Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: Arctic Survey on Adaptation to Climate Change (Award# 1237614)

PI: Frazier, Tim (
Phone: (607) 777.3498 
Institute/Department: Binghamton University, Geography 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ASSP
Program Manager: Dr. Anna Kerttula (
Discipline(s): | Social and Human Sciences |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
This grant will obtain interview survey data from development planners in Arctic municipalities of Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Russia. It continues a survey that was begun under an existing grant (funded as ARC-0909191). The work to date has resulted in survey responses and interviews from 51 municipalities. The goal is to obtain an additional 50 to 75 interviews from the remaining municipalities in Sweden, Finland, Russia and northernmost Norway. The research is directed at how municipalities are adapting to climate change within their goals and strategies for development. The purpose of selecting high latitude municipalities in Europe as a study area is to obtain a sample of municipalities where climate change has been measurable and experienced for several decades and where governments assign development planning responsibility to local municipality officials. The project is designed to add knowledge about economic development in remote rural regions, a common challenge throughout the world, but with the added dimension in high latitude areas of remoteness joined by early measurable effects of climate change to make this challenge even greater. To learn how local communities are adapting to the early effects of climate change in their vicinity, this project compares data on economic and social indicators and is conducting a survey of municipal planners in municipalities above 65N in northwest Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Data on climate change experiences and problems or opportunities resulting from these experiences will be compared to municipal adaptation strategies and plans as part of their economic and community development programs. The climate change and adaptation data will be compared to economic and demographic measures and trends across the set of municipalities to understand how they vary in their approach to adaptation and how this compares to levels of development among the municipalities. This is the only systematic survey of Arctic municipalities aimed at climate change experience and adaptation on a broad regional and international scale. It will provide a basis for comparative analysis of contemporary climate impacts and of municipal responses and adaptive planning. It will also provide a baseline for future comparisons as climate change effects continue. Development planners in all rural areas have a direct responsibility to look for opportunities to maintain and improve the economic, social and cultural aspects of life in their municipalities. They work in the context of changing political, economic, demographic, and other factors influenced by both local and international forces. Climate change is now part of this changing environment and it affects both opportunities and limitations of existing and potential economic development. Knowledge of local effects of climate change can best be learned from the people involved in each municipality. Some generalizations can be made as impacts of climate cross boundaries, but adaptation to these will differ according to the innovativeness and local characteristics of each municipality. This project will discover and compare both the early effects of climate change and the responses, ideas, adaptive measures, and future plans that can be associated with geographic setting, local economy, and many other characteristics of municipalities within the Arctic region. Results of this project will help demonstrate adaptive needs and methods that may be applicable to lower latitude communities where climate change is now beginning to cause concerns for its effects on future economic and social conditions. PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval). Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site. Johansen, H.E. and E. Skryzhevska. "Adaptation priorities on Russia's Kola Peninsula: climate change vs. post- Soviet transition," Polar Geography, v.2013, 2013, p. 1 - 20. doi:1088-937X (Print), 1939-0513 (Online)

Logistics Summary:
This project will continue data collection on climate change experience and adaptation planning in municipalities of the Arctic region by using interview survey techniques begun in the current project (funded as ARC-0909191), which was to administer a systematic www-based survey to all development planners in the Arctic municipalities above 65N in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and northwest Russia. After much effort to solicit responses using the www-based survey, it became clear that a personal interview survey method was needed and researchers proceeded to modify the survey to administer in this way. These interview surveys have been partially completed by the existing grant and will move to the interview in-person process to complete the project. The goal is to obtain an additional 50 to 75 interviews from the remaining municipalities in Sweden, Finland, Russia and northernmost Norway. The PI will travel to Kirkenes, Norway for approximately two months to conduct on-site personal interviews with municipal development planners on their development plans, activities, and adaptation to climate change. The PI will stay at the Barents Institute in Norway and work out a schedule to do interviews in Russia. The PI will return to Norway and interview along the north coast and in the remaining sample along western Arctic fjords in Norway to complete the Troms county set, and then go south through Finnish Lapland and along Swedish border to get additional interviews. The grant includes funding for the graduate student (doing a thesis on this project) for one month in summer and fall semester (fall 2012) and an undergraduate assistant also for some time in fall semester. In 2015 this grant transfered to PI, Tim Frazier at Binghamton, from PI Johansen at U of Idaho, logistic details for 2016 can be found under NSF grant 1636711.

All logistics will be organized by the researcher and paid through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2012Norway - Kirkenes0

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