Welcome to Anchorage, Alaska: NEHA's 68th Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition

Journal of Environmental Health, January-February 2004 | Go to article overview

Welcome to Anchorage, Alaska: NEHA's 68th Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition


About Anchorage

* In the month of May, the average high temperature is 55[degrees], the average low temperature is 39[degrees], the average precipitation is just over 1/2", and there are nearly 20 hours of daylight. Spring through fall, the climate is similar to San Francisco's with the protection of the Chugach Mountains and the warming influence of the Japanese currents of the Pacific Ocean.

* Direct flight time from: Seattle--3 hours; Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco--4.5 hours; Los Angeles--5 hours; Chicago--5.5 hours; Houston--6 hours; Atlanta--7 hours; New York City--8 hours.

* From downtown you can see Mount McKinley 130 miles to the north (it is 20,320' high and the highest point in North America); two active volcanoes; and up to six major mountain ranges.

* Glacier fields are only 50 miles to the south.

* The time zone is Alaska Standard Time, one hour behind Pacific Standard Time.

The Alaska Environmental Health Association wishes to make your visit to their state a terrific one. They have established a Web site to assist you, including the names and contact information of some of their members who are serving as ambassadors for the conference and will answer any questions you may have Please visit www.aeha.net/ambassador.html.

Keynote Adrresses

Joseph M. Henderson

Associate Director, Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax attacks, Joseph Henderson served as the deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program, helping to coordinate CDC's response efforts. AEC attendees will certainly benefit from the insights he has to offer from his unique experience.

In his current capacity as the associate director of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at CDC, Henderson is responsible for all of CDC's public health emergency preparedness and response activities. These activities are currently supported by a budget of $2.3 billion.

Henderson has been with the CDC since 1992 and during that time served as the New York state immunization program director, the southeast regional consultant for the National Immunization Program, and the team leader for the National Immunization Registry Initiative for the National Immunization Program. He spent 10 years in the United States Air Force developing medical capacities to respond to the consequences of nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare. NEHA is proud to welcome Joseph Henderson as one of its keynote speakers.

Martin Buser

Four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser will transport AEC attendees to the wilds of Alaska as they imagine filling his boots in the famous 1,159 mile dog-sledding race from Anchorage to Nome. When Buser crossed the finish line on March 12, 2002 with the winning time of 8 days-22 hours-46 minutes, he became the first musher to break the "mystical 8-day barrier."

With sons named Nikolai and Rohn, both after Iditarod checkpoints, Buser's enthusiasm for his pursuit is certainly unquestionable. He came to Alaska in 1979 from his native Winterthur, Switzerland to enhance the knowledge he developed in his teens of the care and training of sled dogs. He has won the coveted Leonard Seppala Award for humanitarian care of his dogs four times. No other racer has ever won this award more than once.

Buser's gracious demeanor and success have propelled him to celebrity status not only in Alaska, but also in the "lower 48" and in his native Switzerland. He and his dogs are considered Alaskan treasures. It is fitting that the 68th Annual AEC & Exhibition in Anchorage, which seeks to infuse EH specialists with both enthusiasm and knowledge, is kicked off by the inspirational tales of this accomplished man who embodies the spirit of the grueling Iditarod. …

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