Understanding How to Improve Climate Change Co-Production of Knowledge Projects with Alaska Native Communities

Margaret Rudolf

Margaret Anamaq Rudolf, ACCAP Ph.D. student entered her interdisciplinary Ph.D. program wanting to know how to do good community engagement research with Alaska Native communities. With a background in civil engineering and permafrost, she wanted to both know how to do engineering research with usable outcomes as well as how to do Indigenous science with communities.

Indigenized Co-Production of Knowledge Evaluation Framework
Developed from the literature on co-production of knowledge, Indigenous methodologies, and ethical frameworks, this evaluation framework highlights three components in evaluating the (1) co-developed project outcomes, (2) process, and (3) ethics. Evaluating the process aligns with Indigenous metrics of success and ensures the co-production of knowledge methodology is followed. Working with Indigenous communities is in the context of colonization and inequity, so ethics and equity play a crucial role in the perceived success of a project. Rudolf is working with the Indigenous-led Food Security Working Group to validate this theoretical evaluation framework, along with another project on the differing perceptions and expectations going into a research project.

The Roles of Boundary Spanners
Boundary spanners facilitate research projects between Alaska Native communities and research institutes. Boundary spanning is one way to accomplish co-production of knowledge, which may be key in the context of working with Alaska Native communities. Rudolf is working with a group of liaisons, Indigenous scientists, community-based researchers, Tribal/community leaders, and social scientists that have acted as boundary spanners to understand the actions, backgrounds, challenges, and metrics of success.