Webinar Recording- Building a Better Bird Map: Audubon Alaska’s 2017 Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas

Max Goldman, Marine Ecologist For Audubon Alaska

The Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas is a comprehensive, trans-boundary atlas that represents the current state of knowledge in a wide breadth of relevant Arctic marine domains centered around the North Pacific Arctic, ranging from physical oceanography to species ecology to human uses. Our process involves intensive research and consultation with experts, as well as gathering and analyzing the most recent and robust data available.

The resulting maps integrate disparate datasets of points, tracks, or polygons into a few cohesive and complementary data layers that serve to visually describe a particular process or species’ activity and movements through the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas. We will introduce some of our maps and discuss our process from identifying our audience, to intensive data gathering and syntheses, through the cartographic process where the story is solidified and visualized.

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Webinar: Mapping the Human Footprint Across the Boreal

The project brings together data from across Alaska and Canada. Map by ACCS.

Webinar: Mapping the Human Footprint Across the Boreal

Marcus Geist, Alaska Center for Conservation Science

The Alaska Center for Conservation Science (ACCS) at the University of Alaska Anchorage, in partnership with the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NWB LCC), embarked on a project to map and quantify the human footprint across interior Alaska and northwestern Canada.

The goal was to build a seamless dataset that spanned international boundaries by stitching source information from state, provincial and territorial entities in order to represent landscape intactness in the boreal ecosystem. This dataset, which focuses primarily on historical mining, oil and gas, and transportation infrastructure, could help inform decisions regarding natural resource monitoring, identifying potential mitigation/restoration sites, and for conservation planning at watershed scales.

Details:

Wednesday, Oct. 4; 12 -1 PM Alaska Time
Anchorage – FWS Regional Office, Science Applications Conference Rm.
Fairbanks – Federal Building Rm. 110 (Library)

Webinar:

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

Direct Link:
https://mmancusa.webex.com/mmancusa/j.php?MTID=m46abb40dcfe9ba8398104d7f02d6ed8b

Go to MyMeetings.com
Meeting number: 744 174 411
Meeting Passcode: cSKRtc?8

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Upcoming Webinar: Assessment of the Application of Climate Information in Wildfire Management in Alaska: Experiences from the Alaska Fire Science Consortium

A webinar will be held on October 24th examining how the Alaska Fire Science Consortium contributes to fire management in Alaska.

Assessment of the Application of Climate Information in Wildfire Management in Alaska: Experiences from the Alaska Fire Science Consortium

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM AKDT
Speaking:
Melanie Colavito, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Information on how to join is available here:

https://accap.uaf.edu/Assessment_AFSC?

Abstact:
The Alaska Fire Science Consortium (AFSC) is a boundary organization that works across the science-management interface to enhance the role that scientific information plays in decision-making for fire management in Alaska. We conducted a case study of AFSC to examine how they facilitate the delivery, development, and application of climate and related information and to determine the outcomes of their work. Specifically, this talk will outline the evolution of AFSC to examine how the activities they use to deliver science and facilitate new research development, their engagement with climate science information, and the outcomes of their work change over time.

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Northwest Boreal LCC Anthropogenic Footprint Maps Available

The dataset brings together data from several sources across Alaska and Canada. Map by ACCS.

Understanding the current, and historical, extent of human development is an important component to effectively managing ecosystems. The Alaska Center for Conservation Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage, in partnership with the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative, embarked on a project to map and quantify the human footprint across interior Alaska and northwestern Canada and are happy to share this new information.

The maps and data are now available here:

http://accs.uaa.alaska.edu/landscape-ecology/northwest-boreal-anthropogenic-footprint/

A webinar will be held on October 4th to present the data and process. Details on how to join are available here:
http://nwblcc.org/?p=2436

The goal was to build a seamless dataset that spanned state, provincial and territorial boundaries to represent an initial look at intactness in the boreal ecosystems of western Canada and Alaska. This builds off work done by Ducks Unlimited Canada to bring together information from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and British Columbia.

The data are available at the ACCS website.


