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Lecture series

Title:
Forum of Alaska Marine Issues (FOAMI) - see list of speakers

Composition:
Community lecture series aimed at education and outreach while providing a key link between researchers and community members. Most of the speakers were university researchers that were doing work in the Aleutian Islands that offered to share their work with the community. Speakers were asked to give a general discussion of their research topics and then elaborate on potential effects to community resources. Talks lasted from 20 minutes to an hour and a half with most lasting about 30 minutes followed by a question and answer period.  Most of the talks have been given at the Museum of the Aleutians.

Dates:
Talks began in May 2004 and have been done when researchers were available.

Audience:
The attendance at these talks has varied between 80 and 10 community members with a mean of about 25. Attendees include local fisheries managers, tribal members, village elders, other community members and visitors to Unalaska. Local media (TV, radio, and newspaper) has helped in encouraging attendance.

Effect:
FOAMI talks are an important step in bridging the gap between researchers and local community members. By speaking to locals and allowing them to have questions addressed, people are beginning to feel that they better understand the need for the research. In the past, locals have felt ignored by researchers that pass through the community without sharing their findings. This outreach/education opportunity allows the community to hear what is happening in their local waters from the people/experts doing the research. The researchers, in return, gain local perspective, historical documentation, and potential follow up opportunities. The FOAMI series began in May of 2004 and has had 1500 people in attendance.

Products:
The main product for this series is a better educated/ more informed group of rural community members. More importantly, by researchers taking the time to address the concerns of locals, there is a growing feeling of respect between the two groups.

Sea Grant tenants addressed: 

Education, Outreach, Research 

Subpages (1): List of talks
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