year. Finally, he will take a deep dive into what can be done to address the climate crisis. Brown notes: “Like all successful social movements, from worker's rights to civil rights to gay rights, it begins not with individual action to reduce our own carbon footprint but confronting the structural impediments to change. The sea change in climate action in our historical moment is being driven by civil disobedience and political mobilization.” Free Registration

October 2

Libby Bakalar, Attorney and Author

“Speech, Advocacy, and the Constitution in the Age of Social Media”

Libby Bakalar, attorney and author of the popular social media platform One Hot Mess, will discuss freedom of expression under the First Amendment in the age of Trump, social media, and increased government suppression of ideas and beliefs. Drawing on her personal experiences both as a government lawyer and ACLU litigant, Libby will answer questions and talk about why it is more important than ever to use our time and our voices for the things we care about. Free registration

October 9

Dr. Sonia Nagorski, UAS Assistant Professor of Geology

"Global Plastic Pollution Reaches Juneau”

Plastic is a material unknown to the Earth prior to the last century but has rapidly become a persistent and pervasive global pollutant. This talk provides an overview of the scale and distribution of plastic waste on our planet and unveils the results of work by Dr. Nagorski and UAS students, who searched for traces of the contaminant in Juneau-area streams, lakes, beaches, glaciers, and rainfall. Free Registration

October 16

Jim Baichtal, Forest Geologist

"The Glacial and Sea Level History of Southeastern Alaska: An Update on Continuing Research"

From the Queen Charlotte Fault to the Canadian boundary, compiled historic and newly acquired data is expanding our understanding of the timing and complexity of the rising sea level following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This data also helps to define the timing of the retreat of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS) from Southeastern Alaska. Interpretation of this data gives insight on the timing and complexity of isostatic crustal adjustments, the ups and downs of land movement that resulted from glaciation and deglaciation, global sea level change. Beryllium-10 surface exposure dating or cosmogenic exposure dating has been used to show the timing of deglaciation across southern Southeast Alaska. We are just beginning research focused to answer those questions across northern Southeast. Come and see just how flexible the surface of southeast Alaska can be and how it reacts to the weight of glaciers. Free registration

October 23

Kate Troll & John Neary, Board Members of Renewable Juneau

“Making Juneau Alaska's Model City of Sustainability"

With political will, planning, policy nudges, and creativity over the next decade Juneau could have a world-class sea-water heat pump district heating system, an electric bus transit system, a very high proportion of EV's, a high proportion of housing heated by heat pumps, cruise ships that don't have to run diesel generators while parked here, and local mines running on hydropower instead of burning diesel. We have all the elements for being Alaska's model city of sustainability but no roadmap. This talk provides that crucial roadmap. Free registration

October 30

Tania Lewis, Wildlife Biologist

"Unraveling the Mystery of the Glacier Bear"

There are few animals as elusive and mysterious as the glacier bear in Southeast Alaska, a region of deep marine fjords left by the Pleistocene ice advances, steep rugged mountains from ongoing tectonism, and large glaciers and ice fields maintained by persistent cold precipitation. Glacier bears, also known as blue bears, are uncommon color variants of black bears (Ursus americanus) whose coats range from white to grey to black with silver tipped guard hairs. Tania will describe a ten year collaborative research project between Glacier Bay National Park and Alaska Department of Fish and Game using DNA from black bears in the region to examine how populations with glacier bears relate to the glacier landscape of northern Southeast Alaska. Free registration

November 6

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird

"The Neuroscience of Decolonization"

Event details coming soon. Free Registration

November 13

Topic and Speaker to be Announced Soon

November 20

Irene Dundas

"Repatriation of Clan Objects and Human Remains"

Ms. Dundas will introduce repatriation of clan objects and human remains and speak about what the relationship is between our Southeast Tribes, Clans and Museums. Free registration

December 4

“Juneau During COVID-19: a Study of Resilience, Leadership, and Community Courage”

A diverse group of six researchers examined in real-time how Juneau is responding to the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.  The study provides insights into this vast challenge by analyzing Juneau’s economy, healthcare system, the impact on Indigenous people, and governance.  More than 60 in-depth interviews with Juneau’s private sector and public-policy leaders, as well as responses from public opinion surveys, provide core data for this effort.  Preliminary results show that Juneau’s early governmental actions coupled with community and individual  behaviors have (relative to other communities) slowed transmission rates. Individual acts of leadership, effective communications, and community cohesion sketch a picture of Juneau’s resilience and sustainability.    


  • Jim Powell, PhD. Assistant Research Professor, Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, UAS
  • Robert Orttung, PhD, Research Professor, George Washington University
  • Joseph Little, PhD, Economics Professor, UAF
  • Hana Akselrod, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases, George Washington University
  • Sean Topkok, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Education, UAF
  • Peggy Wilcox, Graduate Research Assistant, MPA Program, UAS

  Free registration

View updates for the lectures series. Lectures can be watched live or recorded.

Additional Resources

Press Release Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
(907) 796-6509