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Folders: ROOT > ScienceBase Catalog > National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers > Alaska CASC > FY 2021 Projects ( Show all descendants )

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Elodea spp. (Elodea) is Alaska’s first known invasive aquatic plant, first discovered in urban lakes in 2010. The combination of human pathways and climate change related shifts in seasonality and temperature have resulted in Elodea’s range expansion into Alaska’s freshwater resources. Elodea transmission often occurs when plant fragments get entangled in seaplane rudders and are carried to remote waterbodies where they quickly establish dense plant growth. This growth inhibits seaplane access and drastically alters aquatic ecosystems. Recent research showed that Elodea can have significant negative impacts on parks, subsistence, aviation‐related recreation, and Alaska’s salmon fisheries. For example, the economic...
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The thawing of ice-rich soils in permafrost landscapes, a process known as thermokarst, can result in profound impacts on the energy and water balance, carbon fluxes, wildlife habitat, and existing infrastructure in the local area. The Alaska Thermokarst Model is a “state-and-transition" model being developed to simulate landscape evolution in polygonal tundra landscapes commonly found on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. This study will focus on the second step of the landscape evolution process – initiation of the thermokarst process through the concept of “climate priming” of the landscape. “Climate priming” occurs when there is high early and total winter snow precipitation, above normal winter temperatures,...
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Retreating glaciers are an iconic image of climate change;yet not all glaciers in Alaska are actively retreating, and a few glaciers are even advancing. While this contrasting behavior can be misleading for the casual observer, variable responses between glaciers in a changing climate are expected. Glaciers act as conveyor belts that transport snow and ice from high elevations, where it does not melt, down to low elevations, where it does melt. A change in climate can impact the amount of snow and ice that accumulates (accumulation), the way snow and ice melt (ablation), or the conveyor belt (ice dynamics). While these impacts vary with elevation and glacier shape, glacier changes have major implications for downstream...
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Major floods in Southeast Alaska and Hawaiʻi that potentially threaten life, property, and culturally significant resources and ecosystems are caused by mechanisms related to intense precipitation for both locations as well as snow melt-based processes for Alaska. Small, high-gradient, and heavily vegetated watersheds with direct contribution to the ocean are common in both locations. To understand how climate change may affect flooding in these regions, an analysis of the underlying mechanisms that cause flooding is needed. The scope of this study includes an analysis of annual peak-streamflow records from long-term streamgages in Southeast Alaska and Hawaiʻi to determine whether the main flood-producing mechanisms...
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Areas along the Arctic coast are changing the fastest among all of Earth’s habitats due to climate change. The Arctic coast is a fragile ecosystem that provides habitat for migratory birds, endangered species, and species critical for local subsistence living. In this area, permafrost is thawing rapidly, changing how much and when water reaches rivers, ponds, lakes, wetlands and groundwater. In addition, there is also a growing interest in oil and gas resource exploration. With ongoing permafrost thaw, future warming, and interests in oil and gas extraction in the coastal plain (also known as the 1002 area) of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, it is urgent to improve the understanding of this area and its vulnerability...
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Salmon runs are an important time when salmon migrate from the ocean to freshwater, swimming upriver to reach spawning beds. These annual events provide an important food source for both predators and for local communities. However, Recent declines in salmon runs have caused hardship in subsistence fishing communities throughout Alaska, particularly in the Yukon River Basin. To adapt to a changing climate, fishing communities, natural resource managers, and scientists need to measure and understand climate impacts onto salmon runs in this region. To monitor changes in salmon populations and manage fisheries, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Tanana Chiefs...
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Marine shellfish are an important diet and cultural resource for many Alaskans. Harmful algal blooms can produce toxins which accumulate in shellfish and can cause disease and death in consumers. Climate change is predicted to expand the timing and strength of harmful algal blooms which may affect food security for many Alaska Native Tribes and communities. Predicting when the shellfish are safe to consume is a critical component of establishing food security and adapting to climate change. Local traditional knowledge from Tlingit elders indicates that herring spawning events, which typically occur in April or May in Southeast Alaska, provide a warning signal for when to stop harvesting shellfish. The environmental...
