Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments
Phase IV of Alaska EPSCoR conducts biological, physical and social research into the adaptive capacity of Alaskan communities: that is, the mechanisms that enable communities to effectively respond to environmental and social changes. Research will include new sensors to monitor biophysical changes coupled with social science approaches to measure community responses.
Phase IV research will be organized around three regional test cases. The Southeast case focuses on changes to ecosystem services brought on by glacial recession in the Juneau area. The Southcentral test case examines the effects of land cover and precipitation changes on fisheries and tourism in the Kenai River watershed. The Northern case studies how permafrost thaw and land cover change affect subsistence resources around Interior and Arctic villages.
Results from the test cases are used by a statewide Coordination, Integration and Synthesis Working Group to answer larger scientific questions about adaptation and to create decision-support tools for land and resource managers.