J7.3
A community-of-practice approach to assess the nature and impacts of sea-ice changes on Bering and Chukchi Sea ice users

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Thursday, 27 January 2011: 9:00 AM
A community-of-practice approach to assess the nature and impacts of sea-ice changes on Bering and Chukchi Sea ice users
4C-4 (Washington State Convention Center)
Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK; and M. L. Kapsch, I. Krupnik, W. Weyapuk Jr., L. Apangalook, M. Johnson, and G. L. Hufford

Recent changes in the summer ice cover of the Pacific (sub)arctic sector are among the most substantial anywhere in the Arctic. In a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that relied strongly on Indigenous community sea-ice experts, we have examined changes in the seasonal patterns of sea ice distribution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas over the past three decades. The work melds community-based observations and Indigenous knowledge, remote-sensing and a geophysical sea-ice observatory. In the presentation we will discuss how our research group formed and how Indigenous and local sea-ice knowledge and geophysical studies can complement each other. The findings and networks established through this work informed and contributed to the Study of Environmental Arctic Change's (SEARCH) Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO; see presentation by G. Hufford). While the work generated important insights into how large-scale changes in the sea ice cover play out at the local scale and how this impacts activities such as subsistence hunting, it can also be viewed as an attempt to establish a community of practice to improve weather-service products and safety of hunters at sea.