Dec 19 2013

Department of Interior Announces New 2013 Research Projects at the Alaska Climate Science Center

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center will share more than $130,000 with the Northwest CASC and North Pacific LCC for research to assist Native groups in planning for and adapting to climate change.

The funded studies will focus on how climate change will affect natural and cultural resources, and management actions that can be taken to help offset such change. In addition, these studies also document the Center’s priority on entering collaborative partnerships, such as these, that help leverage limited resources and address shared priorities among different climate science centers.

Alaska-region focused projects include:

  • Researchers, working with the Chugachmiut tribal consortium, will develop a model that predicts where subsistence berry plants will be most resistant to recent moth outbreaks that are decimating berry harvests in south-central Alaska. The Native people of this region rely heavily on gathered food for sustenance and nourishment, but the recent outbreaks of geometrid moths may be linked to climate change; tribal elders and scientific records document that such outbreaks have not occurred in the area before.
  • Identifying climate vulnerabilities of eulachon, a highly nutritious smelt that is culturally significant to peoples of the Tlingit Nation in Southeast Alaska. The project will conduct a climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan for eulachon in the Chilkoot and Chilkat rivers near Haines, Alaska. A tribal group will analyze these climate change projections, apply traditional knowledge, rank climate vulnerabilities and prioritize adaptation strategies. This project's results will be valuable to Native communities throughout the region.

The full press release is available here