The Fish Creek Watershed encompasses diverse aquatic habitats representative of much of the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. Beyond surface water and permafrost responses caused by changes in climate, this landscape is also subject to potential land-use impacts related to petroleum development in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A). Thus, this region is an ideal setting to address aquatic habitat questions of longstanding interest to Arctic resource managers, scientists, and other stakeholders. Our multidisciplinary team is focusing on broad hypothesis that surface-water availability, connectivity, and temperature mediate aquatic habitats and trophic dynamics. We are working to understand and predict these relationship through a combination of mapping and classification, field studies, and modeling. Our goal is to develop scenarios of freshwater habitat response to climate and land-use change in a spatial and temporal context that will help inform stakeholder in the Fish Creek Watershed and broader Arctic Alaska and guide improved resource management.
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