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

 

The inaugural edition of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CASCs) annual report was recent published online.

The full report can be downloaded on the USGS website.

Maio Nishkian, a University of Alaska Anchorage Undergraduate and new Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center student is working with biology professor, Douglas Causey to study salmon in the Portage Valley of the Chugach National Forest. Causey approached the Forest Service, asking about research needs in the popular recreation area. His class of 35 students has been participating in the study, which involves catching juvenile salmon. The class has already discovered that juvenile King Salmon use this area, which was unknown before this study.

Last Friday, September 13th, Senator Mark Begich held a hearing in Anchorage, Alaska on "Extreme Weather in Alaska: State and Federal Response to Imminent Disasters in the Arctic." The hearing featured testimony by Dr. Thomas Ravens from the University of Alaska Anchorage, whose work is funded by the Western Alaska LCC and the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center. Dr. Ravens discussed his research, which is aimed at understanding and predicting the impacts of coastal storms under the influence of a changing climate.

Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, is planning to visit the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (AK CASC) on Tuesday, September 3 and the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (PI CASC) on Wednesday, September 4 to discuss the CASCs role in working with partners to support resource management, planning and adaptation in the face of regional climate change. The AK CASC will discuss their Gulf of Alaska Glacier's project and their other collaborations with researchers from a wide range of state and federal agencies.

During 2011-2012, Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center researchers across several disciplines have produced several publications:

Bartholomaus, T. C., C. F. Larsen, S. O'Neel, and M. E. West, 2012. Calving seismicity from iceberg-sea surface interactions, J. Geophys. Res. F Earth Surf., 117(4). doi:10.1029/2012JF002513

Staff and collaborators from the DOI/USGS Climate Science Centers (CASCs) hosted a special session on supporting resource management in the face of climate change during the recent Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, held August 4-9 in Minneapolis, MN. The “town hall” style panel introduced participants to CASCs mission and their role in applying climate-impacts research to support adaptation and decision making. The panel was composed of leaders from the CASCs and members of the various university consortiums, while also featuring strong audience participation.

Researchers affiliated with the DOI Climate Science Centers are sponsoring a session titled, “Glacier Change: Implications for Hydrology, Biogeochemistry, Ecology and Oceanography” (session # GC018) at the Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) on December 9-13, 2013 in San Francisco, CA.

The Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center, working in partnership with the Northwest Climate Science Center and the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative, will fund an innovative tribal project aimed at understanding climate change impacts on subsistence foods, and how seven tribes in the Chugach region of Alaska can adapt to these changes.

The Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CASC), Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (AK CASC) and North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC) have formed a new partnership aimed at better understanding and adapting to the impacts of climate change on resources of cultural and/or subsistence significance. This partnership centers on funding opportunities that allow Tribal entities, First Nations, and closely affiliated partners to identify viable, real-world responses to climate change, while also recognizing the sensitive nature of many resources.

Jeremy Littell, Lead Research Scientist for the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (AK CASC), has been named Editor of 

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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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