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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Alaskan U.S. National Vegetation Classification Workshop Announced

The workshop will be held on November 7th-9th.

A workshop to bring the new U.S National Vegetation Classification forward in Alaska and develop plans for new Landfire work will take place in November.

U.S National Vegetation Classification Workshop: Meeting Landfire Needs and Beyond

Date: Nov 7-9, 2017
Location: Anchorage Alaska
US Forest Service
161 E 1st Avenue, Door 8
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Confirm attendance by email:
don_faber-langendoen@natureserve.org

More Information:
Workshop Details
U.S. National Vegetation Classification Introduction

Background Information:

The U.S. National Vegetation Classification (USNVC) is currently the least complete in Alaska. An Alaska workshop, held in January 2011, initiated drafts of mid-level USNVC types (the division, macrogroup and group), with subsequent revisions by Alaskan ecologists in 2015 2016. But there has been no systematic development of alliances and associations in boreal and arctic Alaska, despite a wide range of published materials on fine-scale plant community types (e.g., Viereck and company, Alaska Natural Heritage Program/Alaska Center for Conservation Science, pers. comm. 2012). Pacific coastal types are better developed, and have been completed in consultation with Alaska, British Columbia, and lower 48 ecologists.

What is now needed is to invite a rigorous peer review of the existing macrogroups and groups, and to establish a peer-review based process for developing alliances and associations, in collaboration with the Ecological Society of America’s NVC Review Board (which is authorized to conduct the review on behalf of the Federal Geographic Data Committee, Vegetation Subcommittee). We have now formally established the NVC Review Board, and would like to engage Alaskan ecologists in improving the USNVC for Alaska. Our workshop will also guide the development of LANDFIRE products. LANDFIRE is preparing to conduct a second round of national mapping, beginning in 2018, using both USNVC Groups and NatureServe Ecological Systems. LANDFIRE will use these classification revisions to improve the Map Legend concepts.

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Forest Service Seeks Students for Research Assistantship Program

The U.S. Forest Service and The Wildlife Society are accepting applications for a research assistantship program for Alaska Native, First Nations, and Native American students. The program facilitates mentoring opportunities for scientists with the students and promotes student advancement and training for careers in natural resource and conservation-related fields.

Short-term assistantships are available for Native American students interested in wildlife and forest resources and excited to learn and work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers. Applicants must be a member of an American Indian or Alaska Native tribe, First Nations, or a Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or have some other indigenous identification, and be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program from an accredited academic institution. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in wildlife biology, ecology, forestry or other closely related natural resource discipline is preferred. Students with Associates degrees from TCUs or other community colleges will be considered.

All application materials are due October 18, 2017. The application is available here.

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New study explores conservation scenarios in the Yukon Boreal Mountains

The Yukon Boreal Moun tainsare home to rugged mountains, high intermontane plateaus
and broad forested valley bottoms.

A recent study explores several multiple scenarios for networks of landscape-scale conservation areas across the boreal mountains of of the Yukon Territory.

In ‘Securing a Wild Future: Planning for landscape-scale conservation of Yukon’s Boreal Mountains,’ Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Canada’s Dr. Hilary Cooke utilizes new spatial analyses to

“…the study examines gaps, opportunities, and priorities for conservation across a region covering the southern 60% of the Yukon. Using an approach and tools developed by the BEACONs research group (www.beaconsproject.ca), she examined thousands of scenarios for networks of landscape-scale conservation areas covering from 15% to 50% of the region to determine the best options for conserving the full range of natural ecological variability of the region, while also accommodating the scale of fire.”

The full report is available here:

https://www.wcscanada.org/Portals/96/Documents/news_release/WCS_Canada_Yukon_report.pdf?ver=2017-06-05-123617-787

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Webinar Tuesday: Disabled Ship Drift Modeling in the Bering Sea

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 will be held on Tuesday, August 22. Ben Matheson will present 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:

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.