Habitat loss and fragmentation are the leading causes of species loss globally, and although Alaska is thought to be 95% intact (Trammell and Aisu 2015), the location and intensity can have important impacts on local and regional resources. However, a detailed, comprehensive dataset showing human development has yet to be created for the state of Alaska. We expect these datasets can inform numerous resource and land managers decisions including:

  • Choose where to initiate or continue biological, chemical, and ecological monitoring
  • Identify potential remediation sites that appear to have significant cumulative impacts
  • Inventory possible restoration locations for development projects requiring mitigation
  • Utilize footprint data for conservation planning.

We anticipate that these datasets will help guide scenario planning efforts within and beyond the boreal ecosystem of Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and parts of the Northwest Territories and British Columbia.

The team spent significant effort on developing a comprehensive dataset defining mining’s footprint across the region. Historically, mines have been depicted by point locations which do not convey their relative sizes or mining activity might be represented by claims polygons which overestimate their actual footprints. With the advent of statewide 2.5 meter ortho-imagery, ACCS embarked on project to digitize visible surface disturbance related to historic and current mining. Nearly 2000 source point locations were evaluated from the US Geologic Survey, British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, and the Yukon Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources.

The mining footprint dataset includes over 650 discrete polygons totaling 1200 square kilometers with a mean size of 1.8 sq kms. The measured mining footprints have been summarized at the watershed (USGS HUC10 – mean area 688 sq kms) scale across Alaska and summarized at the coarse scale, sub-sub drainage unit (mean area 16,000 sq kms) within Canada. This dataset could help inform decisions regarding natural resource monitoring, identifying potential mitigation/restoration sites, and for conservation planning at watershed scales.

Additional human footprint datasets include a comprehensive transportation layer incorporating roads, trails, rails, and airports across the NWB LCC as well as and energy layer and a developed landcover layer.

Project Details

WHAT: This project assembled datasets representing the past and present human footprint across the Northwest Boreal Landscape.

WHERE: Northwest Boreal LCC spans across almost 40% of Alaska, 90% of the Yukon, 20% of British Columbia, and 7% of the NWT.

WHO: Alaska Center for Conservation Science staff gather data from federal, state, local, tribal, and non-governmental agencies. Duck Unlimited Canada contributed Candian datasets.

DATA CITATION: Geist, M., M. Aisu , P. Lema & E. J. Trammell. 2017. Spatial estimates of surface mining footprints in northwest boreal ecoregions of Alaska and Canada.

DATA CONTACT: If you have updated data and would like to incorporate your information into this footprint, please contact Marcus Geist at mageist (at) alaska.edu or 907-786-6325.

WHY: The Alaska Climate Science Center and the Northwest Boreal LCC expressed a need for landscape scale datasets which can be used for habitat modeling, connectivity evaluations, and a means to more fully measure cumulative impacts.

WHEN: The project began in 2014 with data updates through 2017.

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2017 Fall Alaska Fire Science Workshop to be held October 10

The Alaska Fire Science Consortium will host a workshop October 10, 2017.

In association with the Alaska Interagency Fall Fire Review, the Alaska Fire Science Consortium will host a half-day workshop on October 10, 2017. Topics include economic and ecological effects of fuel treatments, exploring future fire scenarios, tundra fire, and seasonal forecasting.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
1300-1700 AKDT
Alaska Fire Service Training Rooms, BLM – Alaska Fire Service facilities on Fort Wainwright.

Visit http://goo.gl/maps/XTgLY for a map and directions. Address: Bureau of Land Management – Alaska Fire Service, 1541 Gaffney Road, Fort Wainwright, AK 99706

Please contact AFSC coordinator Alison York ayork [at] alaska.edu for more information. Details are available here:

https://www.frames.gov/partner-sites/afsc/events/?utm_source=Alaska+Fire+Science+Consortium&utm_campaign=00e83e91ff-Fall+2017+Fire+Science+Workshop&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f71e8dfb48-00e83e91ff-136258021

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Webinar – Understanding Environmental Change in the Yukon River Basin through the Indigenous Observation Network and Citizen Science

