Monster Seminar JAM - Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska's North Slope
Dr. Gordon H. Orians, Department of Biology, University of Washington
Since oil was first discovered at Prudhoe Bay in 1968, more than 14 billion barrels of oil have been extracted from underground deposits on the North Slope and sent to markets elsewhere. Industrial activities on the North slope have brought positive and negative economic, social, and environmental consequences. Because no comprehensive assessment had been made of the cumulative effects of those activities, Congress requested that the National Academies review and assess available data so that long-term decision-making about resource management in the area can be better informed. The Committee established by the National Research Council, the working arm of the Academies, published its comprehensive report in 2003. The report documents the effects of industrial activity on hydrological processes, vegetation, animals, and North Slope human communities, and it projects probable effects under a plausible scenario of future expansion of the oil fields. It also identifies important knowledge gaps and suggests how they might be filled. I chaired the committee and will summarize the main findings of the report and describe important political and industrial events since its publication.
Date and Time:
April 28, 2005,
11:00 am - 12:30 pm