Aleut International Association

Anchorage, AK, United States

Aleut International Association

Anchorage, AK, United States
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Huntington H.P.,The Clearing | Ortiz I.,University of Washington | Noongwook G.,Savoonga Whaling Captains Association | Fidel M.,Aleut International Association | And 6 more authors.
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography | Year: 2013

Alaska Native coastal communities interact with the marine environment in many ways, especially through the harvest of fish, marine mammals, and seabirds. The spatial characteristics of this interaction are often depicted in terms of subsistence use areas: the places where harvests and associated travel occur. Another way to consider the interaction is to examine the areas where harvested species range during their lifecycle or annual migratory path. In this paper, we compare seasonal subsistence use areas, lifetime subsistence use areas, and "calorie-sheds," or the area over which harvested species range. Each perspective offers useful information concerning not only the nature of human-environment interactions but also the scope for potential conflict with other human activity and the means by which such conflicts could be reduced, avoided, or otherwise addressed. Seasonal subsistence use areas can be used to manage short-term activities, such as seasonal vessel traffic during community re-supply. Lifetime subsistence use areas indicate the area required to allow hunters and fishers the flexibility to adjust to interannual variability and perhaps to adapt to a changing environment. Calorie-sheds indicate the areas about which a community may be concerned due to potential impacts on the species they harvest. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Arnold S.R.,University of Leeds | Law K.S.,Paris-Sorbonne University | Brock C.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Thomas J.L.,Paris-Sorbonne University | And 23 more authors.
Elementa | Year: 2016

The Arctic is a sentinel of global change. This region is influenced by multiple physical and socio-economic drivers and feedbacks, impacting both the natural and human environment. Air pollution is one such driver that impacts Arctic climate change, ecosystems and health but significant uncertainties still surround quantification of these effects. Arctic air pollution includes harmful trace gases (e.g. tropospheric ozone) and particles (e.g. black carbon, sulphate) and toxic substances (e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that can be transported to the Arctic from emission sources located far outside the region, or emitted within the Arctic from activities including shipping, power production, and other industrial activities. This paper qualitatively summarizes the complex science issues motivating the creation of a new international initiative, PACES (air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies). Approaches for coordinated, international and interdisciplinary research on this topic are described with the goal to improve predictive capability via new understanding about sources, processes, feedbacks and impacts of Arctic air pollution. Overarching research actions are outlined, in which we describe our recommendations for 1) the development of trans-disciplinary approaches combining social and economic research with investigation of the chemical and physical aspects of Arctic air pollution; 2) increasing the quality and quantity of observations in the Arctic using long-term monitoring and intensive field studies, both at the surface and throughout the troposphere; and 3) developing improved predictive capability across a range of spatial and temporal scales. © 2016 Arnold et al.

Fidel M.,University of Alaska Anchorage | Kliskey A.,University of Alaska Anchorage | Kliskey A.,University of Idaho | Alessa L.,University of Alaska Anchorage | And 2 more authors.
Polar Geography | Year: 2014

The Bering Sea Sub-Network, a Community-Based Observation Network, was initiated to improve knowledge of environmental changes occurring in the Bering Sea and to enable scientists, Arctic communities and governments to predict, plan and respond. Climate change can affect the health of the social-ecological system of Indigenous communities through negative effects to travel and changes to biological resources used for subsistence. Harvesters are perceptive of, and often have multigenerational knowledge about, the environmental conditions which subsistence activities are dependent upon. Community monitoring can detect local level environmental changes, and provide society with examples of adaptation strategies. Semi-structured interviews, with a participatory mapping component, were used to collect data on marine subsistence activity in Indigenous communities bordering the Bering Sea, in the Russian Federation and Alaska, USA. Spatial data allow exploration of human responses to change over time. In the Yup'ik village of Togiak, Alaska a shift has occurred in recent years in where residents harvest walrus, while seasonal regulations remain static. This may cause residents to travel farther in more dangerous conditions. The co-management system in place could be an effective forum to deal with change as it was structured to incorporate local input in adaptive management. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Alessa L.,University of Idaho | Alessa L.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Kliskey A.,University of Idaho | Gamble J.,Aleut International Association | And 3 more authors.
Sustainability Science | Year: 2015

Community-based observing networks (CBONs) use a set of human observers connected via a network to provide comprehensive data, through observations of a range of environmental variables. Invariably, these observers are Indigenous peoples whose intimacy with the land- and waterscape is high. Certain observers can recall events precisely, describe changes accurately, and place them in an appropriate social context. Each observer is akin to a sensor and, linked together, they form a robust and adaptive sensor array that constitutes the CBON. CBONs are able to monitor environmental changes as a consequence of changing ecological conditions (e.g., weather, sea state, sea ice, flora, and fauna) as well as anthropogenic activities (e.g., ship traffic, human behaviors, and infrastructure). Just like an instrumented array, CBONs can be tested and calibrated. However, unlike fixed instruments, they consist of intelligent actors who are much more capable of parsing information to better detect patterns (i.e., local knowledge for global understanding). CBONs rely on the inclusion of Indigenous science and local and traditional knowledge, and we advocate for their inclusion in observing networks globally. In this paper, we discuss the role of CBONs in monitoring environmental change in general, and their utility in developing a better understanding of coupled social-ecological systems and developing decision support both for local communities as well as regional management entities through adaptive capacity indices and risk assessment such as a community-based early warning system. The paper concludes that CBONs, through the practice of Indigenous science in partnership with academic/government scientists for the purpose of knowledge co-production, have the potential to greatly improve the way we monitor environmental change for the purpose of successful response and adaptation. © 2015 Springer Japan

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCTIC SOCIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 11.78K | Year: 2016

This award will support the addition of two community members (one Aleut from the Commander Islands and one Inuk from Nain, Labrador) to an already planned and financed workshop set to take place in September of 2016 in Sand Point Alaska as part of a larger series of planned workshops relating to Arctic Emergency Preparedness and Response (AEPR). Financing for the larger project and workshop series comes from the University of Durhams ICE LAW project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The coPI, Dr. Jessica Shadian, is the Co-partner and Lead of the ICE LAW subproject: Local & Indigenous Perspectives.

The main research question of the larger project is to investigate how and in what ways can and should coastal indigenous communities play in Arctic Emergency Preparedness and Response policy and governance. The goal of the workshop, which will be conducted through talking circles, is to better understand what role coastal communities want to play in regional Search and Rescue policy, what they need (e.g. education, infrastructure, financing, scientific knowledge) in order to make this happen, and what issues they see as the most relevant and appropriate decision making on emergency preparedness and response programs. The ultimate goal is to address the question of how indigenous peoples can find their voice in the complex legal landscape of emergency preparedness and response; a landscape that is filled with government overlap at the domestic levels and governance gaps at the subnational, regional, international, and transnational levels.

This workshop has the potential to inform the larger research project and the funding provided by the ASSP will make the workshop and the project as a whole more inclusive of ALL Arctic indigenous stakeholder communities. The outcomes of the talking circles will contribute to the longer term project goals, which includes helping to facilitate ongoing regional collaboration among local coastal communities, including the collection of baseline data (e.g. cultural mapping and Indigenous knowledge studies) and to establish and maintain monitoring systems for Emergency Preparedness and Response. In addition, the ASSP contribution will increase the participation of highly underrepresented groups in science.

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