Search Speaker Bureau
The Speakers Bureau is a directory of arctic researchers and experts that are available to visit organizations, communities or schools to give presentations. The directory contains names, addresses, science specialties, and presentation experience.
We encourage organizations and communities applying to the Arctic Visiting Speakers Series to use the Speakers Bureau to select a visiting speaker. If a particular subject or speaker is not listed, please contact Judy Fahnestock at avs [at] arcus.org, for suggested speakers.
Dr. Gradinger specializes in the dynamics of microbial communities in polar seas. His recent work deals with the structuring role of sea ice for biological processes in Arctic waters. His participation in SBI, BEST/BSIERP and the Arctic Ocean Diversity projects focused on the ice-based microbial food web and the coupling of sea ice, pelagic and benthic realms in Arctic waters.
Dr. Crate is an applied social scientist trained in cultural anthropology and human ecology with a focus on the complex issues of human-environment interactions. She practices ethnography and uses the contemporary theory intrinsic to human-ecological interactions, political ecology, sustainability studies and the politics of social change in her analyses. Her academic training, approach to teaching, and research orientation are interdisciplinary, as evidenced in her evolving research agenda, her publications to date, and her teaching.
The overarching theme of her ongoing research, teaching and service is the investigation into and fostering of sustainability in our contemporary world. This has been the central focus of her research in Russia since 1988 and is also the objective of her nascent domestic research agenda. The concepts and practices of sustainability are also integral to her teaching and active service, especially in campus greening. Dr. Crate is also involved in several international working groups that focus on sustainability in the arctic.
Valerie Alia is an award-winning journalist, academic, author, and photographer. She is known internationally for defining the discipline of political onomastics – the politics of naming – and for her work on media ethics, Indigenous Arctic cultures, identities, and communications.
Alia's latest books are The New Media Nation: Indigenous Peoples and Global Communication and Names and Nunavut: Culture and Identity in the Inuit Homeland. She wrote and narrated the documentary, Nunavut: Where Names Never Die, for CBC, and is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. Alia states, "I have spoken on Arctic issues, media ethics, and other topics as a keynote speaker and invited guest speaker, and have given readings in public libraries and other places; I have been making public presentations for more than thirty years; I enjoy speaking, fostering and encouraging public dialogue." Alia is interested in addressing academic audiences, graduate seminars, and the general public. A few representative lecture titles are:
- The New Media Nation: Indigenous Networks
- Outlaws and Citizens: Indigenous people and 'The New Media Nation'
- Names, Numbers, and Northern Peoples / The Politics of Naming in the Arctic
- Media Ethics in the Arctic
Alia was born in New York and raised in Oklahoma City, where she was active in the civil rights movement, participating in one of the first successful lunch counter sit-ins. She has a BA from the University of Cincinnati, an MA from Michigan State, and a PhD from York University (Canada). Alia has taught in universities in the US, UK, and Canada; is Adjunct Professor of Social Sciences at Royal Roads University (Victoria, Canada) and Visiting Professor at Leeds Metropolitan University (UK); and was the Running Stream Professor of Ethics and Identity at Leeds Metropolitan, Distinguished Professor of Canadian Culture at Western Washington University, and Senior Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge.
Dr. Vladimir Alexeev is presently a Research Associate professor at the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. He is currently collaborating on many research projects, including:
- Modeling permafrost at the Permafrost Lab of the Geophysical Institute (GI), an activity being done in close contact with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Danish Meteorological Institute,
- An IARC supported project on low-frequency variability in the Arctic,
- A study on the Arctic freshwater cycle using observations and simple conceptual models, in an NSF-funded project on Siberian hydroclimatology Alexeev also served as a chief scientist on the Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational System (NABOS) 2009 Cruise.
Alexeev is an active speaker, and has given several presentations in local Fairbanks schools and has been involved in the organization of IARC supported summer schools for early career scientists and K-12 teachers since 2003.
