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Climate, salmon, and fishing communities: Collaborative, solutions-oriented science for Alaska

October 18, 2022 @ 11:00 am to 12:00 pm AKDT

Speaker: Erik Schoen, International Arctic Research Center, UAF

As Alaska’s salmon respond to a rapidly changing environment, our fishing communities are experiencing record highs, disastrous lows, and uncertainty about what the future will bring. Climatic conditions affect salmon throughout their life cycle, from freshwater to the ocean and back. Climate can also influence salmon indirectly via their predators, prey, or pathogens, and through landscape changes like wildfire and melting glaciers. However, scientists are still working to understand which effects are most critical and how we can apply this knowledge to conserve salmon and sustain fishing communities. In this webinar, I will contend that we can better understand and adapt to these changes through collaborations between climate scientists, fisheries biologists, and local communities. I will share insights from student-led fieldwork on local rivers, research melding climate and population models, and conversations among Indigenous knowledge holders, agency scientists, and academics. Finally, I will suggest pathways forward that incorporate traditional knowledge, novel technologies, collaboration, and co-production into the research process.