Communities

Local Observation Networks

Communities around the Bering Sea express growing concern because of their reliance on subsistence of primary resources (flora, fauna and water) for survival and rapid globalization, which requires adaptive responses that are not always easily apparent.

Current monitoring networks provide critical data on environmental change and allow scientists to better understand their trajectories and, ideally, forecast outcomes based on biophysical variables. However, these networks do not have sufficient coverage to convey local changes nor do they put them in the context of societal implications for the purpose of adaptation.

Given the limitations of and uncertainty in downscaled global and regional climate projections and insufficient data from Western instrument derived data (WSID) coverage [1] local-scale observing networks are critical to understanding change.

The co-production of knowledge between the local and scientific communities, initially through BSSN and through CONAS to date, is increasingly being used in policy decisions and is now evolving toward monitoring change and mapping subsistence use areas for the purpose of mounting appropriate responses [2, 3, 1]. CONAS has also contributed heavily to the development of best practices in community-based monitoring [4, 5] as well as CBON methods for partnerships with communities and the United States Coast Guard [6].

  1. (54)Valdivia, C., Seth, A., Gilles, J., Garcia, M. 2010. Adapting to climate change in Andean ecosystems: Landscapes, capitals; and perceptions shaping rural livelihood strategies and linking knowledge systems. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 100(4):818-834.
  2. Gilles, J., and Valdivia, C. 2009. Local forecast communication in the Altiplano. Bulletin of the America Meteorological Society. 90(1):85-91.
  3. Newsham, A. Thomas, D. 2009. Knowing, farming and climate change adapcation in Norch-Cencral Namibia. Global Environmencal Change 21, 761-770.
  4. Johnson, N., Alessa, L., Behe, C., Danielsen, F., Gearhead, S., Gofman, V., Kliskey, A., Krummel, E., Lynch, A., Mustonen, T., Pulsifer, P., Svoboda, M. In press. The contributions of community-based monitoring and traditional knowledge to Arctic observing networks: Reflections on the state of the field. Arctic.
  5. McCammon, M., Alessa, L. 2014. Community-based Monitoring: Observing Alaska’s Coasts and Oceans. Workshop report for the April 1-2, 2014 Workshop. SeaGrant Alaska. https://www.arccichub.nec/resources/126).
  6. USCG 2013 United States Coast Guard (USCG) Arctic Stracegy. URL: hnp://www .uscg.mil/seniorleadershio/DOCS/CG Arctic Strateev.pdf

Communities That Participate

  • Gambell, Alaska

    The Native Village of Gambell is located on the northwest cape of St. Lawrence Island, at the base of Sivuqaq Mountain. At 58 km (36 miles) from the Chukchi Peninsula in the Russian Far East, …
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  • Kanchalan, Russian Federation

    Kanchalan is located 70 kilometers (45 miles) northwest of the regional capital, Anadyr, in Russia’s Far East on the Kanchalan River. The village is in the Chukotsk Autonomous Region. Chukotka’s landscape is primarily tundra with …
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  • Nikolskoye, Russian Federation

    The village of Nikolskoye is located in the Aleutskiy Region of Russia on Bering Island. Bering Island, at 90 kilometers (56 miles) long and 24 kilometers (15 miles) wide, is the largest of the Commander …
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  • Sand Point, Alaska

    Sand Point is located on the northwest coast of Popof Island. Popof Island is in the Shumagin Island group located south of the Alaska Peninsula, and is near the entrance to the Bering Sea. The …
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  • Savoonga, Alaska

    The Native Village of Savoonga is located on the northern coast of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, 164 miles west of Nome. It lies 39 miles southeast of Gambell. St. Lawrence Island is …
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  • St. George, Alaska

    St. George is located on the northeast shore of St. George Island, the southern-most of the four Pribilof Islands. Over 210 species of birds nest on the cliffs of St. George Island. It lies …
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  • Togiak, Alaska

    Togiak is located 67 miles west of Dillingham at the head of Togiak Bay, and is in the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge – gateway to Walrus Island Game Sanctuary. Access to Togiak is primarily by …
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  • Tymlat, Russian Federation

    Tymlat is in the Russian Far East on the Tymlat River that flows into the Bering Sea. The village is in the Koryak Autonomous Area in the Karaginskiy Region of Kamchatka. Kamchatka’s climate ranges from …
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  • Unalaska, Alaska

    Unalaska, Alaska is located 50 miles from the North Pacific Great Circle Route and 800 miles southwest of Anchorage. Year round population is about 4,700, during peaking fishing season the population increased 4-6,000. The Unangan …
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