Alaska Wildfire Costs Projected to Grow this Century

The costs to fight fires in Alaska are expected to grow in the coming decades, according to new research.

The costs to fight fires in Alaska are expected to grow in the coming decades, according to new research.

Wildfires in Alaska and Canada cost millions of dollars to homeowners, businesses, and local and national governments. Those costs are expected to rise with a warming northern climate, according to new research that utilizes the ALFRESCO model. In an article that appears in the journal Climate Change, researchers leveraged federal fire fighting cost data with multiple greenhouse gas and fire scenarios.

“Total mean annual response costs reported here suggest that Alaska will face a continued and increasing financial burden from wildfires. A similar trend was reported recently for Canada, where a rise in projected area burned resulted in higher suppression costs under RCP8.5 relative to RCP2.6, a lower emission scenario than RCP4.5 (Hope et al. 2016). An increase in wildfire response costs have also been observed in Canada since the 1970s and are expected to continue to grow as a result of climate change and societal factors (Stocks and Martell 2016).”

You can read the full article here.

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Arctic Data Center Call for Proposals for Synthesis Working Group

The Arctic Data Center is announcing a call for Synthesis Working Group Proposals.

To promote the analysis and synthesis of Arctic data and to inform ongoing development of the data repository, the Arctic Data Center is soliciting requests for proposals for a Synthesis Working Group, with research to begin by August 2017. Funding is available for one Working Group to host two meetings at the Arctic Data Center in Santa Barbara, California, of approximately 15 participants each, over an anticipated 1-1.5 year period.

Proposals must focus on Arctic-related research issues, and primarily (but not necessarily exclusively) involve the analysis and synthesis of data contained within the Arctic Data Center Repository. Proposals will be reviewed by the Arctic Data Center’s Science Advisory Board for intellectual merit and broader impacts, and consideration will also be made as to the availability and sources of data needed by the project, as well as how the project will serve to evaluate and inform future directions for the Arctic Data Center’s services.

February 16, 2017 – Call for proposals opens
April 26, 2017 – Call for proposals closes
June 2017 – Accepted proposal announced
August 2017 – Working Group research begins

Submitting a Proposal
Principal Investigators are encouraged to contact to briefly discuss ideas before submitting proposals
Review important documents about submission and budgeting on the Arctic Data Center proposals page

Proposals can be up to a maximum of 2000 words
Submit proposals to by April 26, 2017

The NSF-funded Arctic Data Center, founded in March 2016, is operated and led by NCEAS in partnership with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and DataONE. The long-term Arctic Data Center repository allows for the preservation and sharing of data spanning many disciplines from the Arctic, now and into the future.

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Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program Funding Opportunity

The Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) funds Extension programs on American Indian Reservations and Tribal jurisdictions that address the unique needs and problems of American Indian Tribal Nations.

The USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program is announcing a funding opportunity. The Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) funds Extension programs on American Indian Reservations and Tribal jurisdictions that address the unique needs and problems of American Indian Tribal Nations. FRTEP is the link to building Indian community capacity through 4-H and tribal youth development, agriculture and natural resource management, and entrepreneurship and business development. This competitive grant program seeks to provide education and research-based knowledge to those who might not otherwise receive it.

General Information

FRTEP is a non-formal, knowledge-based educational program steeped in the philosophy established in the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. Outreach is conducted by Extension Educators of 1862 and 1890 Land Grant Institutions who live and work in Indian communities alongside tribal government officials and often with 1994 Land Grant Extension personnel.

Funding priorities

FRTEP programs are developed through local needs and objectives, reaching an underserved audience often overlooked by broader Extension efforts. FRTEP is often the key to leveraging additional development resources to reach those communities and individuals in most need.

The priority areas of the FRTEP Program:

Tribal Youth and 4-H
Indian farmer and rancher productivity and management
Indian Community development around economic and workforce enhancement
Indigenous food systems for food security, food safety and obesity reduction
Natural resource conservation and bio-energy development
Adaptation to climate change
American Indian cultural and linguistic preservation

Applications may be submitted by 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Institutions.

The awards process

FRTEP is a competitive, four-year continuation grant opportunity. Awards will be made through a competitive, peer-reviewed process administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Award amounts will vary and are contingent upon annual Congressional Appropriations.

The RFA will be posted online as soon as it’s available. All applications for funding must be submitted electronically through (link is external).

Reviewers from universities, government, community-based organizations, for-profit and non-profit organizations and the farming community will provide peer assessment as well as recommend applications for funding.

