Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: Collaborative Research: Sustainability of critical areas for eiders and subsistence hunters in an industrializing nearshore zone (Award# 1263051)

PI: Lovvorn, James R (lovvorn@siu.edu)
Phone: (307) 399.7441 
Institute/Department: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Zoology 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ARCSS
Program Manager: Dr. Neil Swanberg (nswanber@nsf.gov)
Discipline(s): | Biology |

Project Web Site(s):
Data: http://eloka-arctic.org
NSF_Award_Info: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=12...

Science Summary:
For this project researchers will model habitat requirements and map viable prey densities for a formerly hunted but now threatened species (Spectacled Eider, SPEI) and a commonly hunted species (King Eider, KIEI) in the Chukchi nearshore zone, and determine long-term variability in the eiders' access to those areas through the ice. Researchers will refine these maps with traditional ecological knowledge on conditions and areas where hunting for KIEI typically occurs. They will estimate probabilities that different eider feeding areas that are accessible through the ice and conducive to hunting would be eliminated during migration by oil spills from pipelines built along four alternative routes. Researchers will use this information to inform structured decision-making workshops we will hold in the Native community. These workshops will help create a local vision for sustainability, in terms of potential risks of different pipeline routes to subsistence and cultural values of eiders, relative to cash benefits of local construction projects. Local villagers will be involved in creating and shaping the data set, and will be the main participants in structured decision-making workshops. The team will integrate the work with outreach and education programs conducted in these villages by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This project will yield important information for future evaluations and decision-making by Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Management Offices. The modern scientific and traditional ecological data, and facilitation of community consensus-building, will expedite later impact assessments by BOEM and other agencies as oilfield development proceeds. On a hemispheric scale, the approach developed will serve as a prototype applicable to the many such situations developing across the Arctic.

Logistics Summary:
This collaboration between Lovvorn (1263051, SIU), Huntington (1262803, Huntington Consulting), and Hollmen (1262825, AK SeaLife) focuses on eiders, eider habitats, and developing a decision making process by which scientific data, traditional ecological knowledge, and cultural values can be considered by local villagers as they formulate a vision for sustainability. Researchers will make one or more preliminary visits to the villages – Wainwright, Point Lay, and Point Hope – who depend on access to eiders for subsistence hunting. Starting in spring 2014 researchers will meet with local officials and citizens, and to make presentations that explain the field work, interviews, and workshops. Workshops, outreach and continuing interviews will also be held each fall from 2014-2017, with local hunters in Wainwright and Point Lay.

All logistics will be organized by the researchers and paid through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2014Alaska - Utqiaġvik (Barrow)05 / 12 / 2014 10 / 16 / 20143
2014Alaska - Wainwright05 / 12 / 2014 10 / 16 / 20143
2015Alaska - Point Hope05 / 12 / 2015 09 / 21 / 20155
2015Alaska - Point Lay05 / 12 / 2015 09 / 21 / 20155
2015Alaska - Utqiaġvik (Barrow)01 / 12 / 2015 09 / 21 / 20156
2015Alaska - Wainwright01 / 12 / 2015 09 / 21 / 20155
2016Alaska - Point Hope05 / 12 / 2016 09 / 21 / 20165
2016Alaska - Point Lay05 / 12 / 2016 09 / 21 / 20165
2016Alaska - Utqiaġvik (Barrow)05 / 12 / 2016 09 / 21 / 20165
2016Alaska - Wainwright05 / 12 / 2016 09 / 21 / 20165
2017Alaska - Point Hope05 / 12 / 2017 09 / 21 / 20175
2017Alaska - Point Lay05 / 12 / 2017 09 / 21 / 20175
2017Alaska - Utqiaġvik (Barrow)05 / 12 / 2017 09 / 21 / 20175
2017Alaska - Wainwright05 / 12 / 2017 09 / 21 / 20175
 


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