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Knowledge Exchange on Alaska's Changing YK Delta

Submitted by ORNL DAAC Staff on 2022-01-24
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Aerial view of the Yukon Delta landscape near the village of Emmonak, August 2017
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Aerial view of the Yukon Delta landscape near the village of Emmonak, August 2017

The ORNL DAAC recently released a new Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) dataset by Fienup-Riodan, A., et al. (2021):

Alaska's Changing YK Delta: Knowledge Exchange between Elders and Geoscientists, 2018

This dataset provides a booklet documenting the discussions and outcomes from a knowledge-exchange meeting with Yup'ik elders from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD), western Alaska, community members, and natural scientist to discuss landscape and weather changes that have been observed in their homelands. The meeting was held during November 14-16, 2018. Yup'ik participants represented several YKD villages that occupy very different biophysical environments, and they have lifelong perspectives of environmental conditions and change that predate the era of Earth-observing satellites by many decades. Nearly 16 hours of discussion and testimonials from YKD elders were recorded during the meeting. The booklet is structured according to the environmental change processes that were discussed (e.g., coastal flooding, permafrost thaw, shrub expansion, climate change) and includes narrative summaries, quotations from participants, graphical illustrations, and examples of the field- and remote-sensing-based scientific findings, and map products developed as part of the larger ABoVE project.

The ABoVE is a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign being conducted in Alaska and western Canada, for 8 to 10 years, starting in 2015. Research for ABoVE links field-based, process-level studies with geospatial data products derived from airborne and satellite sensors, providing a foundation for improving the analysis, and modeling capabilities needed to understand and predict ecosystem responses to, and societal implications of, climate change in the Arctic and Boreal regions.

Additional data from ABoVE and other relevant links can be found on the ORNL DAAC's ABoVE Project Page.

Citation: Fienup-riordan, A., G.V. Frost, R. Nayamin-kelly, U.S. Bhatt, A.S. Hendricks, M. John, and P. Odom. 2021. Alaska's Changing YK Delta: Knowledge Exchange between Elders and Geoscientists, 2018. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. https://doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1894

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