Alexeev is interested in addressing all types of audiences and is available at all times of the year. Representative lecture titles include:
- Arctic Climate Change: Why is the Arctic Warming Faster than the Rest of the Globe
- My Discovery of the Arctic
- My Incredible Trip to Antarctica
Brad has a BS in Biology from the Pennsylvania State University, and an MS and PhD in Zoology from the Ohio State University His MS work focused was on the abundance and habitat use of post-breeding shorebirds in northern Alaska, and his doctoral studies addressed the effects that the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill had on black oystercatchers in Prince William Sound. After completing graduate studies, he began his U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service career in Anchorage, Alaska as a migratory bird biologist. In this capacity, he helped establish and facilitate multi-agency/organization technical working groups for landbirds, shorebirds, and loons. Moving to Arlington, Virginia in 2001, Brad took on a position as National Coordinator of the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan. As staff to the U. S. Shorebird Conservation Plan Council, he works with partners to develop collective solutions to the conservation problems facing migratory shorebirds. Luckily, Brad is able to continue some field work in the arctic and beyond and is primarily interested in problems of bird survey design and the application of science to conservation decision-making. Brad has produced more than 50 scientific manuscripts, technical reports, and conservation plans and has given more than 30 scientific presentations. He has also used his scientific background to bring biological messages to the lay public through more than 30 popular presentations and articles.
Some representative lecture titles include:
- Conserving Birds Throughout Their Annual Cycle
- Evaluating the Importance of the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area Within the National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska: Predicting Shorebird Density and Abundance
When asked why he would like to participate in the AVS program Brad stated he wanted to, "Create awareness of the fabulous nature of arctic birds and the threats they face throughout their annual cycle."
Leonid M. Baskin was born at Moscow, 04 September 1939. He was educated in the Moscow State University as biologist-zoologist. After the university he was used as a director of reindeer farm at Kamchatka. Then, he finished post-graduation curse in the Moscow State University where in 1968 he received a degree of a candidate of biological sciences. The title of his candidate dissertation was "Ecological fundamentals of reindeer husbandry". Just after that Baskin was invited at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences where he was used as a junior scientist, later senior scientist, and since 1994 a chief scientist. In 1975, Baskin received a degree of doctor of biological sciences. The title of doctoral dissertation was "Behavioral fundamentals of ungulates' behavior". In 2006, Baskin received a title of Professor as a scientific leader of 8 doctors and candidates of sciences.
During his scientific career Baskin published 12 books and about 200 papers. His most well-known books are:
- Baskin, L.M. Reindeer. Ecology and behavior. Nauka publications, Moscow. 1970. 150 p (in Russian)
- Baskin, L.M. Behavior of ungulates. Nauka publications, Moscow. 1976 (in Russian). 295 p.
- Hudson, R.J., Drew, K.R., and Baskin, L.M. Wildlife Production Systems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1989. 469 p (In English)
- Baskin, L.M. and Danell, K. Ecology of Ungulates. Springer, Berlin. 2003. 434 p. (In English)
- Pruitt, W.O. and L.M. Baskin. Boreal forest of Canada and Russia. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia. 2004. 163 p., (In English)
- Baskin, L.M. Reindeer. Behavior and management. Hunting and reindeer husbandry. KMK Publications, Moscow. 2009. 284 p. (in Russian)
- Baskin, L.M. and Okhlopkov, I.M. Protection of large mammals from industrial threats. KMK Publications, Moscow. 2012. 201 p. (in Russian).
Dr. Ekaterina Belooussova is currently working on a project affiliated with the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, Russia. Her project, supported by the Research Support Scheme, is entitled " Natural Childbirth" Movement in Russia: An Anthropological Perspective".
Ekaterina received her Ph.D. in Culture Theory from the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia. She conducted her undergraduate studies and master's in Classical Studies at the Department of Classical Studies at St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Her research interests are in contemporary urban folklore, medical anthropology, and gender studies.
Other projects that Ekaterina has been involved in include: "Contemporary Urban Popular Culture", Ideas and Beliefs, Concerning Childbirth, in Contemporary Urban Culture," and "Childbirth in Russia as seen by our Contemporaries." Ekaterina has also written several research papers as well as served as an editor and translator for a Russian publisher.
In the fall of 2001, she presented a lecture on, "The image of a spiritual midwife in contemporary Russian urban folklore," at the American Folklore Society Meeting and the National Park Service Beringia Days Conference, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Janet Mancini Billson is a native of Canada. She attended one-room schools in southern Ontario and completed her education through high school in British Columbia.
Dr. Billson is the author of:
- Inuit Women: A Century of Change, with Kyra M. Reis, a study of the impact of rapid social change and Canadian resettlement policy on Inuit culture and women's status and roles in Baffin Island);
- Keepers of the Culture: The Power of Tradition in Women's Lives (1995/1999, which includes a chapter on Inuit women); and numerous articles and book chapters on women and identity.
She has lectured widely on women in Canada, Native women, Inuit women and their families, and Nunavut.
