Past Awards

FY 2007 | 3 – Inform | 7/10/14

Fellowship: Integration of Geophysical and Traditional Knowledge

Matthew Druckenmiller, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Contract Term: 07/01/07-06/30/08
Award: $25,000

Scope of Work:

This fellowship will support Matthew Druckenmiller's project studying sea ice. Increased oil and gas activities in Alaska?s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas may serve as a catalyst to more thoroughly investigate the research methodologies and institutional practices that incorporate local and traditional knowledge (LTK), thus promoting a sustainable future for North Slope communities, the coastal ecosystem, and the oil and gas industry itself. Most climate models and sea-ice investigations operate at resolutions not suited for observing the critical processes and variability that exist on the local level; therefore, information required by local institutions and oil and gas developers is often not readily available. Given that many Iñupiat Eskimos possess a valuable and nonreplicable understanding of local and regional sea-ice dynamics and unexpected and rare sea-ice events, their knowledge may greatly contribute to decisions made regarding oil and gas development and oil spill response planning and operations. A systematic investigation of local scale sea-ice system services (SISS) and sea-ice hazards provides a framework for identifying stakeholder-relevant sea-ice variables and collecting and documenting LTK. This project will: (1) investigate the landfast ice and adjacent pack ice in the Bering Strait and the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas using geophysical techniques, such as SAR satellite imagery and coastal radar, and the observations of various Iñupiat sea-ice experts, and (2) systematically document SISS and hazards through sea-ice use mapping and interviews. While my research in the broadest context will involve a diverse set of stakeholders, I intend to focus on sea-ice information relevant to oil and gas development and oil spills in ice-covered waters. The main product of this work will be a GIS-based map for use by planners and developers that geographically organizes sea-ice information by the local services and hazards it provides, while also temporally organizing key events in the ice-year, such as when landfastice stabilizes or becomes dynamic in a specific location

Download Report: 07-10-142.pdf