Ryan Toohey, USGS Alaska Climate Science Center

Tuesday, September 19; 12 -1 PM Alaska Time

The Yukon River Basin (YRB), underlain by discontinuous permafrost, has experienced a warming climate over the last century that has altered air temperature, precipitation, and permafrost. A collaborative effort between the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Indigenous Observation Network (ION) has developed two projects that focus on water quality and permafrost research. More than 300 community environmental technicians have been trained to participate in ION by effectively monitoring and investigating their local environments with global implications. These local observations, obtained over the past decade, have contributed to the global understanding of climate change and ultimately its impacts on Alaska Native Villages. Combined with historical data from the USGS, the ION database now covers over 30 years of historical water quality data in key locations. Trend analysis of this database suggests increased active layer expansion, weathering and sulfide oxidation due to permafrost degradation throughout the YRB. Changing geochemistry of the YRB may have important implications for the carbon cycle, aquatic ecosystems, and contaminant transport. With predicted environmental changes, the efforts of ION and the integration of Indigenous knowledge will become critical to assess, mitigate and adapt to changing local environments.

Join us

In Anchorage:
US Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office
1011 E Tudor Rd., Anchorage Alaska
Office of Science Applications Confence Rm

In Fairbanks:
US Fish and Wildlife Service Field Office
101 12th Ave.
Fairbanks Alaska
Refuges Conference Room

Remote connection:
Call-in number: 1-866-755-3168
Access code: 402 119 14

Click here to access webinar 
Meeting number: 745 762 485
Meeting password: ZypXQz4@

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Yukon North Slope Traditional Knowledge Report Available

Areas used by caribou for calving, as identified by mulitple Inuvialuit land-users during TK interviews. Source: “Traditional Knowledge of Wildlife Habitats on the Yukon North Slope.”

A new report, Inuvialuit Traditional Knowledge of Wildlife Habitat on the Yukon North Slope, detailing traditional knowledge of important species along the Yukon North Slope has been released.

Inuvialuit Traditional Knowledge of Wildlife Habitat on the Yukon North Slope

Prepared for:
Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope)

Prepared by:
William Tyson and Kimberly Heinemeyer
Round River Conservation Studies

Background information:

The Inuvialuit of the Yukon North Slope have formed a Wildlife Advisory Council, a co-management body, comprised of federal, territorial, and Inuvialuit representatives, and they are working closely with researchers from the Round River Organization to develop a management plan that reflects how the Inuvialuit use Arctic resources and their understanding of seasonal habitat use by fish and wildlife. This process for integrating Traditional and Western science in the Inuvialuit Settlement Area will provide an important example for how other scientists and managers can work with native communities to fulfill the need for wildlife and management plans in other places.

Researchers reviewed existing local knowledge publications and recorded information from local workshops and interviews to develop detailed maps and descriptions habitat for caribou, moose, grizzly and polar bears, Dolly Varden Char, Broad Whitefish, geese, muskox and Dall’s sheep. Changes in distribution patterns and impacts from climate change have also been observed, especially for caribou. These changes include different migration routes and timing of migration. A report describing the knowledge gathered was submitted to the communities for review and use in the next phase of developing the management plan. The Inuvialuit Traditional Knowledge of Wildlife Habitat on the Yukon North Slope final report can be viewed here:

http://arcticlcc.org/assets/products/ALCC2016-01/reports/Inuvialuit_Wildlife_Habitat_TK_Final_Report_20170712.pdf
Documenting local knowledge of wildlife habitat and distribution promises to be useful and effective in managing wildlife by local users. This baseline wildlife assessment will inform multiple products including habitat models and connectivity mapping based on traditional knowledge and Western science data.

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Aleutian Vessel Drift Modeling Webinar Recording

The analysis explores when and where disabled ships are likely to go ashore in a modeled environment.

A webinar discussing an ongoing analysis of simulated disabled ship drift dynamics was held on Tuesday, August 22. Ben Matheson presened work supported by the Aleutian and Bering Sea Islands LCC, as well as Wildlife Conservation Society and Genwest.
Understanding the risks of potential vessel groundings along four major traffic lanes through the Aleutian Islands on the Great Circle Route.

