Observations of Climate Change from Indigenous Alaskans
USGS news release, 13 September 2011

COLORADO, USA: Personal interviews with Alaska Natives in the Yukon River Basin provide unique insights on climate change and its impacts, helping develop adaptation strategies for these local communities. The US Geological Survey coordinated interviews with Yup’ik hunters and elders in the villages of St. Mary’s and Pitka’s Point, Alaska, to document their observations of climate change. They expressed concerns ranging from safety, such as unpredictable weather patterns and dangerous ice conditions, to changes in plants and animals as well as decreased availability of firewood. By integrating scientific studies with indigenous observation, these multiple forms of knowledge allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the complex challenges posed by climate change. The indigenous knowledge encompasses observations, lessons and stories about the environment that have been handed down for generations, providing a long history of environmental knowledge. These observations can also help uncover new areas for scientists to study. An article on the research was published in the journal Human Organization. Read the release … Read the abstract of the article Indigenous Observations of Climate Change in the Lower Yukon River Basin, Alaska, by Nicole Herman-Mercer, Paul F. Schuster and Karonhiakt’tie Bryan Maracle …