Some of nation's top scientists to gather at UAF

Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Some of the nation's top scientists will visit Alaska next week to discuss funding research on climate change and the Arctic.

Representatives from the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey and professors from some of the nation's top research institutions will gather at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The scientists will testify next Tuesday in front of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

''I think this is very important,'' said Syun-Ichi Akasofu, International Arctic Research Center director, who will testify to the subcommittee. ''Let's put it this way: Arctic science will get some attention.''

The meeting, which is open to the public, will center around climate change research in the Arctic. For a variety of reasons, the Arctic environment is a harbinger of sorts for global warming.

Many changes documented worldwide seem to be happening first and fastest in the northern climes, from the disappearance of sea ice to the impact on fisheries to the loss of permafrost.

''I'm sure there will be some scientists there anxious to tell their stories in order to justify funds,'' said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska and chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Among those scheduled to attend are NSF Director Rita Colwell, USGS Director Charles G. Groat, NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, NOAA Acting Director Scott Gudes, and representatives from Columbia University, the University of Illinois, University of Washington, University of Alaska Anchorage and UAF.

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