The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average temperature in Alaska has risen by 3°F in the past 60 years, over double the rate of warming in the rest of the nation. Nowhere are the consequences more severe than in rural communities. Rising temperatures have resulted in numerous threatening conditions in Alaskan Native villages such as increased rates of erosion, melting permafrost, flooding, poor air quality, severe storms, and declining access to subsistence resources. These conditions affect not only the health and safety of the community, but also traditional culture and lifestyle. This presentation covers research performed at the EPA Alaska Operations Office and in Alaskan Native communities in the summer of 2016. It addresses not only the impacts of climate change but also the intersection of culture, science, and policy, as communities work to respond in some of the most remote areas of the country. Accompanying research focuses on the role of agencies in adaptation and resilience, and the relationship between these two concepts. Finally, I discuss the lessons learned from efforts in Alaska thus far and what the implications are for climate change adaptation nationwide.
McLarnan, Sarah M., "Climate change in Alaskan Native communities: lessons learned in adaptation and resilience" (2016). Forum Lectures. 156.