Feb 4 2019

AK CASC at the Alaska Forum on the Environment

AFE logo

The AK CASC network will be presenting and moderating a number of sessions next week at the Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE). AFE is a statewide gathering of government agencies, non-profit and for-profit businesses, community leaders, Alaskan youth, conservationists, researchers, and community elders, interested in Alaska's earth and environmental issues and challenges. This year is the 21st annual event, held in Anchorage. AK CASC staff, senior scientists, and affiliated researchers are involved in the following sessions. AK CASC staff will also be present at the IARC booth throughout the week to talk about our work.

For the full agenda, visit the AFE website. We hope to see you there!


Overcoming the Climate Communication Challenge

10:30-11:45 A.M. Tuesday, February 12

One of the most important individual actions we can take on climate change is having more conversations about it. This workshop has two interactive parts: 1) why people think about climate change the way they do and 2) how to strengthen conversations about it. The first section addresses what makes climate change psychologically difficult to understand, including the effects of misinformation and why some people rely on their political ideology to make judgements about the science. The second part will introduce skills and tactics to develop a personal story to share impacts and encourage action, have better conversations about difficult subjects, and respond to misinformation.


  • Ryan Toohey,

  • Jeremy Littell,

  • Malinda Chase

Moderator: Kristin Timm


Climate Change Adaptation in Alaska

3:30-4:45 P.M. Tuesday, February 12

Alaska is at the forefront of experiencing climate change with warmer temperatures and changes in precipitation leading to less sea ice, thawing permafrost, drought in the Southeast, and more. In this session, we’ll present a synopsis of climate change vulnerability assessments for Alaska. We will also touch on available resources and activities to help Alaskans adapt to climate change. Some of the 150 different resources available from the United States Department of Agriculture will be highlighted by the Northwest Climate Hub. Then we'll facilitate a group discussion so that the audience can contribute additional information.


  • Sarah Trainor,

  • Holly Prendeville,

  • Jan Dawe

Moderator: Nancy Fresco


Alaska's Changing Sea Ice and You

10:30-11:45 A.M. Wednesday, February 13

Sea ice in western Alaska is arriving later and melting earlier, with dramatic changes in ice thickness, quality, and stability. This presentation will start with an overview of observed changes in ice and some impacts to the environment. Participants will then have the opportunity to share with the group how the changing ice is affecting their activities, livelihoods, and communities.

Presenter: Rick Thoman

Moderator: Kristin Timm


Economic Impacts of Flooding, Water Quality, and Sanitation for North Bering Sea Communities

3:30-4:45 P.M. Wednesday, February 13

Communities in the North Bering Sea region have been experiencing permafrost thaw, loss of sea ice, extreme weather events, and changes in flooding and erosion that may make residences and settlements uninhabitable and alter communities’ traditional subsistence lifestyles. We will show the economic risks and benefits of protection of human health and welfare through flood zone management, seawall construction, relocation of drinking water sources, expansion of critical infrastructure, and application of green infrastructure strategies. We will address how the results of the project will assist our village partners in obtaining the economic risk-benefits required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other funding.


  • Hal Shepherd,

  • Emily Murray

Moderator: Nancy Fresco


How to Couple Emerging Tools in Climate Science with Community Engagement and Education

2:00-3:15 P.M. Thursday, February 14

Looking for tools to better engage your community in climate change science and action? This workshop provides hands-on activities to cultivate the connection between emerging tools in climate science and several best practices in indigenous and climate change education and community engagement. Workshop participants will gain hands-on experience in several activities designed by the Arctic and Earth SIGNs Project to engage and empower communities and take action on climate change issues.


  • Elena Sparrow,

  • Alexander Kholodov,

  • Malinda Chase,

  • Christina Buffington,

  • Nicole James,

  • MacKenzie Sleeman

Moderator: Katie Spellman


Climate Change 101

9:00-12:00 A.M. Friday, February 15

Learn the fundamental science of climate change! Discuss the ongoing changes we are experiencing across Alaska, and find out what science can provide to help us predict future impacts and devise strategies to adapt. In this workshop, we will share up-to-date scientific and community-based knowledge about climate change and build effective communication skills. Join us for information, brainstorming, strategizing and sharing of the latest climate change data, maps and tools.


  • Holly Prendeville,

  • Jan Dawe,

  • Heather McFarland

Moderator: Nancy Fresco