CIS Group

The Coordination, Integration and Synthesis (CIS) Group was the statewide component of the Alaska ACE research effort. The group undertook integrated modeling and assessments across regions to better understand why different communities have different adaptive capacities. It also provided venues and means to deliver research findings as decision-support tools, including upgrading the UAA Planetarium and Visualization Theater and constructing the Vis Space visualization facility at UAF. CIS was also home to Alaska EPSCoR's cyberinfrastructure efforts, which produced a comprehensive data catalog and data portal to enable information sharing across the project and with the public. The CIS Group worked closely with the international Arctic Council to build the Arctic Adaptation Exchange Portal, a website that provided access to information resources in order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge on climate change adaptation in the Arctic.

The CIS Group built "SalmonSim," an agent-based salmon model consisting of a stochastically generated watershed setting, interacting stakeholder agents, and sockeye salmon, based on Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) data.

One key goal of CIS was to use test case findings as the basis for adaptive capacity indices, decision-making tools that community leaders can use to gauge and monitor their ability to thrive in the face of environmental and social changes. Indexes use key indicators (like water infrastructure, industry diversity, age and gender structure of population, location, and emergency response plans) to indicate the vulnerability of communities to change, which enable leaders to set adaptation goals and monitor progress toward them. To that end CIS ibuilt and populated several Arctic Water Resource Vulnerability indices (AWVRIs), which assess the capacity of communities to weather changes in water supplies. CIS also worked with the Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA) to turn AWVRI into an online app.

CIS built an agent-based model of a Kenai-scale commercial fishery. CIS also developed Java software to produce semantic-association networks from fisheries-related news articles and social media, which were the basis for 3D visualizations at the UAA Planetarium and Visualization Theater. They also constructed and displayed a social network analysis of data from Kenai Peninsula elected officials and Southeast Alaska resource managers, which was used to study community structure and nature of stakeholder communications. They also completed P-delta-I analyses of test case communities, which seek to quantify the difference between perceived and instrumented climate change.

Research by the CIS Leadership Team and participating researchers resulted in multiple peer-reviewed publications.