As a sociologist, she specializes in gender and identity, particularly as affected by rapid social change and development. She interviewed Inuit women and men on Baffin Island, including dozens of focus groups. She developed a unique feminist research methodology in order to ensure that women in each community engaged in the process of interpreting data, testing emerging hypotheses, and reviewing the final draft of their community's chapter.
She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University and was a professor of sociology and women's studies at Rhode Island College for 18 years. In 1999 she was named Alumni of the Year at Baldwin-Wallace College and in 2000 she received the national Sociological Practice Award from the Society for Applied Sociology. She was Visiting Professor at The George Washington University until 1996 and has since directed a small consulting firm focusing on international development. Billson has served as associate editor of the Canadian Review of American Studies and is active in many professional organizations, including the Lecture topics include:
- Her Powerful Spirit—Inuit Women in a Century of Change
- Keepers of the Culture: Common Pain and Uncommon Strengths Among Canada's Native Women
- Defining a New Inuit Identity: Taking Nunavut into the 21 st Century
- Gender, Power, and Ethnicity in North America: Significance in the Next Century
- Domestic Violence in the Context of Inuit Culture
Janet Billson shows related slides in order to stimulate discussion and obtain feedback from both general and academic audiences.
"My talks always try to inject some "alternative views" of our science, as portrayed by artists or school children. In this sense, I'm a bit peculiar."
Dr. Sam Bowser is a cell biologist at Wadsworth Center in Albany, New York. He is interested in the evolution and ecology of rhizopod protists, specifically Foraminifera, which are single-celled organisms that play an important role in the world's oceans. Research in Bowser's lab has helped unravel the early evolution of Foraminifera, their relationship to other rhizopods, and their ecological significance. He has extensive field experience in polar regions (McMurdo Sound Antarctica; Svalbard) and he could fill a book with stories about research at high altitudes.
Bowser is highly involved with the intertwining of art and science. To bring science to a larger audience, he works in cooperation with many artists in a variety of media including: photography, television, and film. He played a leading role in Werner Herzog's Oscar-nominated documentary Encounters at the End of the World.
Bowser is a very experienced lecturer and public speaker. He has given hundreds of talks to school age children, and most recently was invited to speak in the celebration of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. Other recent public speaking events include being the keynote speaker for Earthweek 2009 at Dutchess Community College, and giving the keynote address at the University of Albany Department of Biological Sciences 2009 commencement ceremony.
Bowser is interested in speaking to a wide variety of audiences, and is excited to have the opportunity to network with a diverse group of educators. He is not available to speak during the months of October through December.
Representative lecture titles include:
• "Endangered Submarine Forests: Protistan Trees with More Bite Than Bark"
• "Twenty Years On (and Under) Antarctic Ice"
• "Art/Science in Antarctica: Rational Art and Irrational Science"
Bowser received his doctoral degree at the State University of New York in Albany; then went on to conduct two concurrent post-doctorate studies, one in cell biology at the Wadsworth Center, and the second in Polar Biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
A new genus of Foraminifera (Bowseria spp.) was named "in honor of Dr. Sam Bowser (USA), a protistologist and polar explorer, who has spent many years studying Antarctic monothalamous foraminifera and contributed immensely to our knowledge of their biology.
Dr. Syndonia Bret-Harte is currently a plant/ecosystem ecologist at the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has worked in both the tundra and boreal forest, and has been a researcher at Toolik Lake, Alaska for more than ten years. Dr. Bret-Harte is interested in how plant species affect the cycling of carbon and nitrogen in northern ecosystems, and how the growth responses of individual plant species may influence the response of northern ecosystems to climate change. Dr. Bret-Harte is just starting a new research project on how the interactions between shrubs and winter snow cover may influence carbon and nitrogen cycling in tundra as shrubs expand in tundra ecosystems.
Dr. Bret-Harte has experience lecturing to a broad range of audiences including high school students, teachers, tourists, community residents, congressional staffers, and scientists. Because of summer fieldwork, Dr. Bret-Harte can only participate in the Arctic Visiting Speakers' program during the winter. If a venue in northern Alaska was available during the summer, however, she could possibly participate since her fieldwork is at Toolik Field Station.
Representative lecture titles include:
- Climate change and tundra plants
- The role of different plant species in the response of northern ecosystems to environmental perturbation
- Plant and soil responses to neighbor removal and fertilization in tussock tundra
Through participating in the Arctic Visiting Speakers' Program, Dr. Bret-Harte hopes to help inform the public of scientific issues.