Alaska Policy & Climate Adaptation Webinar Series

Project Overview

Dates: October 2015—May 2016




Background Documents: 

Additional information: FEMA Webinar (Nov 23, 2015) - Preparing Individuals Disproportionately Impacted by Disasters



May 10, 2016 - Water Policy & Climate Change for Alaska Natives (Presentation by Hal Shepherd)

Apirl 13, 2016 - Environmental Code Development for Alaska Natives (Toby Thaler & Toby Anungazuk)

March 9, 2016 - Harnessing the Disruptive Force Called Social Media (Mark Trahant) 

January 19, 2016 - Tribal Sovereignty & Climate Change for Alaska Natives (Presentation by Prof. Elizabeth Kronk)

January 5, 2016 - Strategies for Strengthening Alaska Native Village Roles in Natural Resource Management (Presentation by Barrett Ristroph)

November 18, 2015 - Arctic Policy & Climate Change for Alaska Natives (Presentation by Hal Shepherd) Presentation PDF

Water Policy Consulting, LLC

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 webinars 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.


May 10, 2016 - Water Policy & Climate Change for Alaska Natives

Presentation by Hal Shepherd, Water Policy Consulting, LLC.  Provides Alaska Native Communities and environmental professionals with an overall understanding of how water policies, regulation, and laws apply to Alaska Native Communities and can be utilized to find solutions to environmental challenges including climate change. Topics include:

  • Alaska Native Water rights under state instream flow, Constitution, Public Trust and related laws;
  • The Application of the Federal Trust Duty to Native Alaskan Tribal water interests;
  • Water Privatization and how it applies to Alaska;
  • Alaska Native Federally Reserved Water Rights?
  • Tribal Water Codes;
  • The Application of water rights and management to Climate Change for Alaska Natives.
  • Presentation PDF
  • Presentation Video
  • Presentation Audio

April 13, 2016 - Environmental Code Development for Alaska Natives

Presentation by Toby Thaler, Policy Director, Model Forest Policy Program/Climate Solutions University. Presentation following up on earlier presentations covering Alaska Native Village roles and the scope and use of tools to replace tribal sovereignty. Focus will be on the use of Alaska State municipal law to further Native Villages’ goals of long term resilience to global warming and other stressors. Native Villages can strengthen their political power by becoming local governments under state law in addition to participating as tribal entities in government to government relationships under federal and international law.

Presentation by Toby Anungazuk, IGAP Program Manager, Chinik Eskimo Community. Presentation will focus on the risks presented to local communities from the transshipment and storage of hazardous waste. In rural Alaska there are often no alternative to the use of Native village marine transshipment facilities. With increasing risks of storm surges causing flooding and spills, it is incumbent on Tribal governments to develop their own environmental laws to protect their communities. These laws must be developed in collaboration with affected state and federal agencies, and the owners of transshipped hazardous materials.

March 9, 2016 - Harnessing the Disruptive Force Called Social Media

Presentation by Mark Trahant who is the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. Social Media is an important part of today’s culture and can have major influence on public opinion and the political arena. This webinar will focus on how this influence can be applied to getting the message out about the impacts of climate change and creating on the ground grass roots action. The webinar will include a discussion about the increasing popularity of social media in Alaska Native communities and how it can be applied by such communities in climate adaptation and taking action to combat mitigate climate change.

January 19, 2016 - Tribal Sovereignty & Climate Change for Alaska Natives 

Presentation by Prof. Elizabeth Kronk, University of Kansas School of Law.  Presentation on tribally specific tools and resources regarding how tribal governments can effectively manage natural resources, encourage the federal government to recognize it's trust responsibility to the Villages and protect the environment consistent with the cultural and traditional needs of such tribes and villages.

January 5, 2016 - Strategies for Strengthening Alaska Native Village Roles in Natural Resource Management

Presentation by Barrett Ristroph, Ph.D. Student, University of Hawaii Pacific Policy, Director, Pacific Environment.  Unlike tribes in other U.S. jurisdictions, Alaska's tribes do not have sovereignty (or direct ownership in many cases) over their traditional lands and natural resources on which they depend for their nutritional and cultural survival. In place of treaties ensuring hunting and fishing rights, and they are subject to complex hunting laws that limit their ability to adapt hunting practices to changes in species distribution. Many Alaska Native Villages are grappling with the combined impacts of climate and social change. This Webinar will identify and evaluates a range of tools that could help Alaska Native Villages increase their influence over wildlife and land management decisions, including following international bodies.

November 18, 2015 - Arctic Policy & Climate Change for Alaska Natives

Presentation by Hal Shepherd, Water Policy Consulting, LLC.Covering Federal, state and tribal policies as they apply to arctic peoples and places and drawing on local and traditional knowledge in applying polar law and policy to climate change.  Includes US Federal government climate change related initiatives for Alaska arising out of President Obama's recent visit to the State; the interest in the Arctic region that the European Union and other international bodies have recently expressed at the inter and intra governmental level and the application of Indigenous rights and policies of the arctic region to address climate change mitigation and adaptation. Topics include: 

  • Structuring of the regulatory avenues that international governing organizations are putting into place for developing policies applicable to the Arctic region;
  • Recent US Federal government climate change related initiatives for Alaska;
  • The Denali Commission’s as Coordinator of federal climate change policies in Alaska;
  • Finding solutions tailored to the needs of the Arctic region at the international level;
  • Using the international-law and Human rights perspective for cooperation with other Arctic State partners.
  • Presentation PDF 
  • Presentation Recording

Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy

2160 Koyukuk Drive, PO Box 757245  |  Fairbanks, AK 99775-7245 map  |   tel 907-474-7812  |  fax 907-474-5662  |  Email

ACCAP is a NOAA Climate Program Office Climate & Societal Interactions RISA Program.

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