Kanae Tokunaga Submitted photo

LEWISTON — The 2023-2024 season of the Great Falls Forum is set to continue Thursday, Feb. 15, and feature Dr. Kanae Tokunaga, senior scientist in Coastal and Marine Economics at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

She will talk about “Climate Change and the Blue Acceleration in Maine.” This free, public program will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in Callahan Hall at the Lewiston Public Library, 200 Lisbon St.

“We are living in an era of blue acceleration with rapid growth in various ocean economy sectors. Both globally and in Maine, aquaculture production is expanding, marine cargo shipping is becoming more active, and ocean energy development is taking off. All of this is happening as we start to experience climate change impacts on the ocean ecosystem and the economies,” said Tokunaga, according to a news release from the library.

In her presentation, followed by interactive discussion with audience members, Tokunaga will explain recent global and local trends in ocean use, what climate resilience looks like in global and local fisheries, and challenges associated with blue acceleration and increasing demands for ocean space.

Tokunaga applies economic modeling, data science, and interview and survey approaches to study how humans interact with coastal and marine natural resources. Her recent work focuses on understanding climate change impacts and climate-induced adaptation and transformation in fisheries and aquaculture systems and the socioeconomic impacts of offshore wind energy development on coastal communities.

Her disciplinary background is in economics, but most of her current work is inter- or transdisciplinary, collaborating with natural and social scientists, fishery and aquaculture stakeholders, and coastal communities. Prior to joining GMRI in 2019, she received her doctorate in economics and Ocean Policy Certificate from the University of Hawaii and worked as a researcher at the University of Tokyo in Japan.

Admission is free to all forum events; reservations are only required if attending via Zoom. The Zoom link will be posted to the library website and Facebook prior to the event. This program is a bring-your-own, brown-bag lunch event. Coffee, tea and bottled water will be available on site at the library.

The Great Falls Forum speaker series is co-sponsored by Bates College, Lewiston Public Library, and the Sun Journal. For more information, contact the Lewiston Public Library at 207-513-3135 or lplreference@lewistonmaine.gov.


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