The overall goal of CONAS is to continue utilizing human observers as sensors to systematically observe and document Arctic environmental and globalization changes, which are significant for understanding pan-Arctic processes.

Commercial use of the Arctic – especially shipping through the Bering Sea region – is on the upswing, increasing the potential for interaction with, and impact on, people’s subsistence hunting and fishing patterns.

Operating in a region not currently covered by other subsistence mapping programs, CONAS is a dynamic, adaptive network designed to collect diverse environmental variables at multiple time scales and locations, giving residents around the Bering Sea greater participation in tracking global change and its social consequences to enhance their abilities to respond effectively.

Processing the Data

In addition to assisting indigenous communities in the continuous data gathering started by parent project Bering Sea Sub-Network (BSSN) in 2007, CONAS plans to develop, and introduce, self-guided subsistence mapping and data-gathering tools for project participants. By utilizing touch-screen tablets running GIS and data acquisition software, CONAS puts the data gathering firmly in the hands of community representatives, while reducing data errors, and significantly speeding up data processing.

CONAS will continue to ensure that participant communities both own and control the data. Data management and archiving is through the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA), a national repository for traditional knowledge, and the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) for regional data summaries and visualizations. (Links to these not yet available) Communities will also be presented with maps detailing density of subsistence harvest use at the conclusion of each project stage.

Research Classification & Keywords

Large Marine Ecosystem(s)
Bering Sea/ Aleutian Islands

Native Village of Gambell, Alaska, Native Village of Savoonga, Alaska, Sand Point, Alaska, St. George, Alaska, Togiak, Alaska, Kanchalan, Russian Federation, Nikolskoye, Russian Federation, and Tymlat, Russian Federation.

Topical Areas(s)
Climate Change, Fishery Management & Industry, New technology, Other Human Impacts, Subsistence

Ecosystem Component(s)
Fish and Invertebrates, Humans, Marine Mammals

Research Approach

Adaptation, Climate Change, Community, Globalization, Mapping, Observations, Subsistence, Traditional Knowledge

Other Resources

Information about CONAS predecessor, the Bering Sea Sub-Network (BSSN) can be found at www.bssn.net and data visualization through Alaska Ocean Observing System at portal.aoos.org

Team Members