Navigating the New Arctic Projects

Displaying 26 - 50 of 69

The Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring Network (CALM V): Long-term Observations on the Climate-Active Layer-Permafrost System

Location: 
Sites are distributed throughout northern Alaska and Russia. Please see the CALM project website or GTN-P website for exact locations.
Dates: 
1 June 2019 to 31 May 2024

Project Abstract

The permafrost (perennially frozen ground) regions occupy nearly a quarter of the Earth's terrestrial surface. Permafrost is experiencing large changes stemming from the unprecedented degree of environmental change being observed in the Arctic. Changes in the permafrost system have profound effects on the ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, and human occupation of cold environments. The main indicators of permafrost stability are permafrost temperature and thickness of the active-layer (layer of earth materials between the ground surface and the top of the permafrost that undergoes an annual cycle of freezing and thawing). These parameters are considered to be Essential Climatic...

Project Abstract

Arctic ecosystems are transforming at rates that far exceed generations of living memory of Arctic Indigenous residents, resulting in local-to-global impacts. This innovative planning grant centers on collaborative science that incorporates Indigenous values, cultural practices, and frameworks to innovate new forms of scholarship to inform society's most pressing challenges. This project team and partners will develop collaborative learning processes that will center on Indigenous approaches in the sciences, advancing a key goal of the Navigating the New Arctic initiative - the "co-production of knowledge." This concept is reflected in the project's title, Atautchikkun Ilitchisukluta, from the Inupiaq...

Arctic Impacts and Reverberations of Expanding Global Maritime Trade Routes

Location: 
Utqiagvik, Alaska; Port of Nome; Northern Alaska
Dates: 
15 August 2019 to 31 July 2024

Project Abstract

As the Arctic thaws, new opportunities for resource exploration and the opening of new trade routes are expected. Increased passage of commodities through these routes and the related industrialization of the Arctic will introduce both opportunities and risks. These will require international agreements and rules of governance to maintain global stability and protect not only the commercial viability of the U.S. Arctic, but also the local peoples, environment, and natural resources. These new opportunities in the Arctic have impacts that reverberate across the globe. This project focuses on creating the mathematical, geophysical, computational, and social knowledge systems...

Interactions of Environmental and Land Surface Change, Animals, Infrastructure, and Peoples of the Arctic

Location: 
Yamal, Russia; Salekhard, Russia; Labytnangi, Russia
Dates: 
1 September 2019 to 28 February 2021

Project Abstract

This project will bring together earth system scientists, engineers, ecologists, and anthropologists to develop a plan to document and explain changes in ecosystems and their effects on the plants, animals, indigenous peoples, and industrial infrastructure of the Arctic region. It will emphasize interactions between these elements to help understand, inform, and plan for changes to come. Researchers will focus on the Yamal Peninsula, which presents a continuous gradation of habitat types from forest in the south to tundra in the north, a rich diversity of endemic and invasive plant and animal species, a large population of traditional...

Planning for Climate Resiliency Amid Changing Culture, Technology, Economics, and Governance

Location: 
Kotzebue, AK; Utqiaġvik, AK
Dates: 
1 September 2019 to 31 August 2021

Project Abstract

This project is taking a unique approach to investigating what is needed to enable subsistence communities in the Arctic to remain sustainable in the future, questioning the common assumption that climate impacts and sea ice loss are the most important challenges impacting subsistence activities in the Arctic. The group will broadly consider a set of interconnected factors and feedbacks, including changing culture, technology, economics, and governance in addition to climate. The proposal includes a clear plan to integrate co-production of knowledge and to capture the linkage between researchers and native communities. This project may lead to a...

Greenland Rising: Predicting Coastal Responses to a Changing Greenland Ice Sheet

Location: 
Nuuk, Greenland; Kullorsuaq, Greenland; Aasiaat, Greenland; Tasiilaq, Greenland
Dates: 
1 September 2019 to 31 August 2023

Project Abstract

As ice melts around the world, sea level is projected to rise in many places and fall in others. Because Greenland is very close to the changing ice, it is anticipated that the land will rise, and that sea level will fall, impacting both humans, marine life, and natural resources. Community responses to changing sea level depend on accurate, location-specific knowledge of the present-day coastal environment and how it is predicted to change. Given the economic, mining, natural resources, and infrastructure development occurring in the Arctic, there is an urgent need to better understand and communicate the...