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Yukon Community Adaptation Research in Whitehorse Daily Star

The Whitehorse Daily Star recently covered a discussion with Yukon researchers.

New research from the Northern Climate ExChange, funded by Norwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative explores factors that inhibit or facilitate climate research uptake by communities. A recent article in the Whitehorse Daily Star discusses the research, which identifies important considerations for communities, researchers, and planners for future work.

Researcher Meagan Grabowski, with supervision and training from Dr. Doug Clark (University of Saskatchewan), reviewed five plans written in the Yukon over the past decade and conducted interviews focusing on the Dawson Climate Change Adaptation plan.

The report outlines several barriers to incorporating climate research in the plans: a perception of climate change research, relevance and accessibility of research, communication, educational history, and human chemistry. The report does not evaluate plan implementation or effectiveness, but focused on the mechanisms of research uptake. A full report will be posted at soon.

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Alaska Salmon Fellow Accepting Applications

Steve Joseph cuts salmon at fish camp. Photo by USFWS.

The Alaska Humanities Forum is now accepting applications and nominations for the Alaska Salmon Fellows program. Applications are due February 28, 2017.

This new program will facilitate demanding conversations about salmon issues among leaders from a cross section of salmon policy, management, industry, activism, research, and cultural sectors. A diverse cohort of leaders from across the state, spanning sectors and with varied connections to salmon, will be selected by April for an 18-month program beginning in May, 2017.

Fellows will receive individual awards of $10,000, take part in a series of gatherings with the cohort, and develop innovative initiatives to promote a strong future for Alaska’s salmon and people. Funding will be available to advance the initiatives and cover costs of travel, lodging, and food.

The Alaska Salmon Fellows serves as a:

Pathway for new and stronger connections across the diverse sectors that have a key stake in the future of Alaska’s salmon.

Network to share lessons and deepen understanding of differing perspectives among the Fellows, and through them, other stakeholders.

System of Influence, sparking new relationships and advancing tangible opportunities to inspire action on key issues and challenges.

Get more information, nominate a fellow, or apply online by Feb. 28 at

Join us at our open house and/or webinar events Feb. 7 and 8, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter #AKSalmonFellows.

Thank you for your consideration, and please share this information and opportunity with your networks. Contact the Forum with any questions.

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Yukon River Research Featured in ADN

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, USGS.

New research that explores how the Yukon River basin is experiencing chemical changes due to melting permafrost was featured recently in the Alaska Dispatch News.

Led by Alaska Climate Science Center/USGS scientist Ryan Toohey, a NWB LCC collaborator, the study used more than 30 years of measurements from the upper and lower river to track changes in chemistry. ADN’s Yereth Rosen writes:

Long-term monitoring reveals that levels of calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulfates are increasing in the river’s waters, according to a new study led by the USGS. That is evidence of widespread permafrost loss, which has allowed water to flow freely through thawed, mineral-rich soils and carry some of those minerals into the river.

The results indicate a profound transformation in the Yukon River basin, an area twice the size of California and a major contributor of water into the Arctic marine system, said the lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

According to USGS, the study was a collaborative effort between “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.”

NWB LCC collaborate, Edda Mutter, science director of the Yukon River Intertribal Watershed Council, was a co-author on the paper.

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Upcoming Alaska Fire Science Consortium Webinars

The Alaska Fire Science Consortium will host two webinars in February.

The Alaska Fire Science Consortium is hosting two webinars in early February:

New Tool for Future Scenario Building for Alaska Fire Managers
DATE: Wednesday, February 1, 2017
TIME: 10:00-11:00 AKST (11:00 PST, 14:00 EST)
PRESENTERS: Courtney Schultz, Colorado State University
Paul Duffy, Neptune Inc.

In 2016, the JFSP funded an Alaska proposal “Impacts of Climate and Management Options on Wildland Fire Fighting in Alaska: Implications for Operational Costs and Complexity under Future Scenarios.” As a first stage in this work, investigators are designing an interactive scenario-building web tool for managers that will be unveiled at an upcoming Webinar on February 1! You don’t want to miss this webinar so register here!:

After the webinar, the project team plans several opportunities for managers to help guide the project’s next steps. Initially, webinar participants will provide feedback to the project using a 5-question survey to share current perspectives on Alaska fire management. In the next stage, investigators will host a video teleconference with a panel of interested fire managers to understand possible future management priorities and options, challenges, and capacity and cost implications that are meaningful for the scenarios. They are looking for volunteers, so if you are willing to participate in this 3-4 hour virtual discussion please fill out this poll ASAP:

Ultimately, the research intends to: (1) to evaluate the implications of climate change for fire in Alaska using various climate models/emission scenarios, (2) to evaluate if/how various management options can be employed to meet management objectives, and how they influence future fire regime characteristics, and (3) to evaluate how management options influence fire costs and other resource needs. The project team will present on model outputs and fire management options at AFSC’s spring workshop in late March. Visit the AFSC website for more about this project.

