Our Work


To build healthy and thriving Alaskan communities, economies, and ecosystems in a changing climate


To conduct innovative and collaborative research and engagement to inform climate policy, decision-making, and action for a just and sustainable future.


Climate change is being felt acutely in Alaska and the Arctic. It is already altering seasons, landscapes and life in the North. These changes are impacting the safety and wellbeing of Alaska’s people, wildlife, and landscapes.

ACCAP, one of 11 NOAA funded Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) programs, was established in 2006.

We work at the boundary between university research and decision makers. We strive to make complex climate science usable and applicable in a decision context and to facilitate the science being informed and driven by stakeholder needs and questions. We build downscaling models as well as develop, test, and evaluate research products and tools.

Collaborators and focus areas

We work with people whose decision-making is influenced by climate-related events:

  • Scientists and engineers
  • State and local planners, policy-makers and governments
  • Transportation, natural resource, and land management agencies
  • Native non-profit organizations and Alaska Native tribes
  • Industry
  • Non-governmental organizations


ACCAP works with stakeholders to craft realistic adaptation strategies.

As temperatures statewide rise—and as oceans, landscapes, and ecosystems continue to change in the coming decades—people will need tools and information to help them respond and adapt. 

Right: Beach reinforcement at Shaktoolik, AK. (Alaska Sea Grant)

beach reinforcement at shaktoolik

Arctic Climate and Ice

ACCAP works to create tools and adaptation strategies that help stakeholders respond to changes in sea ice, glaciers, and permafrost.

Temperatures in the Arctic are warming faster than any other region on Earth. The resulting dramatic losses of ice are amplifying the effects of warming. 

Photo: Thawing permafrost is changing the character of Alaska's coasts and inland areas underlain by ice. (USGS)


Coastal and Marine

ACCAP works with coastal residents to assess where they are now, and where to go from here, in terms of marine resources.

Communities that depend on Alaska’s marine areas are facing impacts from warmer ocean temperatures, coastal erosion, ocean acidification, loss of sea ice, and changes in the species makeup in the waters off Alaska. 

Photo: Umiaq (whaling boat) near Utqiagvik, AK. (Billy Adams)


Forests and Wildfire

ACCAP works to help communities understand how changing fire patterns may affect landscapes, wildlife, and other resources.

Wildfires are a natural part of boreal forest and tundra ecosystems, but warmer temperatures, longer snow-free seasons, changes in vegetation, and insect outbreaks have led to longer and more active fire seasons in Alaska. 

Photo: Wildland firefighters in Alaska's boreal forest. (Scenarios Network for Alaska + Arctic Planning)

firefighters in forest

Native and Tribal

ACCAP researches and provides decision support for Alaska's vulnerable and underserved communities. 

Many Alaskans live in communities of fewer than 1,000 people. Most of these communities are accessible only by boat or aircraft. Dependent on local resources, rural Native communities in Alaska are among those most directly impacted by the changing climate. 

Photo: The Alaska Native village of Shishmaref, which is under threat from coastal erosion and loss of protective sea ice. (Wikimedia)

shishmaref village


ACCAP works to increase understanding of how changing water patterns may affect hydroelectric power, river ice breakup, and natural resource management.

Precipitation is likely to increase across Alaska in the coming decades. Alaska has some of the largest and fastest-changing glacier systems on earth, and about 80% of its land is in permafrost zones. As the climate gets wetter—and warmer temperatures thaw these massive ice reserves—runoff patterns will change across the landscape. 

Photo: Permafrost thaw changes hydrology and creates slumps that can cause trees to fall over or tilt. (National Park Service)

drunken forest

Our history and support

Interested in working with ACCAP?

Please get in touch via email, or call us at 907-474-7812.