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Alaskan Conservation Leader Receives Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation

by diana — last modified May 23, 2007 01:03 PM

February 14, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2007

(Anchorage, Alaska)—The Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) is pleased to announce that program director Dorothy Childers is the recipient of a three–year Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation for her project on Climate Change in the Bering Sea.

"Dorothy Childers' receipt of this prestigious award is testimony to her long–standing dedication to marine conservation and deep commitment to Alaska's coastal communities," said Eric Siy, AMCC's executive director.

The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation annually awards five fellowships of $150,000 each that contribute to advancing solutions to the oceans' most pressing problems. The program seeks to foster greater public understanding of the direct and crucial relationship between life in the sea and life on land. By supporting the ingenuity and leadership of its distinguished Fellows, the program calls awareness to the critical state of our oceans and demonstrates viable solutions to some of the world's most urgent conservation challenges.

Coastal and marine life of the Bering Sea – one of the world's most productive marine ecosystems –is dramatically changing as a result of warming temperatures and loss of arctic sea ice. Dorothy Childers was awarded the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation for a project that focuses on treating both the symptoms and the cause of climate change in the Bering Sea.

Childers' work will explore new approaches to fishery management that promote resilience of ecologically sensitive species and habitats. Research in the Bering Sea is building predictive capacity to help communities, the fishing industry and natural resource managers prepare for change. "Intimate knowledge of Native hunters, the practiced eye of fishing captains and the structure of scientific research are the basis for a positive response to the ecological cultural and economic dimensions of climate change in the Bering Sea," explained Childers.

As a necessary companion to applied fisheries conservation measures, the "Climate Change in the Bering Sea" project will create national opportunities for Alaska Native leaders, field scientists and fishermen to share their observations of and perspective on global warming. As keen observers of their environment and as people whose livelihoods and traditional ways of life depend on the ocean, Alaskans can play a vital role in shifting national energy policy to curb global warming. "This initiative shapes AMCC's work to recognize Alaskans on the frontlines of climate change who have the voice to influence decision makers," said Childers.

Dorothy Childers served for ten years as the executive director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) and now acts as the organization's program director. Childers presently serves on the North Pacific Research Board, is a representative on Alaska Sea Grant Public Advisory Group, and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Marine Fish Conservation Network, a diverse cross section of conservation groups and fishing associations focused on advancing fisheries conservation policy through federal legislation.

The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation is a program of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science in partnership with the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, one of the world's foremost marine research institutions. The Pew Institute for Ocean Science strives to undertake, sponsor, and promote world–class scientific activity aimed at protecting the world's oceans and the species that inhabit them.

The Pew Institute for Ocean Science website provides further information about the five 2007 Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation and their projects.

AMCC's recent article on Fisheries in Warming Oceans

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