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Berries are a crucial nutritional and cultural resource to communities and ecosystems in boreal, subarctic and arctic areas; however, berry abundance and the timing of the berry lifecycle is becoming more variable and unpredictable due to climate change. Climate adaptation plans across the state of Alaska identify changes in berry timing and availability as primary concerns and point to the need for increased monitoring and research on how climate change is influencing berries. While there is a large body of work on plants that produce berries, much of the information is not accessible to those who need it most: land managers and communities planning for an uncertain future. This project will address this critical...
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With increasing sea surface temperatures due to climate change, harmful algal blooms in Alaska marine waters are becoming more severe, threatening food security and public health by reducing availability and safety of shellfish and other marine food resources. Paralytic shellfish poisoning, a neurotoxin primarily produced by marine phytoplankton Alexandrium, is the most severe and pervasive biotoxin problem in Alaska and is regularly detected in shellfish at levels unsafe for human consumption. Illness and deaths have been attributed to paralytic shellfish poisoning in Alaska, yet there is still limited capacity for testing of harmful algal blooms for culturally important subsistence resources. Increasingly,...
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Ecosystems spanning the zones from “ridge-to-reef" and “icefield-to-ocean” are home to relatively high levels of biodiversity; serve as conduits of nutrients to sensitive coastal environments; and are culturally and economically important to local communities. These systems are smaller and have unique geological and streamflow properties compared to more typical river systems and, because of this, it is not clear how they will respond to shifting climatic patterns. Both Hawaiian ridge-to-reef and Alaskan icefield-to-ocean ecosystems face the potential of climate-driven changes in extreme flow events, such as floods and droughts, that could dramatically change how critical nutrients are retained and transported....


    map background search result map search result map Building Capacity for Managing Climate Change Strategies Through Tribal Monitoring of Harmful Algal Toxins in Subsistence Harvested Shellfish Alaska’s Berry Future: Planning for Changing Resources in an Altered Climate Climate Adaptation in Yukon River Fisheries: A Robust Alternative Approach to Assess Salmon Run Size Using Environmental DNA Assessing the Vulnerability of Alaska’s Glaciers in a Changing Climate Combining Local Traditional Knowledge and Machine Learning to Predict the Future Safety of Alaskan Shellfish Harvests in a Changing Climate Detecting and Predicting Aquatic Invasive Species Transmission Via Seaplanes in Alaska Assessment of Critical Landscape Conditions and Potential Change in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Support Habitat Management Decision Making Studying The Influence of Streamflow Variability on Fish Populations to Understand Nutrient Transport in Hawaiian and Alaskan Streams in a Changing Climate Characterization of Flood-Producing Mechanisms in Watersheds with a High-Elevation Area in Southeast Alaska and Hawaiʻi Identification of Regions in Alaska Susceptible to Landscape Deformation Due to “Climate Priming” of Permafrost Soils Assessment of Critical Landscape Conditions and Potential Change in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Support Habitat Management Decision Making Building Capacity for Managing Climate Change Strategies Through Tribal Monitoring of Harmful Algal Toxins in Subsistence Harvested Shellfish Alaska’s Berry Future: Planning for Changing Resources in an Altered Climate Climate Adaptation in Yukon River Fisheries: A Robust Alternative Approach to Assess Salmon Run Size Using Environmental DNA Assessing the Vulnerability of Alaska’s Glaciers in a Changing Climate Combining Local Traditional Knowledge and Machine Learning to Predict the Future Safety of Alaskan Shellfish Harvests in a Changing Climate Detecting and Predicting Aquatic Invasive Species Transmission Via Seaplanes in Alaska Identification of Regions in Alaska Susceptible to Landscape Deformation Due to “Climate Priming” of Permafrost Soils Studying The Influence of Streamflow Variability on Fish Populations to Understand Nutrient Transport in Hawaiian and Alaskan Streams in a Changing Climate Characterization of Flood-Producing Mechanisms in Watersheds with a High-Elevation Area in Southeast Alaska and Hawaiʻi