Yukon River Chemistry Tells the Story of a Changing Boreal

Jay Hootch (former employee of Yupitt of Andreafski) drilling to be able to take winter chemistry samples for a permafrost study in the Yukon River basin to help shed light on how permafrost loss is causing cascading ecological changes.  Video still from Ryan Toohey, USGSAlaska Climate Science Center.

Jay Hootch (former employee of Yupitt of Andreafski) drilling to be able to take winter chemistry samples for a permafrost study in the Yukon River basin to help shed light on how permafrost loss is causing cascading ecological changes. Video still from Ryan Toohey, USGSAlaska Climate Science Center.

New research explores how melting permafrost is changing freshwater dynamics and helping explain the role of frozen ground in the boreal ecosystem.

The results of the study have global climate change implications because of the cascading effects of such dramatic chemical changes on freshwater, oceanic and high-latitude ecosystems, the carbon cycle and the rural communities that depend on fish and wildlife in Alaska’s iconic Yukon River Basin.

“As the climate gets warmer, the thawing permafrost not only enables the release of more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, but our study shows that it also allows much more mineral-laden and nutrient-rich water to be transported to rivers, groundwater and eventually the Arctic Ocean,” said Ryan Toohey, a researcher at the Department of the Interior’s Alaska Climate Science Center in Anchorage and lead author of the new study. “Changes to the chemistry of the Arctic Ocean could lead to changes in currents and weather patterns worldwide.”

This is the first time a Yukon River study has been able to use long-term continuous water chemistry data to document hydrological changes over such an enormous geographic area and long time span. The new study was accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The study was led by researcher Ryan Toohey of the Department of the Interior’s Alaska Climate Science Center and published in Geophysical Research Letters. Toohey is a NWB LCC collaborator. The study was the result of a unique collaboration between the USGS, the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, the Pilot Station Traditional Council and the Indigenous Observation Network funded by these organizations and the Administration for Native Americans and the National Science Foundation.

Information from USGS.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yukon River Chemistry Tells the Story of a Changing Boreal

News regarding earthworms in NWB LCC

A preview of some coming changes in at least the warmer parts of the LCC.

Yes, earthworms are changing the Kenai — Matt Bowser, USFWS

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on News regarding earthworms in NWB LCC

Job Posting: Interdisciplinary Geospatial Ecologist at BLM Alaska State Office

blm-logoBLM is seeking a dynamic and energetic individual to join the team as a Geospatial Ecologist, Geographer, or Ecologist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Partial duties (from the full description, available here. )

Serve as a consultant and technical advisor/lead regarding geospatial data, systems, application, and interpretation to a wide variety of audiences. Provide expert technical advice and direction regarding the collection of inventory, assessment, and monitoring data for major projects and/or studies.

Lead the development of multi-scale statistical analyses, statistically valid sample designs, and decision-support tools. Ensure that statistical analysis and data collection regarding inventory, assessment, and monitoring is coordinated across geographic areas and administrative boundaries.

Generate ideas for analysis of data, recognize and test relationships, evaluate landscape health and changes over time, perform causal analysis, and present interpretations and implications resulting from the analyses

The full posting is available here.

Contact:

Cara Dover
Email : cdover at blm.gov

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Job Posting: Interdisciplinary Geospatial Ecologist at BLM Alaska State Office

Scientists Use Satellites to Detect Evergreen Photosynthesis

Scientists are using satellites to measure photosynthesi in evergreen trees. Photo from USFWS.

Scientists are using satellites to measure photosynthesi in evergreen trees. Photo from USFWS.

A group of Canadian and American scientists have developed a new tool to measure the health of the boreal forest from satellite imagery.

In a story from the University of Alberta, Bryan Alary writes that the team accessed newly-available satellite bands from NASA to detect small color shifts in evergreen trees.

“Photosynthesis is arguably the most important process on the planet, without which life as we know it would not exist,” said John Gamon, a University of Alberta biologist and project lead.

“As the climate changes, plants respond—their photosynthesis changes, their growing season changes. And if photosynthesis changes, that in turn further affects the atmosphere and climate.”

More information about the study is available here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Scientists Use Satellites to Detect Evergreen Photosynthesis

Climate Displacement Symposium Scheduled for December

climate displacement symposium logoThe Council on Environmental Quality, in collaboration with the Hawaii and Alaska Sea Grant College Programs, and the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i Manoa, will host the Symposium on Climate Displacement, Migration, and Relocation December 13-14, 2016. The symposium site is the Kapi’olani Community College, 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, Hawai’i 96816.

This symposium will provide an opportunity for stakeholders, researchers, policy experts, indigenous leaders, and local, state, and federal government officials to explore legal and policy opportunities and challenges arising from climate displacement. This includes questions about how to plan for and implement voluntary migration and community-led relocation as adaptation strategies to the impacts of climate change, both domestically and in the context of the Pacific Islands.

The Pacific Islands Climate Science Center and NOAA Office for Coastal Management are also cosponsors of the symposium.

For more information, visit: https://seagrant.uaf.edu/conferences/2016/climate-migration/index.php

Symposium on Climate Displacement, Migration, and Relocation
University of Hawaiʻi, Kapi’olani Community College
Honolulu, Hawai‘i
December 13–14, 2016

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Climate Displacement Symposium Scheduled for December

Northwest Climate Hub Seeks Proposals

northwest climate hub logoThe Northwest Climate Hub is requesting proposals to support their mission to serve farms, forests and rangelands in a changing climate.

