Provide Input for Beacons Training Opportunities in 2018

The BEACONs project is designing future outreach and training opportunities – please share your feedback! If you are interested in learning more about BEACONs, please complete a very short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FRJWZKK

Learn more about the Beacons project here:

http://www.beaconsproject.ca/

The Beacons analysis has several benchmark networks that can be ranked by a variety of criteria.


Project Summary:

The Northwest Boreal LCC (NWB LCC) envisions a dynamic landscape that maintains functioning, resilient boreal ecosystems and associated cultural resources. To support this vision, the NWB LCC partnered with the BEACONs Project to implement a new approach to conservation planning, including the identification of ecological benchmarks to support implementation of active adaptive management. Within an adaptive management framework, benchmarks serve as reference areas for detecting and understanding the influence of human activity on ecological systems. They support the identification of management practices that sustain the wide range of environmental, cultural, and economic values of the northwest boreal. The NWB LCC region has high potential for the establishment of a comprehensive benchmark network, with contributions from existing protected areas. Join us for an overview of the concepts behind this work and the new products available to support pro-active conservation planning.

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Alaska DNR Seeks Natural Resource Technicians

The State of Alaska Division of Forestry anticipates selecting multiple long term nonpermanent Natural Resource Technician II (crew member) and III (crew leader) positions, to support the U.S. Forest Service Interior Alaska Forest Inventory and Analysis program.

All positions will be located within the State of Alaska Natural Resources Department Division of Forestry in Fairbanks, Alaska. *Note: This position is open to Alaska Residents only.

How to Apply:

Visit Workplace Alaska at to apply online prior to the closing date 1/31/18 at 5:00pm.

NRT II: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/alaska/jobs/1917971/natural-resource-technician-ii-10-dnr-51?keywords=10-dnr-51&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

NRT III: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/alaska/jobs/1917147/natural-resource-technician-iii-10-dnr-50?keywords=10-dnr-51&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

For additional information on these positions, please contact Matt Stevens at matthew.stevens@alaska.gov or 907-451-2606

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New Research Explores the Changing Role of Thunderstorms and Lightning in Boreal Wildfires

NASA Earth Observatory maps and charts by Jesse Allen, using data provided by Sander Veraverbeke (Vrije Universiteit).

New research examines the changing role of thunderstorms and lightning strikes on the boreal forest wildfire regime. A team supported by NASA and led by Sander Veraverbeke (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and University of California, Irvine) analyzed satellite data and other lightning data sources to try to understand the 2014 and 2015 wildfire seasons.

The team found that the majority of fires in their study areas in 2014 and 2015 were ignited by lightning storms, as opposed to human activity. That is natural, given the remoteness of the region, but it also points to more frequent lightning strikes in an area not known for as many thunderstorms as the tropics or temperate regions. Looking at longer trends, the researchers found that lightning-ignited fires in the region have been increasing by 2 to 5 percent per year since 1975, a trend that is consistent with climate change. The study was published in July 2017 in the journal Nature Climate Change.
“We found that it is not just a matter of more burning with higher temperatures. The reality is more complex,” Veraverbeke said. “Higher temperatures also spur more thunderstorms. Lightning from these thunderstorms is what has been igniting many more fires in these recent extreme events.”

Read more at NASA’s website: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=91343&src=eoa-iotd

The full paper was published in Nature:

https://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n7/full/nclimate3329.html

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Webinar: Assessing vulnerability of Interior Alaskan Subsistence Users to Impacts of Environmental Change on Travel and Access

Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy Webinar: Assessing vulnerability of Interior Alaskan Subsistence Users to Impacts of Environmental Change on Travel and Access

Date:
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 10:00 AM AKST
Presenter:
Helen Cold, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Register here:

https://accap.uaf.edu/subsistance_access

Summary:

Changes in climate are disproportionately affecting northern latitudes, and this is altering relationships between human societies and their environments. Rural communities in boreal Alaska rely heavily on natural resources for provisional and cultural purposes, and have reported challenges caused by contemporary environmental changes. Environmental disturbances associated with climate change, such as shifts in fire regime, hydrologic changes affecting waterways, thawing of permafrost, extreme weather events, and unstable snow and ice conditions, have been qualitatively associated with altered accessibility of subsistence resources.

