Alaska EPSCoR improves Alaska's scientific capacity by engaging in research projects supported through National Science Foundation and state funds. The organization is engaged in a 5-year project entitled "Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments," which examines the mechanisms by which communities adapt to environmental and social change. For more information please see the project's info sheet and Strategic Plan.
Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments
Alaska EPSCoR conducts biological, physical and social research into the adaptive capacity of Alaskan communities: the mechanisms that enable communities to effectively respond to environmental and social changes. Research includes new sensors to monitor biophysical changes coupled with social science approaches to measure community responses.
EPSCoR research is organized around three regional test cases. The Southeast test case focuses on changes to ecosystem services brought on by glacial recession in Berners Bay, near Juneau. The Southcentral test case examines the effects of hydrological and landscape changes on communities in the Kenai River watershed. The Northern test case studies how permafrost thaw and land cover change affect subsistence resources around Interior and Arctic villages, with a current focus on the North Slope village of Nuiqsut.
Results from the test cases are used by a statewide Coordination, Integration and Synthesis (CIS) Working Group to answer larger scientific questions about adaptation and to create decision-support tools for land and resource managers. An Education, Outreach and Diversity (EOD) Group works to involve students and the public in EPSCoR research and to keep them apprised of results.