Michael Brubaker, Director of Community Environment and Safety, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
The Local Environmental Observer or LEO network is providing rural Alaska communities with tools to improve monitoring for events such as extreme weather, damage to infrastructure, invasive species, and to perform surveillance for outbreaks of illness in wildlife used for subsistence foods. The program uses an internet-based survey for posting observations on monthly Google Maps which are archived to provide a lasting observation record of the observations. In addition to documenting the impacts of change across Alaska, the network is also improving communication, and connecting local environmental and health managers with agencies and organizations that can provide technical assistance and resources. This presentation provides an overview of LEO as a strategy for community-based monitoring of our changing Arctic environment and climate.