Cross-Cultural Conversations Series – Fall 2022
This series will offer several Community Cross-Cultural natural science presentations and conversations over the course of several weeks. These will be early evening events designed to fit the schedules of as many people in our community as possible, so we can gather to share and learn more about some of the current natural resource research and discoveries taking place in our region.
The purpose of these conversations is to acknowledge and include all of the cultures that make up our community and contribute to the knowledge about the world we share together. We would like to discuss how we can best take care of the many vital natural resources that we depend on for our happiness and survival. We welcome your participation and questions!
The presentations and conversations will take place at the Pratt Museum and Park, located on Bartlett Street in Homer. The first event of the series takes place this Thursday October 27th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. The museum is supported by donations, grants, and entrance fees, and therefore we appreciate any contribution that you can make at the door.
The speakers and facilitators this Thursday are Dr. Fred Sharpe of the Alaska Whale Foundation and Kenneth O’Brien of the Pratt Museum and Park. Their presentation is titled “Connecting Cultures Across the Pacific: Humpback Whales – Bringing the Aloha from Kona to Kachemak Bay.”
Dr. Sharpe and Mr. O’Brien have worked together for the past decade, investigating questions about the antiquity of the North Pacific population of humpback whales, including records and evidence shared from sources with Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Topics that they’ll address include the biology and history of this population of whales, as well as some of the cultural connections that the humpbacks embody as they travel back and forth across the wide ocean. They’ll share some of the findings of their work and discuss questions that are being explored regarding the current and future ecological challenges faced by these impressive marine mammals, such as problems with plastic debris, and warming seas that are increasing in acidity. Fred will also discuss his research on some of the unique cultural characteristics of the whales, including their uses of bubbles as tools for their survival, communications, and entertainment.
The second event in the series will be presented on Thursday, November 3rd by Olga Von Ziegesar and Shelley Gill from Winged Whale Research group just down the road in Fritz Creek. Their talk will be titled “Long Term Fishing Relationships Among the Winged Whales.” They’ll share some of their remarkable discoveries concerning the cooperative behaviors of these Hawaiian and Mexican marine giants, the humpback whales.
We hope you can join us for these and future presentations and take part in the ongoing discussions about the well-being of the species with whom we share this lovely area of Kachemak Bay.