Arctic GIS Workshop Poster Abstract
GIS and Remote Sensing Technology Utilized for Sea Ice Case Studies in Northern Alaska
Our project entitled "Synthesis Approach, to Link Remote-sensing Information with Natural History and Traditional Knowledge, Through Cases of Unusual Sea Ice Conditions" is funded through the National Science Foundation, Human Dimensions of the Arctic System (HARC) Office of Polar Programs. The project relies heavily on the use of satellite imagery to analyze and illustrate specific sea ice conditions considered scientifically interesting, deviant from normal, and which influence (positively or negatively) traditional subsistence activities in Northern Alaska. This work grew out of a need to correlate the different scales of sea ice observation of local ground-based observers with remote sensing information. Inherent to the methodology, this effort brings together specialists from various disciplines and local subsistence hunters to co-analyze case studies of significant events. Each case study emphasizes the human consequences of an event in terms of biological significance, safety and subsistence activities. Marine mammals, primarily the bowhead whale, are used as indicators of the impact of these events. Climate changes now being experienced in the Western Arctic are regarded as portents of increasingly frequent disruptions in sea ice dynamics. Case studies have been selected for which the development of greater predictive understanding through retrospective synthesis will hopefully improve the public safety of Arctic coastal residents who use sea ice as a platform for subsistence. Near real time satellite imagery has been employed during the spring bowhead whale census activities in order to integrate remotely sensed information with ground observations, locations of migrating bowhead whales and traditional knowledge of sea ice conditions. The Inupiaq people contributed their knowledge as ground observers while evaluating the utility of new remote sensing technologies.
The North Slope Borough GIS
The North Slope Borough is the first organization to utilize GIS in support of land management in the Arctic. The NSB began using GIS technology in 1978 and formerly established its GIS office in 1983. The 89,000 square miles of the municipality lies entirely North of the Arctic Circle. A lot of valuable data has been developed by the facility over the years. This poster provides an overview of the NSB GIS and the types of information it develops and manages. The display will also include a featured project.