Abstract Submission Deadline: Saturday, 15 November 2008

For further information and to submit an abstract, please go to:

In this 4th International Polar Year, the Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA) is collaborating with the University of Alaska Fairbanks to host the symposium "Lessons from Continuity and Change in the Fourth International Polar Year," to be held 4-7 March 2009, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Abstracts are now being accepted for the session, "Oil and Gas Development: Balancing Interests and Sustainability."

In an era of rapid climate change, globalization, and community transformation, the north has lessons to offer lower latitudes about adaptive practices, measuring vulnerabilities, design of infrastructure, and innovative policy-making. But, it also has much to learn from other states facing similar changes. The symposium seeks to engage research on such issues and forge new alliances among scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders to explore, discuss, plan and prepare opportunities for sustainable development. Activities associated with oil and gas development reflect the suite of major interconnected transformations that are underway (see more at: http://www.alaska.edu/ipy/north2020/main.xml).

Organizers of the "Oil and Gas Development" session invite scholars and practitioners to share their lessons learned in this special session focused on oil and gas. Topics for this session may include:

- Implications of environmental change for oil and gas development and  policy;
- Managing impacts in dynamic marine and terrestrial ecological systems  (values, risks and uncertainties);
- Rural communities (vulnerabilities and adaptations);
- Stakeholder participation in complex, multi-user systems;
- Integrating local, traditional, and indigenous knowledge in planning and management (How can local knowledge contribute to continuously improving design, regulations and decision-making?);
- Improving communication, coordination and flexibility for responsive decision-making in a rapidly changing social and ecological environment;
- Questions of scale and knowledge in observation from local to remote sensing; and
- University-Community-Industry Partnerships (opportunities and obstacles).

Other important questions to be addressed may include:

- How can researchers provide information that is of value to decision-makers?
- What are the barriers to making the management regime more responsive to changing conditions in the environment, in the state of information, or in the constellation of stakeholder concerns?
- What are the frontiers for research, development and policy for reducing environmental impacts? Are there important differences in stakeholders' framing of risks?

Natural, social, geophysical, and policy sciences are all encouraged to submit abstracts. Presentations may be of disciplinary or interdisciplinary nature. Abstracts should be submitted via the symposium website at http://institute.inra.org/ipy/ by Saturday, 15 November 2008.

Further information on the meeting scope, student poster competition, and the details of abstract submission and acceptance can be found on the symposium website: http://institute.inra.org/ipy/.