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Advancing landscape change research through the Incorporation of I??upiaq knowledge

Arctic

By:
, , , ,

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Abstract

Indigenous knowledge is a valuable but under-used source of information relevant to landscape change research. We interviewed Ifiupiat elders, hunters, and other knowledge-holders in the villages of Barrow and Atqasuk on the western Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska to gain further insight into the processes governing the ubiquitous lakes and the dynamics of landscape change in this region of continuous permafrost. The interviews provided a suite of information related to lakes and associated drained lake basins, as well as knowledge on landforms, environmental change, human events, and other phenomena. We were able to corroborate many observations independently and verify the timing of several large and significant lake drainage events using either aerial photography or remotely sensed time series. Data collected have been incorporated into a geodatabase to develop a multi-layer Geographic Information System that will be useful for local and scientific communities. This research demonstrates that indigenous knowledge can reveal a new understanding of landscape changes on the Arctic Coastal Plain in general and on lake processes in particular. We advocate ongoing, community-oriented research throughout the Arctic as a means of assessing and responding to the consequences of rapid environmental change. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Advancing landscape change research through the Incorporation of I??upiaq knowledge
Series title:
Arctic
Volume
62
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Arctic
First page:
429
Last page:
442
Number of Pages:
14