An estimated amount of $350,000 is available for approximately 5-10 projects. There are additional funds available (at least $50,000) to fund one proposal that is designed to assist the NW Climate Hub in serving Alaska, such as efforts focused on Alaska meeting its food security needs under climate change.

A Request For Proposals (RFP) is available here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Northwest Climate Hub Seeks Proposals

Arctic Roundtable to Discuss Permafrost in Alaska

arctic roundtable

The 2016 Arctic Roundtable will focus on permafrost.

The Arctic Institute of North America is hosting their annual Arctic Roundtable event on the Status of Permafrost in Alaska.

Three panelists are world-renowned permafrost/ecosystem scientists: Vladimir Romanovsky, Torre Jorgenson, and Terry Chapin, who will discuss the status of permafrost and its implications for ecosystems and people in Alaska. The event will be held at the Westmark Hotel East Gold Room on Monday November 14th at 7pm.

Please join us for an introduction by the panelists, followed by audience questions and discussion.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Arctic Roundtable to Discuss Permafrost in Alaska

Job opportunity – Peninsular Florida LCC is Hiring Marine/Estuarine Conservation Target Project Lead & Prescribed Fire Spatial Database Project Lead

PFLCC LogoTwo positions are currently open with the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), with both closing on November 1, 2016:

Marine/Estuarine Conservation Target Project Lead

View the full posting and apply at: https://jobs.myflorida.com/viewjob.html?optlink-view=view-939064&am…

Primary duties will include:

  • Lead the PFLCC Marine/Estuarine Priority Resource team to develop and assess potential conservation targets.
  • Review, acquire, and collate existing spatial data that represent marine/estuarine resources in Florida’s coastal waters.  Perform spatially explicit GIS analyses to identify marine/estuarine waters important to the long-term conservation of fish and wildlife resources and use the results to assist in refining existing natural resource priorities and conservation targets.
  • Coordinate with marine/estuarine system and species experts to develop a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to assist in developing a process and in identification of areas of high value and development of conservation targets.  Coordinate and lead TAG workshops.
  • Coordinate with and participate in other ongoing efforts in the Gulf of Mexico and other regions (including neighboring LCCs) with similar goals and objectives.
  • Coordinate with partners to add results to the Critical Lands and Water Identification Project database.
  • Assist in data preparation, maintenance, and delivery via multiple methods, including web based mapping applications, images, powerpoint presentations, and reports.  Prepare FGDC metadata.  Complete project report.
  • Participate in coordination of scientific activities within the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC) and adjacent south east LCCs to ensure that the science goals and objectives of the PFLCC are met

Prescribed Fire Spatial Database Project Lead

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Job opportunity – Peninsular Florida LCC is Hiring Marine/Estuarine Conservation Target Project Lead & Prescribed Fire Spatial Database Project Lead

Spatial Analyst Post Doctoral Position: Cooperative Research Unit University of Alaska Fairbanks

4-logoPosition Description:  Duties in include1) enhance and expand Northwest Boreal (NWB) and Western Alaska (WA) Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) efforts to identify current and future terrestrial and aquatic connectivity among and within National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) and other protected areas; 2) implement connectivity models, climate change projections, and other available data to assess the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity (i.e., vulnerability) of  the conservation estate in NWB and WA LCCs; 3) Use best available data to stratify and map landscape vulnerability to climate and land-use change in portions of Alaska; and 4) work with NWR’s staff and the NWB and WA LCCs to inform landscape conservation design in the NWB LCC and the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta section of the WA LCC.  Considerable latitude for original approaches and explicit direction will be provided to the Post-Doctoral Researcher. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spatial Analyst Post Doctoral Position: Cooperative Research Unit University of Alaska Fairbanks

Webinar – Impact of Lengthening Open Water Season on Alaskan Coastal Communities

rolph-webinar-flyerTuesday, October 25; 12-1 PM (Alaska Time)

Becca Rolph, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Using sea ice concentration data from the Historical Sea Ice Atlas (HSIA) for selected communities in Alaska, we find a consistent trend toward later freeze-up and earlier break-up, leading to a lengthened open water period. The HSIA provides weekly ice concentration data for the period 1953-2013, allowing us to examine events of interest related to sea ice variability that pre-date the satellite record. The reduction in Arctic sea ice concentration is often considered to bring a variety of “frontline” local impacts to northern coastal communities. For example, a later freeze-up might delay local hunters’ transition from boats to snow-machines, but whether this trend will affect the balance between hunting success and cost is uncertain. However, an expanding open water season throughout the Arctic has global economic implications, which can have indirect effects on local communities and which may outweigh local effects on food security at least in the short term. For example, the lengthened open water season has effectively extended the operational period for U.S. oil exploration activities by 184% since the 1950s. Reduced sea ice extent is also leading to improved navigability for barge traffic, which brings easier access of shipped goods. Thus, while Arctic coastal communities are already experiencing direct impacts of an increased open water season, these impacts may be over-shadowed by the indirect impacts coming from the global economy and its relationship with sea ice.

Join us:

  • Fairbanks – Federal Building, 12th Ave, Refuges Conference Room
  • Anchorage – FWS Regional Office, Office of Science Applications Conference Room

Remote:

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Webinar – Impact of Lengthening Open Water Season on Alaskan Coastal Communities