University of Alaska Southeast

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Implications for Alaska

Juneau, AK
Date of Press Release: July 2, 2010

The University of Alaska Southeast invites the community to learn more about the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and implications for Alaska at a special panel discussion at the UAS Egan Library Thursday, July 8, 2010, 7-10 p.m. Panelists will discuss the science, policy, and community development that goes into energy production in Alaska and the missing pieces that need to be put in place.

Panelists include Fran Ulmer of the National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Spill, former Exxon Valdez Trustee Council Executive Director Jim Ayers, Dr. Jeff short, lead chemist on the Exxon Valdez oil spill and author Nick Jans. KXLL-FM Program Director Andy Kline will moderate the event.

Fran Ulmer is Chancellor of Alaska’s largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). In addition to serving as UAA’s Chancellor, Ms. Ulmer was appointed by President Barack Obama in June 2010 to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The commission is charged with investigating the causes of the explosion and oil spill, and recommending changes to prevent future disasters from occurring.

Jim Ayers is founder and President of Alaska Strategies, a conservation consulting firm providing advice to national conservation organizations and government entities. Formerly Vice President of international marine conservation organization Oceana, he managed and oversaw all aspects of Oceana’s Arctic and Pacific programs. Oceana’s major accomplishments include creating a precautionary federal Arctic Fisheries Management Plan and influencing Outer Continental Shelf drilling protections and permit withdrawals. Prior to his work with Oceana, he served as Executive Director for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council where he led development and implementation of the comprehensive restoration plan that guided expenditure of the $900 million civil settlement with Exxon in the area impacted by the oil spill.

Jeffrey Short recently retired from a 31-year career as a research chemist at NOAA, where he worked primarily on oil pollution and other contaminant issues.  He was the leading chemist for the governments of Alaska and the United States for the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and guided numerous studies on the distribution, persistence and effects of the oil on the ecosystem.  Dr. Short is the author of more than 60 scientific publications and has contributed to 3 books on oil pollution.  Dr. Short is now Pacific Science Director with Oceana.

Nick Jans is one of Alaska’s most recognized and prolific writers. A contributing editor to Alaska Magazine and a member of USA Today’s board of editorial contributors, he’s written 9 books and hundreds of magazine articles, and contributed to many anthologies. His range includes poetry, short fiction, literary essays, natural history, outdoor adventure, fishing, and political commentary.


Alex Simon

Assistant Professor of Sociology, UAS