Bering Sea Sub Network: A Distributed Human Sensor Array to Detect Arctic Environmental Change
Basic Project Information
This award will support the continued implementation of the Bering Sea Sub-Network (BSSN), a regional initiative of community-based organizations in Western Alaska and Northeast Russia. The "Intellectual Merit" of BSSN lies in its operation as a distributed network which employs people as individual, coordinated sensors for local environmental observations of socio-ecological change. BSSN will address the following questions: (1) how have economically significant species changed over the past century and what strategies have residents used to cope with these changes; (2) what key biophysical variables and indicators may be correlated to changes in distribution and properties of ecologically significant species; (3) how well do indigenous and traditional knowledge and Western science show spatial/temporal convergence and statistical correlation at local and regional scales; and (4) what are the major trends, patterns and constraints in individual and community adaptation to changes? The "Broader Impacts" of this award include a better understanding of Arctic environmental system change and resilience, and how to develop appropriate adaptation strategies to change for Arctic communities. BSSN will leave a legacy for a broad community of arctic residents striving to organize an observing system that is a valid partner in pan-Arctic environmental system observations. A key product will be a widely disseminated and highly accessible publication entitled "The State of the Bering Sea Bioresources: Perspectives of Local Residents", an assessment based on observations of local and indigenous observers. Other products will include a tool kit for communities to develop their own observing programs based on the framework of BSSN, and an annual illustrated magazine aimed at the village and regional levels.