Last week Angus presented a poster summary of his project, Tooniktoyok, at ArcticNet 2018.
Developed in collaboration with the Hamlet of Ulukhaktok, and with funding from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Tooniktoyok – meaning ‘to provide for, with extreme determination’ – is a community-led project, aiming to co-produce knowledge around the microeconomics of subsistence and climate adaptation in Canada’s Far North.
Running between June 2018-June 2019, the project places particular emphasis on the day-to-day conditions experienced by individuals whilst out on the land. Specifically, the magnitude and nature of environmental change as compared with past conditions, how these are affecting hazards faced and the viability of traditional trail routes, and the economic costs of associated with necessary adaptation and the continuation of hunting practices.
Angus (centre), pictured with Tooniktoyok project lead, Dr. Tristan Pearce (right), and Patrick Joss (left), resident of Ulukhaktok and recipient of the ArcticNet 2018 Northern Travel Fund.
Last week, Mel along with her research partners from Nunatsiavut government, presented two talks on their joint project in food security planning in the Nunatsiavut region.
Talk one provided an overview of the collaboration of the project and provided tools the team have been using in co-designing and co-facilitating the work. The team also reflected on how the collaboration had been going so far providing examples of challenges and benefits seen to date.
Mel (centre), with Nain local project co-ordinator, Raymond Obed (right), and Nunatsiavut Government Food Security Coordinator, Kristeen McTavish (left).
Their second talk focused on the participatory scenario planning exercises they were using in the region to provide community input and engagement into the regional food security planning process. The team discussed the reason they had used this approach, how they had applied it to date and some of the preliminary results coming out of the work regarding food security data and information about how effective the method was in an Arctic context.
Mel really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and present with her research partners from the region and will be joining them back up North as soon as the Christmas season is over.
Postgraduate research opportunities in ‘Participatory climate modelling and ethnoclimatology in the Arctic’ (ESRC White Rose DTP)
James currently has funding for two PhD students in the field of ‘Participatory climate modelling and ethnoclimatology in the Arctic‘ via the Economic and Social Research Council’s White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership. For more information on entry requirements, and how to apply, please see the link above.
The Arctic is undergoing transformative climate change, with profound implications for transportation systems. The lengthening of the shipping season in the Arctic Ocean is well-documented herein, with warming temperatures also compromising the operating period and safety of winter roads. Less studied are the more informal transportation networks involving use of unmaintained trails on frozen lakes, rivers, ocean, and the frozen ground, which are critically important for travel between communities, to cultural sites, and for practicing traditional hunting and fishing activities which have particular importance for Indigenous communities.
In research conducted as part of the Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) project (www.ihacc.ca), we have documented concerns among Inuit communities that changing trail access due to climate change is affecting a variety of health outcomes including compromising food security, impacting wellbeing, and reducing physical safety. With the Arctic projected to experience the most warming globally this century, these impacts could worsen considerably.
Our understanding of potential future vulnerabilities is limited, however, with research examining associations between changing trail access and health outcomes mostly qualitative and descriptive in nature. The PhD project will play a key role in developing and applying a framework to connect Indigenous knowledge (IK) and science to model how climate affects community access to trails.
The framework will use mixed methods to link local experiences, observations, and knowledge into climate language and climate modeling constructs, and will be developed in close collaboration with Inuit communities.
The objectives of the studentship include developing a participatory modeling framework to quantify how climate-related conditions affect trail access, and projecting future impacts using downscaled GCM data to model how climatic thresholds and associated trail access might be affected at different levels of warming and over different timescales.
On Saturday 1st December, James was featured in a Times article addressing the potential impacts of Arctic tourism.
James Ford, professor of climate change adaptation at the University of Leeds, said that cruise ships could bring commercial benefits to Arctic ports but they also overwhelmed them.
He said that the cruise industry was promoting “last chance tourism” to see glaciers before they melted and wildlife before it disappeared, but the Arctic was not ready to accommodate the increase in visitors.
Cruise passengers could also be at risk because there was “very little capability to respond to a mass casualty incident in the Arctic.”
“It’s mostly local communities who would have to send out a rescue party and they only have small boats. Getting a Hercules plane there would take seven to eight hours”, he said.
The article in full can be viewed here.
Two major reports were released this week in which Arctic research by the @ccadapt team figures strongly. Firstly, the UKs Environmental Audit Committee released its Changing Arctic Report, assessing the relevance of Arctic change to the UK, and examining the sufficiency of UK policy and research focusing on the region. The teams community based research and studies assesses the current state of knowledge underpins a call to scale up social science and interdisciplinary Arctic research in the UK, building upon oral evidence given by James in July. Secondly, in Canada, the Senate’s Report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans “When every minute counts” assesses maritime search and rescue in Canada, and makes a number of recommendations for the Arctic, rooted in the teams’ longstanding focus on emergency response and testimony given by Dylan Clark to Senate in the spring.