Developing Arctic Resilience to Future Water Cycle, River Systems, and Coastal Change

Location: 
Kotzebue, AK; YK Delta, AK; Coastal, AK
Dates: 
1 September 2019 to 31 August 2021

Project Abstract

Developing Arctic Resilience to Future Water Cycle, River Systems, and Coastal Change The Arctic is responding rapidly to global climate change, which is driving Arctic temperature increases at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. Sea ice is retreating, permafrost is thawing, sea level is rising, and the timing of precipitation cycles in rain and snow are changing. As the Arctic continues to warm, it is essential that scientists and Arctic residents develop plans that holistically consider how communities might adapt to changes in their physical world. This new warmer Arctic presents challenges to Arctic...

Resilience and Adaptation to the Effects of Permafrost Degradation-Induced Coastal Erosion: People-Infrastructure-PErmafrost-Resilience (PIPER)

Location: 
Point Lay, AK: Utqiaġvik (Barrow), AK; Wainwright, AK; Kaktovik, AK
Dates: 
11 September 2019 to 31 August 2024

Project Abstract

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising rapidly, and these warmer temperatures have caused permafrost, ground that remains frozen for at least two consecutive years, to warm and thaw. Permafrost coasts, which make up approximately 30% of the world's coastlines, are experiencing accelerated erosion due to thawing. Erosion at some locations has occurred at the rate of 16 m per year since 2007. Degradation of permafrost and related coastal erosion damages coastal infrastructure and facilities across the Arctic, impacting the economic prosperity and lives of its inhabitants. As critical infrastructure becomes vulnerable to permafrost degradation and erosion, residents...

Arctic Robust Communities-Navigating Adaptation to Variability (ARC-NAV)

Location: 
Gambell, AK; Point Hope, AK; Nome, AK; Utqiaġvik, AK; Paratunka, Russia; Sireniki, Russia; Pakhachi, Russia
Dates: 
15 September 2019 to 31 August 2024

Project Abstract

The Arctic is warming on average twice as rapidly as the rest of the planet, which is leading to significant changes in sea ice to which local communities must respond. Beringia, a region of the Arctic encompassing US and Russian territory, is expected to experience some of the highest variability in sea ice conditions in the coming century. This project focuses on the question: how do we design better and more flexible governance and infrastructure to adapt to changing Arctic conditions? To answer this question, the team is taking a convergence approach to forecast potential changes in...

Rain on Snow and Extreme Precipitation Events Across the Arctic and their Impacts on Social-Ecological Systems

Location: 
Anchorage, AK; Baffin Island, Canada; Rovaniemi, Finland; Yamal Peninsula, Russia
Dates: 
15 September 2019 to 31 August 2024

Project Abstract

Rain on Snow (ROS) and extreme precipitation events have significant impacts on Arctic wildlife, livestock, and the communities that depend on these resources for subsistence. The icy crusts that form after ROS events and deep snow can interfere with travel and searching for food. ROS events have been linked to massive die-offs of reindeer and caribou. Polar bear and ringed seal populations are also affected--rains early in the breeding season destroy dens built under the snow and increase cub/pup mortality. The purpose of this study is to better understand the frequency and cause of ROS and extreme...

Landscape Evolution and Adapting to Change in Ice-Rich Permafrost Systems (NNA-IRPS)

Location: 
Prudhoe Bay, AK; Point Lay, AK; Toolik, AK
Dates: 
15 September 2019 to 31 August 2024

Project Abstract

Ice-rich permafrost is ground that is frozen all year round for two or more years and contains particularly large amounts of water that will be released upon thawing. This ice is the element of Arctic landscapes most susceptible to climate warming. Nearly 50% of the Arctic has ice-rich permafrost. For example, the upper 4-5 meters of the land along Alaska's northern coast contains an estimated 77% ice. Thawing of ice-rich permafrost affects entire arctic ecosystems and makes the ground unstable to build upon. Thus, ice-rich permafrost is conceived as having a role similar to that of a...

Unangam Ulaa Project: Culturally-Informed Adaptation of the Ancient Aleutian Semi-Subterranean Dwelling for Sustainable and Resilient Arctic Housing

Location: 
Atka, AK; Cold Bay, AK; King Cove, AK; Unalaska, AK; Akutan, AK; Nikolski, AK; St. Paul Island, AK
Dates: 
1 October 2019 to 30 September 2021

Project Abstract

The Unangam Ulaa is the traditional house of the Unangax people in the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula, typically constructed from sod and partially buried into the soil surface. This Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) grant supports a scientific investigation into the construction and design of the Unangam Ulaa to determine how ancient construction techniques can be adapted using modern materials to create energy efficient dwelling specifically designed for the Aleutians yet transferrable to other Arctic regions. This work will integrate ancient and modern expertise about the built environment in these harsh environmental conditions into new built...

