By Robin Mayo
WISE is taking our Science Lecture series online, with web-based presentations from a wide variety of experts. Although we will miss the camaraderie and personal experience of live lectures, there are some cool advantages to online events which we plan to enjoy.
First, we are not limited to presenters who are willing and able to make the trip to the Copper River Valley in winter. This has opened up a whole new set of people we can tap into, and it is exciting. Potential speakers do need to be willing to master the technology, but in 2020 everyone seems to be embracing this.
Similarly, our audience is no longer limited to those within driving distance. There is no such thing as a “central” location, no matter where a live lecture is held, it will too far for some. With online lectures, we can even invite participants from other areas. Because of this, we are scheduling most talks for 5pm to make them accessible for those in earlier time zones.
Here is what we have planned so far!
Friday, December 18 at 5pm--the Nelchina Caribou Herd with Heidi Hatcher. Heidi is the Glennallen Area Wildlife Biologist for Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and has a wealth of knowledge of this important subsistence resource. She’ll also explore some of the history of our relationship with caribou and reindeer, including their appearance in holiday traditions.
Friday, January 8 at 5pm—Bird Research in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, with Carol McIntyre and Jeremy Mizel. These two National Park Service researchers will share their research on Golden Eagles and songbirds.
Friday, January 15 at NOON—Fish Passage and Culvert Projects with Kate Morse. The Copper River Watershed Project has a variety of projects in the area, including a major culvert replacement at 74 mile Richardson Highway. Learn about their system for evaluating culverts, the dynamics of culvert replacement projects, and the significant impact on fish habitat.
Friday, February 5 at 5pm—Archaeology Discoveries on the shores of Ancient Lake Atna with NPS Archaeologist Lee Reininghaus. This is the first of a two-part series on recent archaeological discoveries in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, including some cool collaboration with geologists to identify likely sites.
Friday, February 12 at 5pm—The Excavation of NAB-533 with John White, Texas A&M University. This talk will zoom in on one of the most interesting recent sites found in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
To attend any of these talks, please email email@example.com to request a link. We will be using a platform called Cisco WebEx, which is very similar to Zoom. You will need to download an app if you want to join by smartphone, and it is recommended that you log in a few minutes early, especially if it is your first WebEx meeting.
We are working on more lectures for the rest of the winter, and welcome suggestions for topics and speakers. Looking forward to seeing you on the screen and learning together!
Who We Are
WISEfriends are several writers connected with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, a nonprofit organization located in Alaska's Copper River Valley. Most of these articles originally appeared in our local newspaper, the Copper River Record.