A free, non-partisan public forum looking at the big picture of how climate change is affecting Alaska and what action we need to take to adapt to and mitigate these impacts.

This forum aims to move the conversation forward by:

  • Examining present and expected impacts on Alaska’s physical and social environments as well as military investments
  • Learning about climate change strategies and lessons from other states
  • Hearing from state policy makers, community leaders, and Alaska’s youth on current and future climate action plans
  • Exploring how each one of us can participate in the conversation and take action

Download event agenda (PDF)

Welcome, Opening Remarks & Overview

Keynote Address Bill Ross, Former AK DEC Commissioner

Lessons learned from climate change action plans and strategies in the Western states: what has worked and has not worked.

Bill Ross, Former Alaska DEC Commissioner, Principal of Ross Strategic

UAA PADM Grad Students & Alaska Policy makers

UAA PADM Grad Students

  • Robert Onders: Climate Change and Vector-Borne Disease – Adam Schoffstall: Principles of Sustainable Land Use and the Formation of an Alaska Commission on Sustainable Development – Lane Smith: Glenn Highway and Emissions Reduction Alaska State Policy Makers’ Panel
  • Larry Hartig, Commissioner of the Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation
  • Craig Fleener, Special Assistant on Arctic Policy, Governor’s Office
  • Kate Troll, Member of Gov. Palin’s Mitigation Advisory Group (download PowerPoint presentation)

Alaska Community Leaders' Panel

  • Ethan Berkowitz, Mayor of Anchorage
  • Beth Wythe, Mayor of Homer
  • Reggie Joule, Former Mayor of NW Borough

UAA Public Administration Graduate Students Present

UAA Public Administration Graduate Students present

  • Carla Burkhead: Climate Change Driven Wildfire and Updating the Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  • Russell Streif: Strengthening Elementary School Climate Change Curriculum

Alaska Citizens’ Panel

Alaska Citizens’ Panel

  • Shaina Kilcoyne, Renewable Energy Alaska Project
  • George Donart, Citizens Climate Change Lobby
  • Faith Gemmill, REDOIL, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands

Young Alaskans' Panel and Closing Remarks

Young Alaskans’ Panel

  • Maka Monture, Indigenous Fellow at Alaska Center for the Environment
  • Xavier Mason, President, NAACP Youth Panel
  • Vika Morozova, President of Anchorage AYEA chapter, Alaska Youth for Environmental Action

Closing Discussion: What will we do? Discussion among all panelists and audience, facilitated by moderator, Libby Roderick.

Wrap up Cliff Groh, Chair Alaska Common Ground.

Event Videos

9:00 a.m. - Introduction & Overview

10:20 a.m. - Here's my Proposal

1:00 p.m. - Debate: Where is the Alaska Economy Headed?

2:00 p.m. - Citizens with proposals attempt to fashion a compromise on stage

2:45 p.m. - Panel discussion



  • 9:00-9:10 - Introduction Cliff Groh, Chair of Alaska Common Ground
  • 9:10-10:10 - Overview: What’s the Problem? What Steps Could We Take? Overview by Prof. Gunnar Knapp; David Teal, Director, Alaska Legislative Finance Division; Larry Persily, and Ian Laing (with explanatory tools)
    • Moderator: Cliff Groh
  • 10:10-10:20 - Break
  • 10:20-12 Noon - Here’s My Proposal Citizens present proposals to fill $2.5-billion annual gap for five consecutive years and then answer questions
    • Citizens with proposals: John Havelock; Brad Keithley; Liz Medicine Crow; Gary Wilken
    • Moderators: Cliff Groh; Gunnar Knapp; Larry Persily
  • 12 Noon-1 - Voting and lunch (prepay for a lunch at www.akcommonground.org or bring your own)
  • 1:00-2:00 - Debate: Where Is the Alaska Economy Headed? How Will Our Fiscal Choices Affect the Alaska Economy? What Do the Answers to those Two Questions Say about What Fiscal Choices Make Sense?
    • Bill Popp vs. Mark Foster
    • Moderator: Rhonda McBride
  • 2:00-2:40 - Citizens with proposals attempt to fashion a compromise on stage
  • 2:40-2:45 - Announcement of voting results
  • 2:45-3:45 - Panel: What Happens Next? What Are the Institutional and Political Factors in Making Decisions Going Forward? How Can Citizens Have More of a Say?
    • Sen. John Coghill; Rep. David Guttenberg; Commissioner of Revenue Randy Hoffbeck
    • Moderators: Cliff Groh and Larry Persily
  • 3:45-4:00 - Wrap-up

A forum exploring the costs of healthcare in Alaska and how they affect Alaska’s fiscal future. Panelists will discuss reasons for the high healthcare costs in Alaska and possible solutions to reduce them.

Event Video