Arctic Urban Risks and Adaptations (AURA): a Coproduction Framework for Addressing Multiple Changing Environmental Hazards

Location: 
Anchorage, Alaska; Fairbanks, Alaska; Whitehorse, Yukon
Dates: 
1 October 2019 to 30 September 2023

Project Abstract

Climate change is increasing vulnerability of Arctic urban communities to natural hazards such as unstable permafrost, wildfire, and rain-in-winter events. These hazards put residents and property at risk and impose economic costs, and households, businesses, and governments must adapt to these interacting hazards. This research is developing detailed maps showing how the occurrence of these three natural hazards has evolved simultaneously in the Municipality of Anchorage and the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada over the past several decades, and how they might change over the next 40 years. The interdisciplinary research team of...

Sustainably Navigating Arctic Pollution Through Engaging Communities (SNAP-TEC)

Location: 
Fairbanks, AK; North Pole, AK
Dates: 
1 October 2019 to 30 September 2023

Project Abstract

The cold and dark wintertime conditions of the Arctic lead to frequent poor air quality episodes linked to local emissions along with temperature inversions that trap pollutants in the areas where people live. Infrastructure planning such as energy generation and industrial activities along with residential choices of heating fuels such as wood, fuel oil or others are critical aspects of this problem. Residents spend most of their time indoors during wintertime, so most exposure to pollutants occurs indoors. From this background, fundamental knowledge gaps were identified in: outdoor/indoor air transport, indoor pollution sources such as leaky heating...

Project Abstract

Permafrost is ground that remains frozen for at least two consecutive years. It occurs under approximately one fourth of the northern hemisphere's land surface. In the far north, the permafrost is continuous across the landscape and contains large amounts of ice in its upper few meters. Thawing of permafrost has been observed at several locations across the Arctic in recent decades, yet the complete extent of permafrost degradation is not yet described. This is because it is difficult to directly measure permafrost. However, the presence and health of permafrost can be inferred from characteristic ground surface features...

The Impact of Climate Change on Glacial Fjords, Ecosystems, and Local Communities in Greenland

Location: 
North Atlantic; Nuuk, Greenland; Tasiilaq, Greenland; Qaanaaq, Greenland
Dates: 
1 November 2019 to 31 October 2020

Project Abstract

Hundreds of glaciers around the Arctic flow into ocean fjords that are several miles wide, tens of miles long, and thousands of feet deep. Glacial meltwater and sediments released into the fjords make their waters nutrient-rich to the extent that glacial fjords, all over the Arctic region, are characterized by prosperous marine ecosystems, featuring a high density of seabirds, marine mammals, and fishes. As a result, many Arctic settlements are located near glacial fjords that, through their ecosystems, support hunting and fishing and contribute to the regional economy. As the Arctic warms, however, glaciers are melting and...

Developing Coordinated Monitoring Networks in the Arctic to Evaluate and Respond to Rapidly Changing Environments

Location: 
Coastal British Columbia; Anchorage, AK; Fairbanks, AK; Whitehorse, Canada; Yellowknife, Canada
Dates: 
1 November 2019 to 31 October 2021

Project Abstract

In the Arctic where, environmental conditions are rapidly changing, the need to monitor these changes is critical to inform natural resource management and land management, protect built infrastructure, reduce risk to human lives, and enhance community resilience for Arctic communities. Currently in Alaska and northern Canada there exist numerous environmental monitoring programs that are led and implemented by a diverse array of indigenous communities, government agencies, and research institutions, often with little coordination or connection to one another. Led by a diverse team representing dozens of entities, this project fosters the development of coordinated monitoring networks by...

The Climate Impacts on Alaskan and Yukon Rivers, Fish, and Communities as Told Through Co-Produced Scenarios

Location: 
Beaver Creek, AK: Eagle, AK; Fairbanks, AK; Fort Yukon, AK; Galena, AK; Hess Creek, AK; Koyukuk, AK; Pilot Station, AK; Saint Marys, AK; Tanana, AK; Tok, AK; Venetie, AK; Carmacks, Canada; Dawson, Canada; Mayo, Canada; Teslin, Canada; Whitehorse, Canada
Dates: 
1 January 2020 to 31 December 2024

Project Abstract

Northern communities in Alaska and Canada rely upon productive fisheries. For many of these communities, rivers are used to access fishing and hunting grounds and to transport supplies during ice-free seasons and over river-ice in winter. As the Arctic and its rivers continue to warm, the ultimate impacts on people, their fisheries and winter travel corridors are highly uncertain. Improved understanding of the ongoing and possible future changes requires close partnership among Native groups and researchers from diverse scientific disciplines. This project is a collaboration among the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University...

