Mayewski to discuss ice melt, adaptation at Maine-Arctic Forum

A distinguished Maine Professor School of Earth and Climate Sciences who is also director of the University of Maine Climate Change Institute will talk about the Arctic’s changing climate and resulting economic opportunities and geopolitical concerns Oct. 3 at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

Paul Mayewski, who has led expeditions and conducted climate change research in the Arctic and all over the planet, will participate in a 10:15 a.m. panel discussion titled “Arctic Science: Ice Melt & Climate Change” at the Maine-Arctic Forum.

Discussion will focus on adaptation, resilience, perspective and scenario-based climate prediction.

“The Arctic now stands embedded firmly in our future — a concept few imagined even one to two decades ago,” says Mayewski.

Anne Henshaw, a marine conservation program officer in the North Pacific and Arctic with the Oak Foundation, will moderate the panel.

Joining Mayewski on the panel are: Rafe Pomerance, chairperson of Arctic 21 and member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board; and Paty Matrai, a senior research scientist at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences’ Air-Sea Exchange Laboratory.

Last year, Mayewski and Maine National Guard Lt. Col. Darryl W. Lyon co-authored a column about the changing Arctic in the Bangor Daily News.

They wrote: “We must fully understand the effects of climate change on every aspect of our lives. There is opportunity in trade, responsible development and international relationships. The High North represents one of our planet’s last frontiers, and it must remain peaceful, stable and free of conflict.”

Prior to the panel discussion, Craig Fleener, a special assistant on Arctic policy in Alaska, will talk about “The U.S. as an Arctic Nation.” And U.S. Sen. Angus King has been invited to share thoughts about “Maine’s role in the Future of the Arctic.”

CCI faculty members attending the Maine-Arctic Forum include Sean Birkel, Ellyn Enderlin, Karl Kreutz and Robert Northington. A booth featuring CCI Arctic research will be at the event.

Also, students affiliated with the CCI, including Jeff Auger, Annie Boucher, Kimberley Rain Miner and Jessica Scheick, as well as Dominic Winski (a UMaine alumnus pursuing a doctorate at Dartmouth College), will display research posters at the forum. And students Carl Tugend, Rachel Fowler and Benjamin Burpee will attend.

In conjunction with the forum, UMaine students also will participate in a Sustainable Development Working Group roundtable discussion at 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at Bear Brew Pub in Orono. Hosts are Zeynep Turk, director of development with the Maine International Trade Center, and Ann Maceda with the U.S. State Department.

The Maine-Arctic Forum is one of a number of public events scheduled from Sept. 26 through Oct. 5 in southern Maine. Others include lectures on a variety of topics, including “Arctic Ocean Food Systems: Maine and North Atlantic Seafood Trade.”

In addition, Justin Levesque’s multimedia project “ICELANDx207: Container” will be exhibited in a shipping container in Congress Square. And 30-minute Lightning Workshops are scheduled on topics including tourism in Maine and Iceland and mapping Iceland’s landscape from space.

Public events were scheduled to coincide with area private meetings Oct. 4–6 of Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council, including ambassadors, business leaders, scientists, government officials and a Sámi reindeer herder.

The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum formed to promote cooperation, coordination and interaction on issues of common concern among the Arctic states, Arctic indigenous peoples and others in the region. Member countries are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States.

The fee is $45 per person to attend the daylong conference at USM in Abromson Community Education Center’s Hannaford Hall. The fee includes attendance at the conference, a buffet luncheon and a networking reception.

To register and for more information about the Maine-Arctic Forum, organized by the Maine North Atlantic Development Office, visit Online registration closes Thursday, Sept. 29.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777