Permafrost and Community

What Are They Doing?

The team just arrived to Point Barrow and learned about the area and the protocol for the day. Photo by Elizabeth Eubanks.The team just arrived to Point Barrow and learned about the area and the protocol for the day. Photo by Elizabeth Eubanks. Alaska’s land, water, plants, wildlife, and seasons are undergoing a great upheaval, and its people, especially the tribal communities living in remote villages are directly and severely impacted by these changes. The project will provide the traditionally-underserved tribal communities of the Upper Kuskokwim region the motivation, resources, climate science knowledge and skills to study the impact of climate change on their tribal way of life and environment.

The project will establish local climate and permafrost observation system and map land cover and permafrost in the Upper Kuskokwim region. It will also develop a geo-hazard map for the region to facilitate safe subsistence and recreational practices and land use. The data, knowledge, and skills gained through this project will benefit the tribal communities in implementation of safe land use practices, and planning for the future.

Where Are They?

The team will fly to the remote villages and then travel by hiking, on a ATV, and by boat. Telida is an Upper Kuskokwim Athabascan village. Telida is located on the south side of the Swift Fork (McKinley Fork) of the Kuskokwim River, about 50 miles northeast of Medfra. Nikolai is also an Upper Kuskokwim Athabascan village. Eighty-one percent of the population is Alaska Native or part Native. Nikolai’s tribal members are active in subsistence food-gathering. Learn more at Alaska’s Upper Kuskokwim River Region’s website

Expedition Map

Project Information

Dates: 7 August 2018 to 22 August 2018
Location: Villages of Telida and Nikolai, Interior Alaska
Project Funded Title: Community based permafrost and climate monitoring in rural Alaska.

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Meet the Team

Allyson Woodard's picture
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Portland, OR
United States

Allyson is an exhibit developer, photographer, and multimedia producer who lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. She and the OMSI exhibits team recently completed Under the Arctic: Digging Into Permafrost, an NSF-funded traveling exhibition that explores permafrost thaw due to climate change. She has previously traveled to Alaska to research and produce content for the exhibition, and during these trips she fell in love with the Arctic in a big way. She is delighted to have another opportunity to learn from permafrost experts and record their stories.

Allyson has master's degrees in multimedia journalism and environmental studies.

Santosh Panda's picture
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK
United States
Alexander Kholodov's picture
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbainks, AK
United States

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Latest Comments

Thank you! Best wishes to you as well!
Thank you for reading Jeanette! I hope you find the Frameworks link useful :)
Thank you for your perspective on Alaska and science. Sometimes we forget advancements in science also are advancements in cultural behaviors. I am heading to that Frameworks link now...
Allyson, I enjoyed your follow up post. Sounds like you have a lot of new options to pursue post PolarTREC. Wishing you well!
Thank you for that succinct description of permafrost and hope for the future. In Fairbanks, many houses are experiencing problems with shifting ground that have been stable in the past. I look...