Pursuing Opportunities for Long-term Arctic Resilience for Infrastructure and Society (POLARIS)

Location: 
Coastal, AK; Dillingham, AK; Wainright, AK; Scammon Bay, AK; Bristol Bay, AK
Dates: 
1 January 2020 to 31 December 2023

Project Abstract

Alaskan coastal Indigenous communities face severe, urgent, and complex social and infrastructural challenges resulting from environmental changes. Coastlines are degrading and this impacts infrastructure that communities use on a daily basis, changing how people access and hunt for food and other natural resources and conduct their lives. The magnitude and significance of impacts are unclear as is how local communities will respond to resulting disruptions and disasters. A major problem facing researchers, stakeholders, and policymakers in addressing these issues is that existing research is piecemeal. The whole picture of coastal communities is not well understood, and ways...

Responding to the Housing Crisis in the Arctic: A Transdisciplinary Approach Across Physical, Natural and Social Systems

Location: 
Oscarville, AK; Point Lay, AK
Dates: 
1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021

Project Abstract

The housing conditions of Alaska Natives are significantly less developed compared to other parts of the United States. Such conditions result in poorer ventilation and indoor air quality, both of which negatively impact the health of the occupants. Additionally, housing durability is threatened by biophysical changes occurring as a result of climate change-driven permafrost thaw and erosion. The combination of issues that threaten household health emphasizes the critical need to consider housing risks and solutions using a holistic research methodology that rely on multiple disciplines and local knowledge unique to a community. This planning project aims to...

Maritime Transportation in a Changing Arctic: Navigating Climate and Sea Ice Uncertainties

Location: 
Arctic Ocean and Coastlines
Dates: 
1 January 2020 to 31 December 2023

Project Update

Recent changes in climate have resulted in less sea ice in the Arctic ocean. This development has opened new Arctic travel routes and increased vessel traffic along existing shipping routes. Increased shipping requires a reliable Arctic maritime navigation system for safety and efficiency. However, navigation risk management in the Arctic poses many challenges compared to general maritime transportation due to significant uncertainties in climate, weather, and sea ice conditions. This project addresses these uncertainties by developing a comprehensive approach to forecast future climate and sea ice conditions in the Arctic. The results are being used to evaluate...

Navigating Disturbance Regimes in the New Arctic

Location: 
Toolik, AK; Noatak River Watershed
Dates: 
1 March 2020 to 28 February 2023

Project Abstract

The Arctic has experienced unprecedented warmth over the past several decades. These areas have also experienced increased disturbances due to wildfires, permafrost degradation, and shrub expansion. Evidence suggests dynamic interactions and feedbacks exist among Arctic disturbance regimes. However, the interdependence of these disturbances makes quantifying their impact challenging. Overcoming this challenge is the first step in improving our capacity to predict future disturbance regimes in the face of climate change. To achieve this goal, researchers will evaluate the vulnerability of Arctic tundra regions in northern Alaska to disturbances over decadal to centennial-time scales. Successful completion of this...

Innovations in Energy Technologies and Empowerment in Arctic Fishing Communities

Location: 
Avanersuaq, Greenland; Qaanaaq, Greenland
Dates: 
1 April 2020 to 31 March 2024

Project Abstract

Cold Arctic conditions, twenty-four-hour summer sunlight combined with twenty-four-hour winter darkness, and a frozen ocean coastline for much of the year are threatening survival of Arctic communities. These communities currently rely entirely on expensive fossil fuels for their energy needs. The joint impacts of energy cost, changes in fisheries and the environment, and a young self-rule national government are intertwined in ways that are currently threatening the culture and lifestyles of people who have long called the region home. This project discovers sustainable technological innovations and identifies an achievable and affordable pathway to the future for small...

Project Abstract

Destructive wildfires in the Arctic, which are projected to grow in increased frequency and magnitude, are driven by multifaceted factors such as environmental change, expanded wildland-human interface, and lack of models to integrate natural, engineering, and social sciences to help coordinate response and recovery decisions. The interaction between the energy network and wildfires is highly interrelated since wildfires are compounded directly and indirectly by inaccurate and imprecise management of the energy network. The situation becomes further complicated in Arctic regions with complex terrain, constant exposure to nature's forces, and vulnerable infrastructure, leading to economic and social losses...

Project Abstract

The Arctic is the most rapidly changing environment in the world. People living in the Northern Hemisphere are now experiencing the consequences of a changing Arctic, including abrupt shifts in weather patterns, altered availability of natural resources such as fish, minerals and water, and threats to indigenous cultural heritage and economies. Anticipating and adapting to these changes requires exploration and understanding across environmental and social systems spanning from the Arctic to lower latitudes, raising the need for new approaches to train future Arctic scientists. This National Science Foundation Research Traineeship award to the University of Maine will...