Webinar Information:

Disabled Vessel Drift in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

11:30 am | Alaska Daylight Time (Anchorage, GMT-08:00) | 1 hr
Meeting number: 746 072 916
Meeting password: cYYmJ2j?

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

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An inventory of resource management plans across the Northwest Boreal region

The management plan analysis categorizes and analyzes goals from 120 plans across Alaska and Canada. Graphic by Nicole Gustine, FWS.

Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NWB LCC) partners are working to collectively design a sustainable future for the people, cultures, and ecosystems in the region. To begin this difficult task, the partners asked for a review and synthesis of existing natural resource management plans, covering both countries and all four states, provinces and territories. The NWB LCC Steering Committee believes that it is important to both be in alignment with current goals and objectives for land and resources, and to build on the work already completed by agencies, organizations and research institutions.

The review summarized and synthesized 120 management plan goals within the NWB LCC geography. Goals and objectives from each plan were categorized to enable comparisons across plans. These top-level categories were cultural, economic, environmental, and social. This review of regional management plans can be a useful resource for anyone interested in the region and how the goals of different land managers both overlap and diverge across the northwest boreal region.

A summary of the results and a full list of all of the management plans and their goals are available here:

Summary document

Full report and goal explanation

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Job Posting: NWB LCC Partnership Director

The Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative Steering Committee is seeking a Partnership Director.

LOCATION: Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska or Whitehorse, Yukon

APPOINTMENT: Minimum two years, full time

BACKGROUND: The Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NWB LCC) is a self-directed management-science partnership among over 25 agencies and organizations across Alaska and northwest Canada. The NWB LCC is dedicated to informing and promoting integrated science, sustainable natural and cultural resource management, and conservation to address impacts of climate change and other stressors within and across ecosystems. One of 22 LCCs in a national network, the NWB LCC was established in 2012 with the mission to enhance the ability of organizations and communities to understand, manage, and adapt to the changing boreal landscape. Over the past five years, the NWB LCC has matured into a highly collaborative body committed to maintaining a dynamic landscape that sustains functioning, resilient boreal ecosystems and associated communities and cultural resources.

The majority of funding to support the LCC network to date has been provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Although the U.S. President’s 2018 proposed budget does not include continued funding for the LCCs, the NWB LCC is committed to sustaining the partnership regardless of the final outcome of Congressional action on the federal budget. The NWB LCC Steering Committee has committed funding to the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) to hire a Partnership Director for a minimum term of two years’ full-time employment to support the ongoing efforts of the NWB LCC.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: The Partnership Director for the NWB LCC has principal responsibility for coordinating and communicating the work and activities of the NWB LCC partnership, building strong financial support for the organization, and managing operations and staff. The Partnership Director works collaboratively with a diverse, international network committed to landscape sustainability and plays a key role as a liaison among the partner organizations in collaboratively developing and achieving shared landscape conservation goals and objectives. The Partnership Director also provides liaison to the national LCC network.

This position requires a highly motivated, self-sufficient individual who can work independently across a vast landscape with a diverse network of partners and communities. Oversight and direction for this position will be provided by the NWB LCC Steering Committee, comprised of representatives from 25 U.S. and Canadian federal and state/provincial agencies, non-governmental organizations, Tribes and First Nations, and research institutions. Primary contact will be with the committee co-chairs who will provide input to WMI on the Partnership Director’s performance. The Partnership Director will also coordinate closely with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Regional Director for Science Applications in Alaska.

Major duties include, but are not limited to:

International coordination. Ensures NWB LCC activities and programs are coordinated across geographic areas and jurisdictional boundaries. Through well-developed interpersonal communication skills and expertise, provides leadership in creating, guiding, facilitating, and nurturing an interdependent network of partners. Collaborates and explores innovative means to leverage human and financial assets among agencies, organizations, and partnerships to implement the functional elements in pursuit of a sustainable landscape.

