Forum of Alaska Marine Issues (FOAMI) - see list of speakers
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.
Talks began in May 2004 and have been done when researchers were available.
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.
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.
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