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Berry Risk Mapping and Modeling of Native and exotic defoliators in Alaska is a jointly funded project between the Alaska Climate Science Center and the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
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For the Upper Yukon area of interior Alaska, climate change has become a daily fact of life, causing a wide range of impacts to the environment, and in some cases to community health. In 2015 the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center organized a series of assessments to better understand the impacts of climate change being observed in this region, including the communities Arctic Village, Fort Yukon, and Venetie. Support for this project was provided by USGS and by local tribal partners including Arctic Village Traditional Council, Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Council, and the Venetie Village Council. The assessments were also performed in partnership with three...
Abstract (from ScienceDirect): Indigenous peoples are increasingly developing Community-Based Monitoring programs to protect the waters and lands within their territories in response to multiple ecological and political stressors. Furthermore, CBM tends to focus on Indigenous peoples’ role as ‘knowledge holders.’ This paper explores CBM through a governance lens by understanding CBM as a strategy for the assertion of Indigenous sovereignty and jurisdiction. Research findings revealed that CBM is understood as both a method for generating data useful for decision-making and an expression of governance itself, rooted in understandings of stewardship, kinship and responsibility. Our findings also suggest that data...
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The eulachon is a small fish that is both highly nutritious and culturally significant to the Chilkat and Chilkoot peoples of the Tlingit Nation in Southeast Alaska, for whom it is a traditional food. Tribal members are increasingly concerned about how climate change might stress the health and abundance of eulachon populations, which are already perceived as being low. In order to successfully manage these fisheries in light of climate change, tribal communities need information about how euchalon are vulnerable and which management strategies will help the species adapt. For this project, researchers used climate projections, monitoring data, and traditional ecological knowledge to assess the climate change vulnerability...
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The Climate Adaptation Science Centers have conducted numerous training and skills development activities to support tribal and indigenous partners as they seek to use scientific information and techniques to understand and respond to climate change impacts. Because these activities were generated in different CASC regions, with different tribal / indigenous stakeholders, climate change contexts, and training needs, and because the CASC network encourages innovation, these activities were not developed or implemented in a nationally consistent format. This project seeks to identify relevant activities, gather related materials and links that might benefit others seeking to implement similar activities, provide a...
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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...
The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council's (YRITWC) Indigenous Observation Network (ION) is one of the largest indigenous science networks in the world. This network consists of 70 indigenous nations from northern British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska, all working together towards the preservation and protection of the Yukon River watershed. How is this accomplished? Water sampling from the headwaters to the mouth of the Yukon River and its major tributaries. Here is a story of the Ta'an Kwach'an Council and their experience collecting water samples from the Yukon River near Whitehorse, Yukon.
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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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Since the early 1970s, the negative impacts of small aircraft activity on local wildlife and subsistence hunting have been an ongoing concern expressed by rural communities in Arctic Alaska. More specifically, these communities have expressed concern that aircraft activity from industry, commercial (sport) hunting, research, and tourism is disturbing caribou by altering their behavior and movement and, for rural communities who rely on the subsistence hunting of caribou for food and resources, this change in behavior has reduced hunting opportunities. Residents of rural communities and agencies who manage human-wildlife interactions have requested more involvement of local stakeholder groups in the process addressing...
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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,...
Background. Wild berries are a valued traditional food in Alaska. Phytochemicals in wild berries may contribute to the prevention of vascular disease, cancer and cognitive decline, making berry consumption important to community health in rural areas. Little was known regarding which species of berries were important to Alaskan communities, the number of species typically picked in communities and whether recent environmental change has affected berry abundance or quality. Objective. To identify species of wild berries that were consumed by people in different ecological regions of Alaska and to determine if perceived berry abundance was changing for some species or in some regions. Design. We asked tribal environmental...
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In coastal Alaska, changes in snow, ice, and extreme weather events threaten human communities, critical infrastructure, valuable natural resources, and traditional, subsistence hunting and fishing lifestyles. Understanding how changing climate conditions impact Alaska’s coastal ecosystems, and how these changes may be tied to the ability of coastal communities to adapt to changing conditions, has been identified as a priority question in the state. In order to identify knowledge gaps and resource needs related to adaptation and resilience in coastal Alaska, the Alaska Climate Science Center partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, and a dozen other entities...
