Nelson Island Natural and Cultural History Project
Basic Project Information
This project by Mark John and Ann Riordan, Calista Elders Council, which is part of the Bering Ecosystem Study (BEST) Program, will organize a series of community gatherings based in which Alaska Native elders, community members, local students, and academic scientists to discuss traditional knowledge and scientific information about the ongoing changes in the Bering Sea region. This research builds on a previous NSF award for carrying out long-term observations on a regional basis among Yup'ik elders in southwestern Alaska. The success of the community gatherings format as a mechanism of holistically gathering data on cultural, social, economic, linguistics, ecological knowledge, etc was well proven under this previous project. During the current project, an interdisciplinary science team will focus on five Bering Sea communities in the Yup'ik region and the topics will cover ecological and social-cultural information specific to the changing Bering Sea ecosystem, including natural history and cultural geography, weather and ice conditions, harvest patterns, animal and plant communities and related oral traditions.