Our research objective was to quantify the impact of disturbances driven by climate change on access to ecosystem services in Interior Alaska. In collaboration with nine rural boreal Alaska communities, we documented changes observed by subsistence users. Geotagged photos of disturbances that community members encountered while engaged in resource gathering activities were coupled with their interpretation of the impact of the disturbance on their travel, as well as traditional ecological knowledge gathered through comprehensive interviews on the history of environmental disturbances in their subsistence harvest areas.

We identified eight general categories of climatic change influencing access to resources by rural residents: ice conditions, snow conditions, water levels, erosion, sedimentation, vegetative community composition, windy days, and undetermined. We then used frequency and intensity information for the disturbances reported to conduct a vulnerability assessment to identify which disturbances were having the greatest impact on travel. Preliminary analyses indicate that water levels, erosion, snow conditions and ice conditions are the most detrimental to rural residents’ abilities to travel and access subsistence resources across the Interior.

Through combining traditional ecological knowledge and scientific analysis, we characterized the impact of climate change on travel networks used for subsistence resource harvest across the study region and provide information that collaborating communities can use to optimize community resilience and self-reliance. These data can be used by agencies and local communities to foster adaptation to a rapidly changing climate.

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Webinar: U.S. Forest Service Interior Alaska Forest Inventory and Analysis Program

With the official launch of the Interior Alaska FIA in 2016, the Anchorage Forestry Sciences lab in cooperation with the State of Alaska Division of Forestry have taken on the largest (110 million acres) and most remote forest inventory in the country.

Webinar: U.S. Forest Service Interior Alaska Forest Inventory and Analysis Program

The Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program acts as the Nation’s forest census by inventorying all potentially forested lands in all 50 states and the Pacific Islands. Until 2014, the 15% of the nation’s forests in Interior Alaska were uninventoried. With the official launch of the Interior Alaska FIA in 2016, the Anchorage Forestry Sciences lab in cooperation with the State of Alaska Division of Forestry have taken on the largest (110 million acres) and most remote forest inventory in the country. FIA collects data on forest composition and condition, tree size and age, insects and diseases, vegetation structure and composition, invasives, down woody materials and has added specific protocols for lichens/mosses and soils to better represent Interior boreal forest components. This dataset will be essential to assessing Interior Alaska forest change over time and answering critical scientific and management questions.

Presenter:
Kate Legner, Supervisory Biological Scientist, Interior Alaska Unit – Forest Service – Forest Inventory & Analysis

Date: December 12, 12-1 p.m. AK (1-2 p.m. Pacific)

Webinar Link:

https://mmancusa.webex.com/mmancusa/j.php?MTID=m218be84b75145f7e105b988a5c076625

Meeting number: 743 556 905
Meeting password: Nwblcc17!

Audio:
Call-in number: 1-866-755-3168
Access code: 402 119 14#

In-person meeting rooms:

Fairbanks – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuges Conference Room
Anchorage – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Regional Office Science Applications Conference Room

Contact benjamin_matheson@fws.gov with any questions.

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) RFP Announced

The NFWF 2017 request for proposals covers three main geographies across Alaska.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to further conservation of species and habitats in Alaska. The conservation strategy for Alaska follows NFWF’s institutional outcome focused approach to species conservation, and includes three primary focal geographies: The Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, Cook Inlet/Matanuska-Susitna watershed, and Alaska North Slope. Projects outside of these geographies that support fishery conservation may also be considered on a case by case basis, particularly those projects targeting Pacific salmon protection, enhancement and restoration initiatives through the Alaska Fish Habitat Partnerships.

Learn more here.

In the Cook Inlet/Matanuska-Susitna watershed area, NFWF seeks to support a comprehensive watershed management approach to conserving fish and wildlife in the Cook Inlet geography. Focal species for this geography include Chinook, Sockeye and Coho salmon and migratory shorebirds.

Program funds will be allocated to projects that:

Achieve or substantially lead to measurable on-the-ground conservation outcomes;
Fill key information gaps through assessments and strategic monitoring that result in or
substantially lead to measureable management actions.

Support for this program is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land
Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), and various other federal sources. Grants may be awarded using one or
more of these sources of funding.

View the RFP here.

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Webinar Recording: Conserving Large Landscapes: Science to Support Pro-active Planning

Please join partners from the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative and BEACONs project to learn about a new approach for proactive planning and adaptive management in the context of uncertainty and change across Alaska and Northwest Canada.

