Prof. Orions on Alaska's North Slope

2003-03-21 - 2003-03-21

Prof. Gordon Orions will on March 21, 2003, hold the seminar "Alaska´s North Slope: Hydrocarbons versus a Sustainable Tundra".

The physical, biological, and human environments on Alaska´s North Slope have inevitably been affected by the growth over three decades of the oil industry.

The industry has expanded from a small field at Prudhoe Bay to a complex of 19 producing fields and a network of roads, pipelines, production facilities, and transportation hubs. Significant technological advances have greatly reduced the accumulation of undesirable environmental effects but have not, and cannot, eliminate them.

A recent report of the US National Academies describes and analyzes these effects. It also suggests ways in which society might evaluate the inevitable tradeoffs created by the expansion of industrial activities in a region underlain by permafrost during a time of rapid climate warming.

About Professor Orians
Professor Orions has served as chair of a National Academy of Sciences committee, commissioned by the US Congress, to assess the cumulative effects of oil and gas exploration on Alaska´s North Slope. The report was released the fourth of March.

Gordon H. Orions is professor emeritus of Biology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He received a Ph.D. in zoology in 1960 from the University of California, Berkeley.

From 1976 to 1986 he was director of the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Washington. Prof. Orians´ research areas have been several during the years; Behavioral Ecology, Population Dynamics, Plant-Herbivore Interactions, Community Ecology, Human Ecology, and Plant Ecology.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His major retirement project is writing a book that will attempt to synthesize ecological concepts at all levels, ranging from behavioral ecology to ecosystems.

He is also writing a book on environmental esthetics, using habitat selection theory as a conceptual framework for analyzing and interpreting human responses to natural and modified environments.

Time and place

Time: 14:00-15:00, Friday 21 March, 2003

Place: Linné Hall, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Lilla Frescativägen 4, Stockholm


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