Water Policy Consulting, LLC, ACCAP, and tribal environmental and climate change professionals throughout the country, together, are offering the Winter 2015-16 Policy & Climate Adaptation Mitigation and Planning for Alaska Natives webinar series. The series will demonstrate how Native Villages and other communities in Alaska can apply state, federal and tribal policies to address climate change impacts on water and subsistence resources through water resource management and protection, land and water rights, sovereignty and other resiliency and mitigation strategies.
Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically during the last few decades. Estimating the maximum and minimum sea ice extent, before it occurs, is a important tool for developing and implementing near-term public policy.
The proposed study would fill the information gap by describing the potential nature and scope of economic effects of climate change that are likely to become manifest in Alaska over the next 30-50 years.
Beginning in January 2016, Melanie will be conducting research to reflexively measure and evaluate the process of science co-production and communication within this context. Specifically, she will investigate the decision contexts of wildfire management in Alaska, explore organizational frameworks for connecting science with users, analyze the innovation of decision-support services and evolution of use-inspired science, and contribute to generalizable knowledge to inform decisions through science application.
ACCAP (Walsh) served on the review team that reviewed for the 2015 Center for Global Change (CGC) student grant competition at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. CGC annually funds students through a variety of sources and funding agencies (federal and state) as well as University of Alaska general funds. ACCAP agreed to provide funding for two CGC student projects. The two projects align with the greater ACCAP mission and foci. One project is focused on the subsistence halibut fishery in SE Alaska. It will assess long-term trends in subsistence halibut harvest and evaluate the mechanisms driving changes in harvest. The other project investigates the morphology of the Beaufort Sea coastline during the last interglacial period as a potential historical analog for predicted future sea level change. Those projects will begin in July of 2015 and continue through the 2015/2016 academic year.
The goal of this effort is to identify current coastal research and management projects taking place in this region. Once identified, we will synthesize the information into a report that documents the ‘project landscape’ for communities facing change, decision-makers navigating change, researchers pursuing projects, and agencies prioritizing where to allocate resources.
Research on coastal change in Western Alaska has increased rapidly in recent years, making it challenging to track existing projects, understand their cumulative insights, gauge remaining research gaps, and prioritize future research. The goal of this effort is to help the Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative (WALCC) meet its mission of coordinating, developing, and disseminating applied science to inform conservation in the context of climate change.
This study evaluates the Baseline Studies Program, an organization that was created based on a collaborative research agreement between the North Slope Borough of Alaska and Shell to improve information collection and management of issues associated with the potential impacts of oil and gas development on marine ecosystems and coastal communities dependent subsistence resources for their livelihoods.
Marine operators in Alaskan coastal waters and adjacent seas are sensitive to weather constraints. Among the stakeholder groups affected are commercial shippers (including barge operators), coastal communities, fishing vessel operators and the offshore oil and gas industry. There is a need for products that would enable “go/no-go” decisions over timescales of several days, as well as monthly to seasonal outlooks that would facilitate decisions related to scheduling and routing. This means that integrating data about wind speed, direction, and duration to create a novel metric that provides information integral to support the decision making process.
The tools and techniques for making monthly and season scale climate forecasts are rapidly changing, with the potential to provide useful forecasts at the month and longer range. Rick Thoman (Climate Science and Services Manager, Environmental and Scientific Services Division, National Weather Service Alaska Region) will review recent climate conditions around Alaska, review forecast tools and finish up with the Climate Prediction Center's outlook for the upcoming season.
Rick will also present a "Feature-of-the-Month" special addition in which he'll highlight a topic relevant to the particular month.
This project is the focus of Rick Lader's PhD research and involves extreme events assessment for Alaska using dynamically downscaled regional climate model simulations.
This project will engage stakeholders including agencies, local communities, industry, non-profit organizations and academia on scenarios of onshore and offshore infrastructure development for energy and resource extraction in the North Slope, Alaska.
In Alaska, US and Yakutia (Sakha Republic), Russia, spring is known as a flood season. Rapid warming can force river ice to break up quickly and pile in tremendous jams at narrow and curved points of the rivers, flooding nearby settlements. Both Alaskans and Yakuts are prepared for ice jams, but not for the severity of their consequences. Significant funds are spent on challenging annual disaster response and recovery efforts. In addition to the financial losses, spring floods lead to injuries and loss of life, displacement and long-term evacuation of population, damage to cultural or heritage sites, loss of means of livelihood, and ecosystem resource loss. Crippling costs may be reduced, and community wellbeing improved, through a cross-society and cross-disciplinary approach to mitigating the problem.
The Nome Eskimo Community (NEC), in collaboration with ACCAP, will develop a climate adaptation plan for the tribal organizations located in the Nome Census area. This includes tribal members of NEC, Native Village of Solomon, Native Village of Council, and King Island Native Community.