Conserving Large Landscapes: Science to Support Pro-active Planning

Presenters: Fiona Schmiegelow and Kim Lisgo
BEACONs Project
University of Alberta and Yukon College

The analysis (above) includes the identification of a suite of candidate benchmark networks options (e.g., N1-9, figure above) for ecoregions across the study area. The network options can be ranked and refined to best contribute to regional land use plans and associated conservation goals.

In-person meeting rooms:

Fairbanks – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuges Conference Room

Anchorage – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Regional Office Science Applications Conference Room


Summary:

The Northwest Boreal LCC (NWB LCC) envisions a dynamic landscape that maintains functioning, resilient boreal ecosystems and associated cultural resources. To support this vision, the NWB LCC partnered with the BEACONs Project to implement a new approach to conservation planning, including the identification of ecological benchmarks to support implementation of active adaptive management. Within an adaptive management framework, benchmarks serve as reference areas for detecting and understanding the influence of human activity on ecological systems. They support the identification of management practices that sustain the wide range of environmental, cultural, and economic values of the northwest boreal. The NWB LCC region has high potential for the establishment of a comprehensive benchmark network, with contributions from existing protected areas. Join us for an overview of the concepts behind this work and the new products available to support pro-active conservation planning.

Please contact Ben Matheson with any questions. benjamin_matheson@fws.gov

Top image: Creative Commons image by Juri Peepre.

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Webinar Recording: Identifying Climate Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Adaptation Strategies for Eulachon Populations in Southeast Alaska

Identifying Climate Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Adaptation Strategies for Eulachon Populations in Southeast Alaska

Meredith Pochardt, Takshanuk Watershed Council

Hooligan (Eulachon or Saak), a small anadromous smelt species, have been a culturally significant subsistence species for the Tlingit people for generations. Declines in the southern distinct populations (SDP) located in California, Oregon and Washington and their eventual listing as Threatened in 2010 promoted the Chilkoot Indian Association (CIA) and the Takshanuk Watershed Council (TWC) to being a long-term population monitoring program in northern Southeast Alaska. Prior to these efforts that began in 2010 there was little to no hooligan population data for this region. The CIA and TWC began with a mark-recapture protocol on the Chilkoot river. In 2014 the CIA and TWC partnered with Oregon State University to integrate the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) as an alternative method to collect population data. In 2017 this research expanded to 8 additional rivers in northern Southeast Alaska. The goal is to determine the applicability of various population estimation methods and determine the most cost-effective method to gather data in remote locations.

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Webinar: Living with wildland fires: What we learned from the 2016 Horse River Wildfire

Webinar Tuesday, November 21:
Living with wildland fires: What we learned from the 2016 Horse River Wildfire

Mike Flannigan, Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science
and University of Alberta

Cordy Tymstra, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
1000-1100 AKST

Fire happens in Canada’s forest. Every year, thousands of small fires and dozens of large ones occur somewhere in Canada’s vast forest landscape. It has been the story for centuries and will continue. Now more than ever people work, build and live in the boreal forest, but disaster can occur when people and fire intersect. This was the case in 2016 in Fort McMurray, resulting in unprecedented evacuation of 90,000 people, insurable losses over $3.7 billion and a negative impact on National GDP.

What have we learned from this catastrophic fire and can we co-exist with fire?
Visit akfireconsortium.uaf.edu to register

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Webinar: Northwest Boreal Science and Management Research Tool

The tool allows users to search by keyword and geography to find research across the boreal.

The Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative is pleased to announce the launch of the Northwest Boreal Science and Management Research Tool.

Explore thousands of curated scholarly articles, state and federal resource reports, land management plans, and more. Each entry includes geographic information about the area of study, allowing users to draw a box on a map to narrow searches to information directly related to a specific region in Alaska, the Yukon, British Columbia, and Northwest Territories.

https://aknwc.databasin.org/sciencebase

Presenters:
Ben Matheson, NWB LCC
Susan Klein, ARLIS
Ryan Toohey, Alaska Climate Science Center

This project is a collaboration among Alaska Resources Library & Information Services (ARLIS) , Alaska Climate Science Center, DataBasin, and Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
Images: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0Bw7I-HUID-uBWUYxYWpJclBESjA

Partners:

Alaska Resources Library & Information Services (ARLIS)
Alaska Resources Library and Information Services
DataBasin
USGS Alaska Climate Science Center

Additional funding acknowledgements:
USGS Alaska Science Center
USGS Student Interns in Support of Native American Relations (SISNAR)

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