SACNAS National Conference 2008

JISAO participates in 2008 SACNAS national conference

International Polar Year: Global Change in Our Communities

The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) met in Salt Lake City October 9-12. The UW chapter organized a session of the conference that included JISAO scientists Sarah Doherty and Phil Mote who spoke on the session's theme, "Global Change in the Polar Regions, the International Polar Year and SACNAS 2008."

Dr. Mote shared his assessment of the IPCC report in a talk titled "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: An insider's view of its challenges and accomplishments." Dr. Doherty spoke on "The transport of pollutants through the atmosphere and its effect on Arctic snow and sea ice" describing her research in the Arctic.

JISAO cosponsored a booth in the exhibition hall with the UW Polar Science Center staffed by JISAO scientist Laura Hinkelman and UW graduate student Cecilia Peralta Ferriz. As part of the conference activities, Dr. Hinkelman volunteered in the SACNAS mentoring program while Dr. Doherty participated in an evening event where students met with scientists in their field of interest. According to Doherty, "the students were very eager and had a lot of curiosity about how grad school works and what options they have either with just an undergrad degree or with an advanced degree."

Laura at SACNAS conference in Salt Lake CityBecause the primary goal of the SACNAS meeting is the development of Chicano and Native American scientists, its character is different from that of other scientific conferences. In addition to standard sessions on topics ranging from polar imaging to genomics and astronomy, there were professional development workshops and extensive opportunities for mentoring and networking. An evening powwow and other cultural activities also added to the unique character and experience of the conference.