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

 

A group of people have a discussion around a table

NWS Hydrologist Aaron Jacobs listens at a table of workshop participants.

The term drought brings to mind cracked earth, forest fires, and empty river beds, but at the Southeast Alaska Drought Workshop held in Juneau this week, a different type of drought was discussed.

A group of people sit at a table looking at drawings on paper

Tribal Liaison Malinda Chase works with community members on a climate change visualization exercize. 

Last week, fourteen representatives from five tribes traveled to Fairbanks for a three-day knowledge-sharing workshop on a topic they are reckoning with daily: climate change.

fire burning through a forest

Photo credit: Mary Cernicek, public domain

Understanding the climatic conditions that influence wildfire patterns can improve our ability to predict the occurrence and severity of future wildfires.

a group of people talk in a large room.

Workshop participants exchange stories about their hometowns and experiences as Alaskans.

Where does one start when tackling the thorny challenge of talking about climate change? AK CASC staff and researchers held an interactive seminar at the 2019 Alaska Forum on the Environment in Anchorage last week.

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.

A new climate dataset representing historic and future conditions in Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories is now available on Amazon’s Public Dataset Program.

AGU Fall meeting Poster

This week, tens of thousands of researchers, media, and policymakers are gathered in Washington, D.C. for the 2018 American Geophysical Union meeting.

CSO co-founder Gabe Wolken collects snowpack observations.

The Community Snow Observations (CSO) citizen science project was featured in a Nature Climate Change Snapshot last month.

a stream gauge attached to a bridge above the Herbert River

An effort to model the watersheds of southeast Alaska is coming to life as one of the AK CASC pilot projects. Given the complex terrain, variable weather patterns, and extensive network of water systems in the region, a project of this magnitude and challenge has yet to be attempted. With the combined expertise of AK CASC senior scientists Uma Bhatt, Peter Bieniek, and new fellow Rick Lader, the team is taking strides forward.

Between 2016 and 2017, 26 observers from nine communities in Interior Alaska documented climate-related environmental conditions that were affecting their travel to areas used for hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering.

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Kristine Sowl, USFWS, YDNWR, Public Domain via Flickr

AK CASC’s Ryan Toohey, Jeremy Littell, and Malinda Chase will travel to communities participating in the Looking Forward, Looking Back workshop.

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Research Highlight

Berries are extremely important to human and wildlife communities in Alaska, and in some locations abundance has decreased significantly in recent years.

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