North to the Future: Opportunities and Change in Alaska’s Emerging Frontiers
University of Alaska Anchorage
October 16, 2014
I. Symposium Summary
Alaska’s state motto, “North to the Future,” reflects the growing importance of Alaska’s northern regions for the state’s legal and policy developments. The increasing pace of climate change in Alaska’s northern frontiers presents political, legal, economic, and cultural issues that leaders will have to deal with in the near future. Some of these changes create important opportunities for commercial and economic development, including offshore gas leasing and oil drilling. But these economic developments, and climate change more generally, also present significant threats to Alaska’s natural environment and to the lives and well-being of its people. In the upcoming decades, Alaska’s leaders must consider carefully how to ensure good decisions about commercial opportunities and stewardship of Alaska’s unique social, cultural, and environmental resources. The legal landscape that governs these choices warrants particular scrutiny as economic, environmental, and social change occurs in the region.
Alaska’s leaders and institutions must consider and address the legal issues associated with economic development, climate change, and social and cultural concerns. This symposium proposes to provide a space for that conversation by providing a forum for Alaska’s policy makers and members of academia, non-profits, industry, and cultural institutions to broach these emerging legal issues in a constructive setting. It complements other symposia by focusing specifically on the laws, regulations, and other rules governing choices about management of Arctic resources.
The symposium will feature two panels and a lunchtime keynote speaker. The first panel, “Offshore Activities: Economic Opportunities and Costs,” will provide various perspectives on the legal issues associated with offshore activities. Panelists will discuss the options for shaping offshore policies in a way that promotes economic growth and minimizes environmental risks. The second panel, “Building a Resilient Alaska: Adapting to the Future,” will consider the projected impacts from economic development and climate change on the people of Alaska, and the legal options that are available to adapt successfully to these changes.
This will be ALR’s first live symposium, though we have published a symposium issue in the past. For more information about the accompanying publication, see Part VI of this Section.
II. Overview of Schedule
The following represents a tentative schedule of the symposium’s events:
9:30am–10:00am: Arrivals (Light Breakfast)
10:00am–10:30am: Introductory Comments
10:45am–12:15pm: Panel I (“Offshore Activities: Economic Opportunities and Costs”)
12:30pm–2:00pm: Lunch with Keynote Speaker (TBD)
2:15pm–3:45pm: Panel II (“Building a Resilient Alaska: Adapting to the Future”)
4:00pm–5:00pm: Reception (Light Refreshments)
III. Panel Format
Each panel will consist of four (4) to seven (7) panelists and a moderator. The moderator will guide the discussion, inviting two (2) panelists to make short presentations on the panel topic (length of time to be determined). The presenting panelists will be chosen based on a number of factors: ability to contribute relevant written material; expertise in proposed topic; angle of argument (and any opposing views or arguments); and any other relevant consideration that would contribute to the meaningfulness and diversity of the discussion. After the presenting panelists offer their statements, the moderator will begin the discussion by soliciting comments from the other panelists on either of the two presentations. From there, the moderator will proceed to guide the dialogue in a way that promotes the expression of a diversity of opinions, using a combination of on-the-spot and prepared questions. Finally, the panel will answer questions from the audience.
The presenting panelists in each panel will be those responsible for contributing a core article to the written publication (discussed in more detail in Part VI). These core articles will be made available in draft form to symposium attendees prior to the symposium. After the symposium, commenters will be given a few weeks to draft their own comments in response.
IV. Panelist Diversity
Panelists will be chosen to represent a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Ideally, panelists will come from a range of different sectors, including:
V. Keynote Speaker
The symposium plans to invite a keynote speaker to present during the lunch hour. In searching for an appropriate speaker, ALR intends to look for someone with clout in the community and who can speak with authority on issues related to Alaska’s Arctic North. ALR’s proposed speaker, pending availability, is Ms. Fran Ulmer, Chair for the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.
VI. Symposium Publication
In addition to the live event held in Anchorage on October 16, 2014, ALR’s December 2014 issue will publish the written component of the symposium. ALR will solicit two longer complementary articles from each panel—one from each presenting panelist—and a number of shorter comments from non-presenting panelists or attendees.
The articles from each presenting panelist will be made available to symposium attendees prior to the event. This requires that presenting panelists submit their written material to ALR by August 1, 2014. ALR encourages presenting panelists to submit their material according to ALR’s submission guidelines, available at http://alr.law.duke.edu/manuscript/. Presenting panelists can contribute papers styled as articles or as comments, according to these guidelines. Other paper formats may be accepted on a case-by-case basis if the presenting panelist discusses his or her contribution with ALR in advance.
Responses from non-presenting panelists will be collected in the weeks following the symposium. These responses may be styled as comments or as responses, according to the ALR submission guidelines. An appropriate response may be a panelist’s reaction to the discussion, a short note on an issue related to the subject, a response to a presenting panelist’s paper, etc. Page limits are flexible for these symposium-related pieces.
In addition to the symposium content from panelists that is transposed into publishable material, the issue will feature student notes on topics related to the symposium. Finally, the beginning of the issue will include a brief summary of each component of the symposium (i.e., the keynote and each panel).
This should provide enough material for a full issue’s worth of content, but in the event that not enough written content is secured, the issue will be formatted similar to the June 2011 issue and will group together the specially designated symposium materials at the beginning of the issue.
 In Volume 28, Issue No. 1 (June 2011), ALR published a short symposium on the then-recent United States Senate election in Alaska, which involved a number of legal issues surrounding Senator Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign. The issue consisted only of four symposium pieces (in addition to some non-symposium pieces): one “keynote” article, two responses to that article, and a final response from the “keynote” author.