News | Study of Environmental Arctic Change

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The Meaning of Melt: SEARCH at Arctic Encounter Symposium 2023

31 March 2023

At this year’s Arctic Encounter Symposium in Anchorage, SEARCH team members explored the Meaning of Melt.

With 11 different voices speaking on the meaning of melt—and with audience members welcomed to share their own thoughts—we centered what the loss of sea ice means for Indigenous people, scientists, artists, policy makers, and more

In the news: Consequences of rapid Arctic environmental change for people, Arctic Report Card 2022

14 December 2022

Co-chair of the Human Well Being team Jackie Qataliña Schaeffer spoke with multiple news outlets about the importance of the 2022 Arctic Report Card. To read all the original stories click the links below or check out our “In the News” page to see the running coverage. Questions? Media inquiries? Please reach out to Athena…

Arctic Report Card 2022: Highlighting the consequences of rapid environmental Arctic change for people

13 December 2022

In a new essay, SEARCH highlights how people in the Arctic experience the combined effects of rapid environmental change. Weather, ecosystem and infrastructure disruptions, shifting animal movements, multi-faceted decision-making, and people’s ability to adapt and mitigate these changes are among the impacts discussed in this new essay. Forty-one Indigenous, scientific, and policy experts in SEARCH…

SEARCH Highlights: How we're working together to share what we know

Food for Thought—and So Much More

12 September 2023

For Arctic Indigenous People, food is far more than just something to eat. Where most of America drives to grab the same groceries that can be found at supermarkets across the country, folks living in rural Alaskan villages like Kiana and Kotzebue regularly head out onto the land to hunt and forage for traditional foods.…

Where Ice Melts, a Treaty Emerges

24 August 2023

Once covered in meters-thick sea ice, the Central Arctic Ocean—an area the size of the Mediterranean at the top of our planet—is opening up for the first time in human history as climate change warms the Arctic. Categorized as “high seas” over which no country has jurisdiction, the Central Arctic Ocean is a recent center…

More Than Just a Book Club

21 August 2023

Sometimes, reading a good paper can give folks decent food for thought. Sometimes, it can spark a team to examine some of its fundamental objectives and strategies. In a recent SEARCH reading group, the latter outcome was realized. In discussing both Arctic: Traditional Knowledge, Livelihoods and Community Engagement Setting the Scene by Manrique de Lara…

To Geoengineer Or Not to Geoengineer? That Is the Question.

21 August 2023

Community perspectives on using solar geoengineering to limit the impacts of climate change were the topic of conversation in a recent SEARCH reading group. SEARCH members and Arctic researchers from Arizona State University gathered to discuss “Bog here, marshland there”: Tensions in co-producing scientific knowledge on solar geoengineering in the Arctic by Ilona Mettiäinen and…

The More Minds, the Merrier

21 August 2023

SEARCH has been hosting regular meetings of Arctic minds for nearly two years. Through bi-weekly reading groups led by SEARCH executive director Athena Copenhaver, practitioners and community members from across the Arctic research world gather to discuss innovative, provocative, and novel Arctic literature. From papers on integrating Indigenous Knowledge with scientific forecasting to keep community…

Flipping the Switch on Arctic Energy

15 August 2023

Electric conversations are the norm for SEARCH’s Arctic Energy Synthesis Group. Zooming in from across the country, team members crackle with enthusiasm as meeting discussions bounce from sustainable power financing in rural Alaska to achieving equitable energy transitions for communities across the circumpolar north. The experts at work offer a taste of the diversity of…

How We Harvest Essential Knowledge

11 August 2023

When SEARCH came together in September 2021 with funding from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs, we relied on our shared values to guide us into a new way of working together. We needed everyone’s observations and knowledge to be equitably included regardless of whether they were communicated in writing or orally. Mere…

Laying the Groundwork for Coproduction: Sharing Vision & Values

10 August 2023

To set the tone during our first all teams convening in Anchorage, Alaska, in June 2022, co-Principal Investigators Jackie Qataliña Schaeffer and Vera Kingeekuk Metcalf began day one by walking all SEARCH teams through the importance of a shared vision and values. After reading aloud and talking about each of the First Alaskans Institute’s shared…

Honoring Decades of Contributions to Alaska’s Oceans & Coasts

8 August 2023

From her childhood in Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island to a career bursting with advocacy and marine management, Vera Kingeekuk Metcalf’s life has been dedicated to Alaska’s oceans and coasts. Earlier this year, that dedication was recognized when the Alaska SeaLife Center presented Vera with the Walter J. and Ermalee Hickel Lifetime Achievement Award. Awarded…

Subsistence, Sheefish, & Synthesis across Northwest Alaska

29 July 2023

In February 2023, principal investigator Brendan Kelly traveled to northwest Alaska, first to Kotzebue where he and SEARCH team member Cyrus Harris discussed the changing environment with representatives of the Native Village of Kotzebue, Maniilaq Corporation, and the Northwest Arctic Borough. After touring a program—co-produced by Cyrus, colleagues from Maniilaq, and a food scientist—that feeds…