U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Alaska’s North Slope Science Initiative sets the Path for Pathways Student-Employee to attend International Arctic Ocean Acidification Conference in Bergen, Norway
The NSSI led by its Executive Director, Dr. John Payne, recently took on a role at the global level. NSSI became co-lead of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), representing the United States along with the Kingdom of Denmark/Greenland. The CBMP is an international network of scientists, government agencies, Indigenous organizations and conservation groups working together to harmonize and integrate efforts to monitor the Arctic's living resources. To ensure coordination and integration with related global initiatives, the CBMP is strategically linked to other international conservation programs and research and monitoring initiatives, including the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP).
As a Pathways graduate student and Public Affairs Specialist for the NSSI, I had a very unique opportunity as 1 of 6 representatives from the United States invited to attend the conference. Last year I became a member of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientist (APECS) and was awarded a grant through the association which covered all expenses for the trip.
Although this conference was highly technical consisting of presentations given by mostly chemists and marine biologists, no matter what the topic, they all referred back to the need for better communication between scientist, policy makers, industry, and the people who call the Arctic their home. The linkages between the Arctic and the rest of the world mean that Arctic science has come to play an increasingly prominent role in the public consciousness and the concerns of policy-makers. Policy makers have started moving towards an Ecosystem-Based Management approach which includes the use of information passed down over hundreds and thousands of years from the indigenous people of the Arctic most commonly referred to as Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Indigenous populations have relied on their direct environment for subsistence and autonomy. Over time, they have developed a way to manage and use their resources that ensures their conservation into the future. This is where I feel my research is most fruitful as it explores the social aspects of Arctic villages, knowledge of public land policy, and Western science so that stakeholders can engage and learn from each other.
Story and Photos by: Matthew Vos
* Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by the increase of human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, causing them to become more acidic. Changes in ocean chemistry can have extensive direct and indirect effects on organisms and their habitats. One of the most important repercussions of increasing ocean acidity relates to the production of shells and plates which many ocean creatures need to survive.
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