Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Chad Kister, author of "Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness," will give a presentation on his extensive and perilous journey through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Fairmont State.

Kister, who has shown his presentation in more than a dozen states, traveled 700 miles through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 1991, rafting the rivers of the coastal plain, photographing the landscape and the wildlife and nearly dying of hypothermia after capsizing his raft in the Kekiktuk River.

The adventurer will present slides from his trip and will give a talk about the current status of the fight over oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, in Multi-media Room A of the Ruth Ann Musick Library. The event is free and open to the public.

According to Kister, the 100-mile stretch of arctic coastal plain in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the only fragment of the United States' total 1,100-mile arctic coastline not already open to oil and gas development. Oil industry officials are pushing for access to this fragile heartland of this last complete eco-system in North America, he says.

"To drill for oil here would poison the heart of this vast ecosystem; it would poison my spirit forever. I felt a need to act in defense of the Arctic Refuge," Kister wrote in his book.

Kister was born in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from the Honors Tutorial School Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, with a journalism degree. While promoting his book, Kister is coordinator for the Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign where he personally lobbies senators and representatives in an effort to protect the Arctic Refuge. He resides in Athens, Ohio.

For more information about the event at Fairmont State, call Dr. Donald Trisel at (304) 367-4308.

For the deaf and hearing impaired, there will be an interpreter present at the talk.