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Evening at Egan

Evening at Egan
Fall 2020

New: Online for 2020! Join us for Evening at Egan, the annual UAS lecture series held each fall.

Watch the live-streamed presentations with Zoom; a great way to fully participate and ask questions to our expert presenters. (Select events will also be recorded and posted on the UAS YouTube Channel for future viewing.)

To attend a lecture, select the buttons below. A confirmation email will be sent to you with information on how to join the Zoom session.

Schedule of Events

Heather Lende, Alaskan Author

Heather Lende, Alaskan Author

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

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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’s distilled what she’s learned about how to live a more exhilarating and meaningful life into three words: find the good. It’s that simple—and that hard.

Derek Sikes, Curator of Insects and Professor of Entomology

Derek Sikes, Curator of Insects and Professor of Entomology

Climate Change Impacts on Insects in Alaska and Globally

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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.

Zachary Brown, PhD, Executive Director Inian Islands Institute

Zachary Brown, PhD, Executive Director Inian Islands Institute

The True Nature of the Climate Crisis

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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.”

Libby Bakalar, Attorney and Author

Libby Bakalar, Attorney and Author

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

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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.

Dr. Sonia Nagorski, UAS Assistant Professor of Geology

Dr. Sonia Nagorski, UAS Assistant Professor of Geology

Global Plastic Pollution Reaches Juneau

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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.

Jim Baichtal, Forest Geologist

Jim Baichtal, Forest Geologist

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

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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.

Kate Troll & John Neary, Board Members of Renewable Juneau

Kate Troll & John Neary, Board Members of Renewable Juneau

Making Juneau Alaska's Model City of Sustainability

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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.

Tania Lewis, Wildlife Biologist

Tania Lewis, Wildlife Biologist

Unraveling the Mystery of the Glacier Bear

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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.

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird

Mindful Decolonization, Spirits in our Genes, and the Science of Traditional Indigenous Contemplative Practices

Time: 7:00 p.m.

In this presentation, Dr. Michael Yellow Bird uses neuroscience, movement, contemplative, fasting, and adaptive stress research to examine how mindfulness approaches and traditional Indigenous contemplative practices can train the mind and positively change the structure and function of the brain, genetic, molecular, and cellular processes. He will discuss how culture, experiences, and perceptions change our brain (neuroplasticity); shape our DNA and create novel genetic blueprints and affect the expression of our genes; activate different brain regions, change our brain waves, and shape specialized brain cells such as mirror neurons; and alter our neurotransmitters and modulators.  

Gyibaawm Laxha - David Robert Boxley, Tsimshian Northwest Coast Artist and Advocate for Language Revitalization

Gyibaawm Laxha - David Robert Boxley, Tsimshian Northwest Coast Artist and Advocate for Language Revitalization

Talking to my Grandfather - Sm'algya̱x Language Revitalization

Time: 7:00 p.m.

David will speak about his journey learning Sm'algya̱x, the Tsimshian language, the immense challenges and priceless rewards, and where we need to go from here in order to ensure not only the revival of the language, but also a brighter future for our peoples.
Irene Dundas

Irene Dundas

Repatriation of Clan Objects and Human Remains

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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 Repatriation of Clan Objects and Human RemainsAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Jim Powell, PhD Assistant Research Professor UAS and a panel of researchers

Jim Powell, PhD Assistant Research Professor UAS and a panel of researchers

Juneau During COVID 19: A Study of Resilience, Leadership, and Community Courage

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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.    

Presenters:
  • 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 Juneau During COVID 19: A Study of Resilience, Leadership, and Community CourageAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.