LANDFIRE: Introductory data product review for Alaska
DATE: Friday, February 1, 2017
TIME: 10:00-11:00 AKST (11:00 PST, 14:00 EST)
PRESENTER: Wendel Hann, Landscape Fire Ecologist, Wildland Fire RD &A

This webinar focuses on the LANDFIRE Data Product Review website ( with a brief overview, demonstration of website processes, and discussion. The purpose of this site is for people to review LANDFIRE data products and submit site, zone, map rule specific or general feedback. The feedback and suggestions will be reviewed both within and external to LANDFIRE and potentially improve future mapping updates and remaps. Feedback export mechanisms are designed to support local map enhancement and enhance field ground truth data. This introductory webinar occurs in advance of another upcoming Alaska webinar with focus on EVT/Disturbances scheduled for 2/16/2017 (

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New Invasive Species Reporting Tool Launches

The tool allows people to report invasive species locations and descriptions.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Natural Resources announce the new online Invasive Species Reporter is live and operational! You can now send a report with the geographic location of an invasive species from your mobile device while you’re in the field (assuming you have internet service) or when you return to your desktop computer.

The Invasive Species Reporter also allows you to view images of the various invasive species to help you identify what you saw, send a picture of the organism your saw and submit the report directly to us. Please check out the reporter and then bookmark it so you can get to when you need it.

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Abstracts Sought for “Our Boreal Our Future: The Science, Policy and Practice of Addressing Change”

logo-ibfra-150bThis summer’s conference, Our Boreal Our Future: The Science, Policy and Practice of Addressing Change,” to be held June 5-9 2017 in Bangor, Maine is seeking abstracts.

The submission process for contributed abstracts has been extended to February 17, 2017. Speakers and presenters being informed of acceptance by March 10, 2017. Accepted abstracts will be assigned to the most appropriate theme and session. Please visit the conference website to submit an abstract or for additional information. Please visit

We are also accepting special session proposals which should include a title, abstract, organizer, and names and suggested titles of constituent talks (if applicable) of proposed special sessions. In addition, the type of proposed special session should be indicated. The following formats will be considered: panels, research sessions, open discussions for science missions, and short workshops. The special session proposals can be sent to the Head of the Scientific Committee, Christopher Woodall ( prior to January 1, 2017.

Registration is Open!
Register early for special rates that include an in conference all-day field tour of Acadian forest management and related industrial research sites. Please visit

The Conference
The boreal forest is the world’s largest terrestrial biome, covering 8% of the world’s land surface and comprising 29% of the world’s forest cover. The boreal forest serves an important role in the global carbon cycle, provides significant economic and social benefits to many nations, provides important habitat for plant and animal species, and still contains large areas that remain free of direct human disturbance. Climate and other environmental changes in combination with increasing resource development will lead to significant changes to this forest. The implications for policy, both within the boreal zone and globally, are enormous. The key to developing appropriate and effective policy responses to emerging challenges in the boreal region is having access to knowledge with a sound scientific basis.

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American Fisheries Society (AFS) & American Water Resources Association Abstracts Sought

Koyukuk River Boats Tied to Shoreline.

Abstract submission for presentations and posters for the March 2017 Alaska Chapter – American Fisheries Society (AFS) and American Water Resources Association joint meeting is now open. Interested presenters may submit their information online here.

Abstracts are due February 10th. More information on the meeting and registration will be at the Alaska Chapter-AFS website

This year’s theme is “Alaskan Fisheries and Waters: Success, limitation and innovation in the face of data scarcity and uncertainty.”

According to the AF – Alaska website, the theme was chosen “to highlight the challenges and innovative solutions surrounding conservation and management of fisheries and water resources in Alaska. Researchers, managers, and stakeholders are often forced to make decisions with little to no information due to the State’s expansiveness, weather conditions, and logistical challenges of collecting data or utilizing its resources. We want to recognize these challenges and the innovative solutions that continue to be developed to maintain Alaska’s freshwater and marine resources.”

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