College Rotary
Fairbanks, Alaska

Seen and heard at College Rotary, August 26, 2013

 
Dr. Nancy Fresco, Coordinator for the Scenarious Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning (SNAP), discussed the impact of climate changes in Alaska and strategies for adapting to these changes.
 

 

Today’s meeting was led by President, Patty Meritt, who was assisted by the Red Team members.

 

At the desk were Carol Callahan and Mike Dunton.   Cheryl Keepers greeted and Cindy Wentworth sold 50/50 tickets.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Vonna Husby, and Barb Hompesch led the Club in song with the “Alaska Flag Song”.

 

Our guests were introduced by Carol and included a fellow Rotarian from Antiqua who Carol presented a College Rotary flag to, and Kerynn Fisher’s mother, Pat, from Washington D.C. 

 

Our Sergeant at Arms, Don Lynch, wished a happy birthday to: Sukamar Bandopadhyay, Carol Callahan, Kerynn Fisher, and Karen Parr.  Wedding anniversary congratulations were extended to Sathy Naidu and Vonna Husby.  Club members celebrating Club anniversaries included: Ron Bergh and Sam McConkey. Don also recognized the Club’s own world famous television star, Vera Alexander.

 

Announcements:

 

There is a Board meeting today at 1pm.

 

Ron Inouye reminded everyone OSHER classes will be starting soon, so be sure to sign up. 

 

Carol announced the September 13, 2013, Art walk fundraiser for the Pioneer’s Home.  Flyers were distributed on tables at today’s Club meeting.

 

Patty is looking for a volunteer to take charge of the Club’s computer each Monday.  Please contact Patty if you are interested in this opportunity.

 

Happy Bucks:

 

Sathy was complimented for a fine job of selling 50/50 tickets last week; he sold $122 of tickets!

 

Julie Scott shared details of her recent Seattle-area excursion which was shared with several well known, long-time, and former Fairbanksans, all of whom were quite senior in age to Julie, but not lacking in enthusiasm for life.  Julie feels much better about aging after her outing with this energetic group.

 

Cynthia Steiner shared highlights of her recent kayaking trip, and invited everyone to a dance this Friday at the Pioneer Center.  

 

Other happy moments were shared by Sukamar Bandopadhyay, Kerynn Fisher, and Karen Parr.

 

Our program today, Frost and Fire, was presented by Dr. Nancy Fresco, Coordinator for the Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning (SNAP).

 

SNAP is a collaborative research group which works on a wide array of projects at their College Road office and in the field.  SNAP relies on the expertise of scientists throughout the University of Alaska system, as well as researchers at state and federal agencies and non-profits.  SNAP’s mission is to openly share research through in-person and online presentations. SNAP data is derived from climate models created at scientific centers around the world.  SNAP uses outputs from global circulation models used by an intergovernmental panel on climate change, and models are then scaled down and made pertinent to Alaska.  Dr. Fresco explained that uncertainty is at the core of everything (all modeling and predictions), and scenarios planning is using what we know today, interjected with uncertainties, and then planning for what is going to happen tomorrow. 

 

Dr. Fresco defined weather as: “weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time.”   Dr Fresco also described Alaska as one state with many climates in varying states of change.  Climate change presents significant risks to natural and cultural resources.  Significant climate changes in Alaska and related impacts include:

 

·        Shifting vegetation – a northward and upward tree-line, habitat loss.

·        Changing oceans due to shrinkage of arctic sea ice – this will improve ship accessibility in the Arctic

         Ocean, but will threaten food security for subsistence hunters, and have various food chain impacts. 

         Habitats for polar bears, seals and sea birds will shrink. 

·        Warming and drying of land – this will change soil and permafrost temperatures, increase fire risk, 

         and result in dying wetlands, streams and lakes.  Some wildlife habitats will be increased some will be

         lost, and some wildlife with move to new territories.

·        Increase in storm erosion due to loss of sea ice and coastal permafrost.

·        Increase in temperatures – this is expected to result in more insect outbreaks, marine species and

         related food chains may be impacted, and temperate rainforests and forested wetland may be

         impacted and lost.

·        Changes in seasons for growing, construction, transportation.

 

Planning strategies for adapting to these changes include:

 

·        Scenarios planning

·        Modeling change

·        Use of technology

·        Innovation

·        Education and Outreach

·        Positive strategies

 

Dr. Fresco invited Club members to visit SNAP’s website at www.snap.uaf.edu for additional information, as all SNAP data, methods, models, and project results are freely available to the public.

 

The 50/50 pot was won by Ron Inouye.

 

Debbie Gross closed out the meeting with the following joke:  Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, “Why is the bride dressed in white?”  “Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.”  The child thought about this for a moment, then said, “So why is the groom wearing black?”

 

The speakers and program for the Club’s September 9, 2013, meeting will be Kent Slaughter and Mel Slater talking about the Alaska Fire Service.

 

The meeting was adjourned by Patty Meritt.