New Research Integrates Future Climate Into Boreal Forest Reserve Design

A conservation assessment of Canada’s boreal forest incorporating alternate climate change scenarios

Powers, R. P., Coops, N. C., Tulloch, V. J., Gergel, S. E., Nelson, T. A. and Wulder, M. A. (2016), Remote Sens Ecol Conserv.

Abstract: Ecologically based strategies for climate change adaptation can be constructively integrated into a terrestrial conservation assessment for Canada’s boreal forest, one of Earth’s largest remaining wilderness areas. Identifying solutions that minimize variability in projected vegetation productivity may represent a less risky conservation investment by reducing the amount of anticipated environmental change. In this study, we assessed hypothetical protected area networks designed for future vegetation variability under a range of different climate conditions to provide relevant recommendations of conservation requirements that support ongoing boreal conservation and land-use planning… Read more

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Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative – Invitation to Submit Research Proposals

 

The Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative (AYK SSI) is pleased to release its 2017 Invitation to Submit Research Proposals.

Under the 2017 Invitation, up to $1M is available for funding of research projects addressing the region’s declined Chinook salmon populations.  Informed by expert peer reviews and review by our science panel, the AYK SSI Steering Committee will select projects for funding at its spring 2017 meeting, with contracting completed in time for the 2017 field season. Funding for this Invitation is provided to the AYK SSI Program through NOAA’s Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and NOAA federal fisheries disaster funds administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Summary of the priority themes for this year’s RFP:

THEME 1 – Density-Dependent Effects:  Has the long-term variation and recent declines in AYK Chinook salmon stocks been caused by strong density-dependent effects on population dynamics?

THEME 2 – Drivers of Freshwater Mortality:  Have changes in the suitability or productivity of freshwater habitat used for spawning, rearing, and migration contributed to declines in AYK Chinook salmon stocks?

THEME 3 – Drivers of Marine Mortality:  Have changing ocean conditions (physical and biological) in the Bering Sea increased mortality of Chinook salmon and contributed to the decline of AYK stocks?

THEME 4 – Escapement Quality: Has selective fishing or other environmental factors altered the size, sex ratio, and composition of life history types in ways that have contributed to recent declines of AYK Chinook salmon?

THEME 5 –Management for sustainability under uncertainty: What management approaches are likely to be most robust to uncertainties of our mechanistic understanding of AYK Chinook salmon?

 

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15th Annual Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop, Anchorage, AK, May 2-4, 2017

The 15th Annual Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop (CPASW) will bring together a diverse group of climate researchers, service producers, decision-makers, and other users to accelerate developments in the research and applications of climate information for societal decision-making.

CPASW 2017 will convene in Anchorage, Alaska, May 2-4, 2017, with the theme Understanding Extreme Events and Decision-Maker Needs in the Context of Climate Variability and Change. The meeting format will include symposium-style sessions, panel sessions, discussions, and keynote speakers that address this theme.  The event will be hosted by the NOAA National Weather Service Climate Services Branch, the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP) located at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and other climate services partners.

https://accap.uaf.edu/cpasw/call-for-abstracts

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Yukon Ecosystem and Landscape Classification and Mapping Guidelines Report Released

yukon_guidelinesThe Yukon Ecological and Landscape Classification (ELC) Program has announced the release of Yukon Ecosystem and Landscape Classification (ELC) and Mapping Guidelines report.

The guidelines were developed as a means to support a consistent, Yukon-specific approach to ecosystem classification and mapping. They present a common ELC framework specific to Yukon landscapes and vegetation. This supports land and resource management and fosters better coordination between resource sectors and managers.

The ELC program is planning to hold workshops for practitioners and resource managers in February and March 2017. The workshop(s) will be held in Whitehorse, Yukon, and aim to build on shared needs in data collection, classification, and mapping practices described in the guidelines.

We would like to hear from you. You are encouraged to complete this survey even if you cannot or do not plan to attend the workshops, it should take 2-5 minutes to complete.

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Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Positions Announced

absi-logoThe Alaska Region of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is announcing two Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) Science Coordinator positions open in the Anchorage Regional Office, as well as a detail position for Assistant Regional Director for Science Applications.

The vacancy announcements for the Fish and Wildlife Biologist (LCC Science Coordinator) GS-0401-12 FPL GS-13 will close Monday 12/19/2016. These positions are key staff positions for the Aleutian & Bering Sea Islands LCC and the Western Alaska LCC.

western_ak_lcc_logo_small_no_frame-croppedCandidates should have strong partnership skills, experience addressing conservation issues at large spatial scales, ability to provide technical review of projects and strong team skills. Both positions will work with staff and partners to address conservation needs spanning large geographies and broad stakeholder interests. These geographies are among the most remote, and least studied, in the country and face myriad climate impacts including shifting species patterns, changing ocean processes and productivity from sea ice loss, increased ocean storms, coastal erosion, permafrost thaw, changing human use patterns, etc. Successful candidates will help ensure that the region’s natural and cultural resource managers have robust scientific information to inform their adaptation planning, activities, and other decision making, including integrated scientific and local and traditional knowledge. Within the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the LCC staff are located in the Office of Science Applications which works within the agency and among partners to strengthen collaboration and leverage activities for greater conservation impact. If you are interested in joining our team, please apply through the following vacancy announcements:

R7-17-1871728-ES Merit Promotion Status Candidates
R7-17-1871727-ES U.S. Citizens

Detail Opportunity:

Assistant Regional Director for Science Applications
Fish & Wildlife Administrator, GS-0480-15
Region 7-Alaska

ak-lccsDetail Description: Serves as the Assistant Regional Director for Science Applications:
Provides effective leadership, direction, and coordination in the development and execution of the Office of Science Applications, a multi-disciplinary science-based program, including supervising 15 professional staff (seven directly) including LCC Coordinators and Science Coordinators, communications specialists, data and grant managers and administrative staff.
Oversees landscape conservation and climate change activities in the region.
Oversees administration of the Science Support Partnership and Quick Response Program funding opportunity and national science awards for Region.
Collaborates with a diversity of internal and external partners, including at the executive level, on strategic planning and integration of science into decision making.
Works with partners to advance shared priorities such as data sharing and leveraging resources to achieve common outcomes.
Serves as an active member of the Regional Directorate Team.
Serves as a Co-chair of the SHC Regional Oversight Committee.
Leads Science Applications prioritization efforts, budget development and allocation.
Works closely with national peers and SA Headquarters as part of a national science leadership team.
Location: Anchorage, AK (Regional Office)

Length of Time:
30-60 days, starting January 2017

Housing Availability:
Housing not provided. There are hotels within walking or driving distance of the Regional Office.

Travel Costs: Paid by Alaska Office of Science Applications (OSA)

Salary Cost: Home unit, although Alaska OSA will pay additional salary costs if a detail promotion)

Detail Contact: Karen Clark karen_clark@fws.gov

Website: https://www.fws.gov/alaska/sa/index.htm

How to Apply: Please submit a letter of interest via email to karen_clark@fws.gov, identifying why you are interested in the opportunity, your current experience/qualifications, availability, and a statement indicating whether your supervisor is supportive of your participation. Do not include a copy of your resume. Your letter of interest must be received via email by December 20 2016.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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