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The hydrology of the Yukon River Basin has changed over the last several decades as evidenced by a variety of discharge, gravimetric, and geochemical analyses. The Indigenous Observation Network (ION), a community-based project, was initiated by the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council and USGS. Capitalizing on existing USGS monitoring and research infrastructure and supplementing USGS collected data, ION investigates changes in surface water geochemistry and active layer dynamics throughout the Yukon River Basin. Over 1600 samples of surface water geochemistry (i.e., major ions, dissolved organic carbon, and 18O and 2H) have been collected at 35 sites throughout the Yukon River and its major tributaries...
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Wild berries are a valued traditional food for tribes of the Chugachmiut Tribal Consortium (Chenega Bay, Eyak, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Qutekcak, Tatitlek, and Valdez) in the rural Chugach region of south-central Alaska. Berries supply essential nutrients that prevent heart disease and cancer, are used for medicinal purposes, and are the only sweet food in the traditional Native diet. Hence, berries have both nutritional and cultural significance. From 2008 to 2012, wild berry populations in the Chugach region were decimated by an unexpected outbreak of moths, thought to have been brought about by shifting climate (i.e., warmer temperatures allowed a greater number of moths to survive the winter). This outbreak...
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In coastal Alaska, changes in snow, ice, and extreme weather events threaten human communities, critical infrastructure, valuable natural resources, and hunting and fishing livelihoods. Identifying how changing climate conditions impact Alaska’s coastal ecosystems, and how these changes may be tied to the ability of coastal communities to adapt to changing conditions, has been identified as a priority question in the state. In order to identify knowledge gaps and resource needs related to adaptation and resilience in coastal Alaska, the Alaska Climate Science Center partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, and others in 2016 to hold a series of workshops in...


    map background search result map search result map Mapping Wild Berries in the Chugach Region of Alaska to Inform Restoration of Traditional Foods Identifying Climate Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Adaptation Strategies for Eulachon Populations in Southeast Alaska Promoting Coastal Resilience and Adaptation in Alaska: Community Outreach and Engagement Promoting Coastal Resilience and Adaptation in Alaska: Aleutian and Bering Sea Islands Region Yukon River Basin Indigenous Observation Network Community Observations on Climate Change: Arctic Village, Fort Yukon, and Venetie, Alaska Synthesis of CASC-Led Climate Training Activities for Tribes and Indigenous Communities Building Capacity for Managing Climate Change Strategies Through Tribal Monitoring of Harmful Algal Toxins in Subsistence Harvested Shellfish Climate Adaptation in Yukon River Fisheries: A Robust Alternative Approach to Assess Salmon Run Size Using Environmental DNA Combining Local Traditional Knowledge and Machine Learning to Predict the Future Safety of Alaskan Shellfish Harvests in a Changing Climate Addressing Small Aircraft Noise Conflicts with Subsistence Hunting in Alaska Parks and Preserves – A Structured Decision Making Approach Identifying Climate Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Adaptation Strategies for Eulachon Populations in Southeast Alaska Community Observations on Climate Change: Arctic Village, Fort Yukon, and Venetie, Alaska Addressing Small Aircraft Noise Conflicts with Subsistence Hunting in Alaska Parks and Preserves – A Structured Decision Making Approach Building Capacity for Managing Climate Change Strategies Through Tribal Monitoring of Harmful Algal Toxins in Subsistence Harvested Shellfish Climate Adaptation in Yukon River Fisheries: A Robust Alternative Approach to Assess Salmon Run Size Using Environmental DNA Combining Local Traditional Knowledge and Machine Learning to Predict the Future Safety of Alaskan Shellfish Harvests in a Changing Climate Yukon River Basin Indigenous Observation Network Promoting Coastal Resilience and Adaptation in Alaska: Aleutian and Bering Sea Islands Region Promoting Coastal Resilience and Adaptation in Alaska: Community Outreach and Engagement Synthesis of CASC-Led Climate Training Activities for Tribes and Indigenous Communities