USDA Alaska Climate Adapters

Rural indigenous communities in Alaska are on the front lines of climate change impacts and adaptation, with direct and immediate impacts on infrastructure, water supplies, health, safety and the ecosystems that they rely on for food and cultural identity.

There are over 30 communities that face imminent threats from flooding and erosion. While spontaneous adaptations are occurring, especially in the realm of subsistence food harvest, these communities and others recognize the need for climate adaptation planning on both community and regional scales. While guidebooks and adaptation planning trainings exist for Tribal communities, several communities have reached out to the ACCAP for assistance in creating an ongoing climate adaptation planning training that can meet the specific needs of indigenous and Tribal communities in Alaska.

Previous work analyzing needs document found that stakeholders were wanting more transparency, better collaboration with indigenous communities, and interdisciplinary research that can directly meet community needs. Stakeholders suggested changing practices including maintaining accessible data sharing archives, networks for knowledge sharing, and long-term science-community partnerships at a regional scale.

Data collection on this original project ended in March 2013. This review expanded upon that effort to include updated sources of information (2013-2018) and an analysis that synthesized what stakeholders are saying about what climate adaptation research is needed in their communities.