Alaska Science Center Seminar Series

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The USGS Alaska Science Center has a monthly seminar series that runs from October through May.  This series highlights the multiple research programs that are taking place across all disciplines at the center.

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Planning for Change: Characterizing the Effects of Industrial Activities on Polar Bears

Female and two cubs polar bears on the sea ice

Female and two young-of-the-year cubs polar bears on the sea ice.
​​​​​​​(Credit: Mike Lockhart, USGS. Public domain.)

Date/Time: December 10, 2019 @ 10 a.m. (Alaska time) 
Speaker: George Durner and Todd Atwood

About the Talk: Alaska’s North Slope is characterized by a large and growing industrial footprint. Progressive degradation of sea ice habitat has led polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) subpopulation to become more reliant on terrestrial habitat for refugia in summer and fall and denning in winter. As industrial activities increase, so will their potential to affect bear behavior and population vital rates. Accordingly, it will be important to improve our understanding of the cumulative effects of environmental change and industrial development on the health, behavior, and population dynamics of polar bears.

The USGS Alaska Science Center has studied the SB subpopulation of polar bears for decades. This talk will provide a brief overview of the USGS process used to identify stakeholder needs for informing the proactive management of polar bears in an industrialized landscape. We will then discuss a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife and USGS case study developed for industry and wildlife managers to demonstrate how different seismic survey designs could affect the level of impact hydrocarbon exploration has on denning polar bears.

More Information: Polar Bear Research
About the AuthorGeorge Durner and Todd Atwood

Location: Leslie Holland-Bartels Conference Room, Glenn Olds Hall Building, 4210 University Drive, Anchorage (Click here for a map).  Please park at the Carr-Gottstein Building.

Webinar information

A webinar will be available for all talks for those who cannot make it in person.  For additional details or to be added to the electronic notification list, please contact Yvette Gillies.

**Space is limited so gather in groups to view presentation

To join the talk visit:

  • When you enter your name and Meeting ID, please uncheck 'Use browser for audio + video'
  • Meeting ID: 501541
  • For audio dial: 1-855-547-8255
    and enter the conference collaboration code: 501541 followed by the # key
  • You will be put on hold until the meeting begins

Some of the information provided in these seminars is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. Some of the information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

October 2019 - May 2020 schedule

October 15 9:00 am Vanessa von Biela Yukon Chinook Salmon and Heat Stress
November 20 2:00 pm Dave Houseknecht Petroleum Resource Assessments in Arctic Alaska:  Intersection of Science and Policy
December 10 10:00 am George Durner and Todd Atwood Planning for Change: Characterizing the Effects of Industrial Activities on Polar Bears
January 23  10:00 am Shad O'Neel TBD
February  10:00 am Christina Ahlstrom Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Gulls and Environments of Alaska
March  10:00 am TBD TBD
April  10:00 am Jeff Falke (USGS Cooperative Research Unit) An Overview of the USGS Cooperative Research Unit at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
May  10:00 am TBD TBD


Previous Seminar Summaries