The recording is available here: https://youtu.be/S4P7pWA9MZw

In recent years emerging routes through the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea have drawn significant international attention because of expected new traffic resulting from decreased seasonal sea ice. However, the vast majority of international vessel traffic in Alaska actually transits through the southern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands via the Great Circle Route. Within this high use route (9-12 vessels per day), there is a potential risk of vessel incidents that might result in oil spills and subsequent impacts.

These spills have the potential to harm key regional subsistence species like marine mammals, birds and fish/shellfish. They also pose grave potential risk to commercial fisheries both in terms of direct impacts and also potential harm to market dynamics based on perceived contamination of commercial species of fish and shellfish. Using information on predominant local winds, surface currents, and the shape and buoyancy of a simulated tanker vessel we were able to run thousands of simulated vessel drift events using the General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME) model. We will share results of this drift modeling effort relative to risks posed to Steller Sea Lions and seabird colonies in the Aleutian Islands. This work is a preliminary modelling effort that can be expanded in the future.

Partners include Wildlife Conservation Society and Genwest.

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Webinar September 5th: Supporting the Earth Science Community through Holistic Data Management Approaches

Data from the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission’s Bering Arctic Subarctic Integrated Survey is visible in the portal Axiom Data Science built for the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). Photo from Axiom Data Science.

A webinar will be held on September 5th at 12:00 p.m.(AK):

“Supporting the Earth Science Community through Holistic Data Management Approaches”

Presenter: Rob Bochenek, Axiom Data Science

This talk will describe the end-to-end cyber infrastructure developed to support stakeholders in the earth science community throughout the data lifecycle: from immediately after data collection, through numerical analysis and synthesis, visualization, and decision making, to data publication and reuse.

Over the last decade, Axiom Data Science has worked with state, federal, NGO, univeristy and private partners to develop the technologies and capabilities necessary to address many of the common challenges to data management, reuse, and visualization, including securely storing and sharing data within research teams and larger research campaigns; providing tools for scientists to perform reproducible analytical workflows; publishing data with standards-compliant metadata; assimilating and visualizing data in ways that allow data of heterogeneous types and spatiotemporal granularities to be be integrated, explored, and understood together; and efficiently accessing and analyzing high-volume data products including model results and satellite imagery. By integrating these capabilities, we have created an end-to-end data ecosystem that provides scientists with tools for meeting their data management obligations and performing collaborative analyses using reproducible workflows. The resulting system augments the impact, reuse, and accessibility of science research products by making them available to decision makers and other interested stakeholders alongside other observational, in situ, remote, and real time data products from other research and monitoring efforts.

Webinar Access:
https://mmancusa.webex.com/mmancusa/j.php?MTID=mb6721c959279dc4dbe5d0f1fa5a80f30
Meeting number: 743 339 292
Meeting password: FdWKpa9*

Join by phone
Call-in toll-free number : 1-866-755-3168 (US)
Attendee access code: 402 119 14#

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Alaska Aspen Workshop Registration Open

The Alaska Aspen Workshop registration is now open and posted at http://www.alaska.forestry.org/alaska.

A 3-day workshop will take place beginning in Fairbanks on September 12, 2017 to discuss the ecology and management of aspen in Alaska’s Interior. The rest of the workshop will take place in the field between Fairbanks and Tok. Please see the program information on the registration form for details. A formal agenda will be published on the SAF website in the coming weeks.

Registration forms and payment due August 25th: $75 to cover transportation and one meal. (If you can only attend the Fairbanks portion, we ask for a $20 registration to cover transportation to the field.)

Details:

Alaska Aspen Workshop
September 12-14, 2017
Fairbanks – Delta – Tok
Hosted by the Western Aspen Alliance, Cook Inlet SAF, and the BLM

Explore the Western Aspen Alliance website https://western-aspen-alliance.org/ and receive the Tremblings newsletter.

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