Resources for Action

The POLARIS team will work with local stakeholders, community members, and researchers to identify place-based solutions that enable greater resilience and potential adaptation strategies. 

Photo Credit:

Dawn Montano

Local, Applied Research

The goal of the POLARIS project is to co-produce knowledge with residents of Western Alaska to understand how rural communities are affected by environmental hazards, including coastal erosion and flooding, declining sea ice cover, and changes in the availability and access to wild resources. The project will work with communities in Western Alaska from Bristol Bay to Northwest Alaska.

A significant focus for POLARIS is how environmental changes are impacting the harvest of wild resources important for the subsistence way of life. This includes for example how communities can safely access resources such as seals, walrus, whales, and large land mammals including caribou and moose in a changing climate, how climate and environmental change is impacting resources such as berries, and how weather and climate change is impacting preservation of resources such as cold storage of marine mammals and drying salmon. 

Photo Credit:

Guangqing Chi

Local Contribution to Coastal Resilience

The POLARIS team brings dedicated individuals who will work directly with local Tribal Organizations, City, and Borough officials to identify and advance community interests. We understand that due to the rapidly changing climate in the Arctic, researchers are visiting communities often to learn about this rapid change.  

Our goal is to ensure meaningful consultation with the community to ensure local priorities and challenges are addressed in the research.  Research should be a collaboration between outside researchers and community members with a deep understanding of the changes occurring in their homeland.  We will ensure that co-production of knowledge occurs and the process is respected through hiring local researchers to work alongside our team for a period of 2 years to understand changes from the community perspective.