Large landscape conservation. Provides leadership, coordination, and facilitation of social and scientific expertise to develop and refine landscape-scale conservation strategies and plans across the NWB LCC region. This includes coordinating, facilitating, and conducting the science-based planning and assessments necessary to establish on-the-ground conservation outcomes and measurable objectives. Works collaboratively to support the integration of cooperative-based outputs into existing projects and programs among partner organizations. Facilitates development of new interdisciplinary projects and programs and seeks out and works with existing partners to formulate policies, programs, and budgets that take advantage of new opportunities to deliver conservation on the ground.

Broadening support for the NWB LCC. Works with NWB LCC partners to diversify funding and broaden support to establish a long-term sustainable partnership. Identifies opportunities to leverage or expand resources for the NWB LCC through interagency agreements, grants, or other mechanisms. Drafts agreements, grant proposals or other documents as needed to secure resources for personnel, projects and NWB LCC activities.

Program management and supervision.
Plans work and establishes schedules and priorities for the NWB LCC in consultation with the Steering Committee. Manages program operations, budget, and cooperative agreements or grants. May supervise one to two staff members.

LCC Network Coordination. Coordinates the work of the NWB LCCs with the national LCC network.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS:

• Advanced degree in a natural resources management or related field
• Five or more years’ experience related to the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the position
• U.S. or Canadian citizenship or documented authority to accept employment in the U.S. or Canada
• Valid driver’s license, passport and ability to travel between the U.S. and Canada

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES REQUIRED:

• Demonstrated ability to establish positive working relationships with individuals having widely varying perspectives and values. In depth knowledge of the art and science of communication with particular skills in presenting complex information to multiple audiences.
• Ability to clearly communicate thoughts and ideas verbally and in writing to technical, policy, and general audiences in both formal and extemporaneous settings.
• Demonstrated success in cultivating relationships with potential supporters of the NWB LCC.
• Skilled at writing successful grant proposals.
• Skilled at providing facilitation and leadership towards consensus building.
• Demonstrated ability to think strategically and develop a vision for a program or collaborative effort.
• Demonstrated ability to set priorities and implement action plans in a complex, issue-driven environment.
• Skilled at facilitation of meetings (both online and in person), workshop logistics and preparation.
• Knowledge and understanding of science.
• Demonstrated ability to work across disciplines.
• Knowledge and skill in applying supervisory/managerial principles and methods to organize work, to direct and motivate employees and achieve concrete results.

ADDITIONAL DESIRED QUALITIES:

• Passion for conservation and keen interest in the North
• Ability to inspire others
• Political savvy
• Experience working with communities, First Nations, or Tribes.
• Willingness and interest to keep people, including human dimensions and social science, as the heart of landscape conservation solutions.

WORKING CONDITIONS:

• The majority of the work is conducted in an office setting and conference/meeting facilities. Office space and limited administrative support will be provided by one of the partner agencies.
• Frequent travel by automobile and government or commercial aircraft, including small charter planes, is required.
• Occasional periods in the out-of-doors with exposure to climate, insects, or animals may be required.

COMPENSATION: Annual salary to be determined within the range of $90,000 – $100,000 USD, commensurate with experience and other qualifications.

BENEFITS: Health insurance stipend in lieu of health insurance; workers’ compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, and general liability insurance; enrollment in WMI’s 401(k) plan with an annual contribution of three to eight percent of salary from WMI.

HOW TO APPLY:Applicants should submit the following materials in electronic format (a single PDF preferred) to Chris Smith, WMI Western Field Representative, at csmithwmi@msn.com by August 25, 2017:
• A cover letter that addresses your interest in the position and explains how your background provides you with the knowledge, skills, abilities and experience necessary to be successful in this position.
• A resume with a minimum of three professional references
• Two samples of written communication related to natural resources or conservation

ANTICIPATED START DATE:
Negotiable; target date is prior to October 30, 2017.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NWB LCC:
• Visit the NWB LCC website at: http://nwblcc.org/

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS POSITION OR EMPLOYMENT WITH WMI:
• Contact Chris Smith at csmithwmi [at] msn.com (406-202-0003) or Scot Williamson at wmisw [at] together.net (802-563-2087).

Download position information

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