Community-Based Surveys Inform Climate Change Adaptation in Rural and Frontier Communities in Alaska

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM AKDT
David Driscoll

D. Driscoll, G. Luber, E. Mitchell and S. Renes


Effective adaptations by northern residents to climate change require measurement and discussion of environmental effects and health outcomes at the local level. More than 60 participants representing eight communities across Alaska provided monthly surveys from 2011 to 2012 including observations on local weather, hunting and harvesting, food and water safety, and general health and air quality. Participants selected primary hazards such as extreme or unusual weather events associated with injuries, threats to food security associated with adverse health outcomes including paralytic shellfish poisoning, and reduced indoor/outdoor air quality associated with respiratory complaints. Participants requested time-sensitive communications of extreme weather events, temperature trends, and adverse air quality forecasts. Residents may use these communications to modify travel times or routes, practice safe subsistence consumption, and avoid areas affected by air quality warnings.


Results were presented in each community, and vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies were assessed. The second round of data will assess the utility of these communications and adaptive practices.  Dr. Driscoll will discuss the results of the surveys and the future implications and directions for this study.

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Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy

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