Understanding the response of Alaska's ecosystems to a changing climate to support resource managers and sustainable communities

 

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) was awarded a new 5-year cooperative agreement to host the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) through 2022. UAF has served as the host institution for the Alaska CASC since its inception in 2010, with the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) as a consortium partner. In this new agreement, the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) has joined the Alaska CASC as a consortium partner to increase the capacity of climate science research in Alaska.

AK CASC's Alumna Fellow Yekaterina (Katia) Kontar has recently accepted a postdoctoral postion at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Katia's research has focused on mitigating and adjusting to the risks that natural disasters pose to Arctic and Subarctic communities.

Program manager of the Climate and Cryosphere Hazards Program (CCHP) at the Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) Gabriel Wolken has been appointed as an Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (AK CASC) assistant research professor.

Wolken’s joint appointment marks the beginning of a partnership between CCHP and AK CASC that will further advance shared objectives through co-production on key issues that are high priority for Alaska.

Location: 
Online
Date: 
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 11:00am to 01:00pm AKST

As part of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center Webinar Series, the AK CASC EcoDrought Webinar will be on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Modeling hydrological processes in the Alaskan sub-arctic is challenging because of the extreme spatial heterogeneity in soil properties and vegetation communities. However, modeling and predicting hydrological processes is critical in this region due to its vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Coarse spatial resolution datasets used in land surface modeling poised a new challenge in simulating the spatially distributed and basin integrated processes since these datasets do not adequately represent the small-scale hydrologic, thermal and ecological heterogeneity.

Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center’s (AK CASC) graduate fellow Joanna Young along with seventy-five other women were given the opportunity to travel where very few have on the three-week Homeward Bound expedition to Antarctica. 

“The trip itself was just stunning,” explains Young. “It’s an incredibly remote, isolated, and beautiful landscape.” 

Antarctica may seem desolate, but Young was surprised to witness so much life. 

Location: 
Anchorage, AK
Date: 
Monday, February 6, 2017 (All day) to Friday, February 10, 2017 (All day)

The 2017 Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE) is a week long statewide conference of environmental professionals that get together to discuss environmental issues and challenges. The conference allows for a variety of government agencies, buisnesses, researchers, and community leaders to network, present recent projects, and discuss issues that pertain to Alaska. The conference is held in Anchorage, AK at the Dena'ina Center.

AK CASC researchers Scott Rupp, Uma Bhatt, Peter Bieniek, John Walsh, and Rick Lader contributed to a new report that found climate change has increased the probabilty of more extreme wildfires in Alaska.

The report identified climate change as the main factor for increasing the probablity of extreme weather events that occurred in 2015, such as droughts, flooding, fires, and abnormally high temperatures.

The report concludes that climate change has increased the likelihood of extreme wildfires for the present seasons in Alaska by 34-60 percent. 

The Inspiring Girls Expeditions is now accepting applications for their expeditions in the summer of 2017. This program is designed to allow girls ages 16 to 17 to learn about climate change, mountaineering, and to build confidence.

There will be three free expeditions, which include Girls on Ice Alaska sponsored by AK CASC, Girls on Ice Cascades, and Girls in Icy Fjords:

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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) leadership, including the newly appointed USGS director and former astronaut Dr. James Reilly, visited Fairbanks in late August to discuss AK CASC work across Alaska and the Arctic.

Research Highlight

Come late May in southeast Alaska, AK CASC scientists Eran Hood and Gabriel Wolken have something unexpected on their minds: snow.

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