April 21, 2000

UA Technology Will Send Arctic Council Panel Discussion Around the World

April 21, 2000ยป NR 08-2000
The University of Alaska will host an Arctic Council panel discussion on "contaminants and human health" Wednesday, April 26, and the university's technology connections will distribute it over the Internet and to research universities around the world.

Alaska Lt. Governor Fran Ulmer will be the moderator for the panel discussion, which is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, from 1 to 2 p. m. in the KUAC television studio in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.

In addition to Ulmer, panelists will include Dr. James E. Berner, director of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium; Patricia Cochran, executive director of the Alaska Native Science Commission; Lars-Otto Reiersen, executive director of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program; Jens Hansen, chair of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program; John Kelley, professor in the Department of Marine Science at UAF; and Lawrence Duffy, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UAF.

The discussion will be distributed using state of the art technology at the University of Alaska to reach the widest possible audience. KUAC-TV, UA's Public Broadcasting television station, will record the panel discussion. A feed from KUAC will be distributed over both the current Internet to the general public and over the new high speed Internet2 to research universities around the world.

The Alaska Public Radio Network will tape the forum, and broadcast it around Alaska at 7 p. m. Wednesday.

The panel will be webcast live over the Internet and can be seen at http://real.alaska.edu:8000/UA/ArcticCouncil.rm using the real video (free) software. Anyone in the world with an Internet connection can watch it.

Within Alaska, the panel will be distributed live through the state over the university's video conferencing network sites in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. In Anchorage, the site is in the University Lakes Building on the UAA campus; in Fairbanks on the UAF campus at the Butrovich Building and the Rasmuson Library; and in Juneau at the Egan Library on the UAS campus.

The panel will be sent live over the university's new optical fiber circuit to the ResearchChannel at the University of Washington where it will be recorded for later nationwide satellite broadcast over Echostar's Dish 500 Network on channel 9400. ResearchChannel also will archive the panel on their video server. Research universities with the proper connections will be able to play the stored panel presentation in demand over Internet2. This will require an Internet2 connection and special hardware.

The panel video also will be sent, after the event, via the university's new fiber optic connection to research networks in Europe for multicast over appropriate research networks in Europe and Asia.
News media is invited to attend the panel discussion. UAF technical staff and panel members will be available for interviews after the forum.

The Arctic Council, a high level forum of the eight circumpolar nations and indigenous peoples' organizations, is meeting in Fairbanks this year. Canada was the first country to chair the Council, and the U. S. became chair for the years 1998-2000. In October, Finland assumes the chair, and it may be some time before the Council meets in the U. S. again.

The Council's meeting here gives UAF an opportunity to showcase the breadth and depth of its research work in regard to the Arctic. Faculty and researchers will showcase their work in the Board of Regents room at the Butrovich Building and in the INIS facility at the International Arctic Research Center. Those attending the Council meeting also will tour the UA Museum and the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center at the Butrovich Building.

The 150 Arctic Council delegates and members will be on the UAF campus Thursday, April 27, from 3:45 p. m. to 5:45 p.m. The news media is also invited to be on campus to talk with Arctic Council members and delegates.

Mike Sfraga, University of Alaska, 907-474-1997;
Charles Fedullo, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, 907-269-3784
MA 08-00