Environmental Initiatives

 

  Traditional Knowledge and the Arctic Environment

Traditional Knowledge and the Arctic Environment

The study of the Arctic ecosystem is no easy task, despite the great advances in science and the wide array of new observational tools on land, sea, air, and space. Understanding the changing dynamics of weather and climate on the region’s flora and fauna also requires deep, on-the-ground information.

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  Anthropogenic Sound and Marine Mammals in the Arctic

Anthropogenic Sound and Marine Mammals in the Arctic

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) fiscal year 2012 Alaska Annual Studies plan is evaluated and a number of overarching issues are discussed, including monitoring, integration of science, documenting cumulative effects and building development scenarios. In addition, selected specific topics are evaluated, including walrus, bowhead whales and noise, subsistence, Arctic cod and small fishes, and birds.

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  Anthropogenic Sound and Marine Mammals in the Arctic

Evaluation of Alaska Annual Studies Plan

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) fiscal year 2012 Alaska Annual Studies plan is evaluated and a number of overarching issues are discussed, including monitoring, integration of science, documenting cumulative effects and building development scenarios. In addition, selected specific topics are evaluated, including walrus, bowhead whales and noise, subsistence, Arctic cod and small fishes, and birds.

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The Chukchi Sea Food Web

The Chukchi Sea Food Web

The Chukchi is a seasonally ice-covered, peripheral sea of the western Arctic Ocean. At its southern margin, a net northward flow brings cold, nutrient-enriched water of Pacific Ocean origin. The combination of seasonal ice coverage, shallow depths, and the advection of cold Pacific waters helps to shape the structure and function of the Chukchi Sea food web. As daylight returns in late winter, the base of the Chukchi Sea food web - ice algae and phytoplankton - being to bloom. These organisms fuel a food web that incluces Arctic cod, seabirds, beluga whales, seals, and polar bears.

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Marine Subsistence Uses for Iñupiat Communities

Marine Subsistence Uses for Iñupiat Communities

Interest in offshore oil and gas exploration in the Chukchi Sea has risen in recent years and therefore the documentation of subsistence uses in the Chukchi Sea is of interest to stakeholders, industry, and government agencies. Several coastal communities on the North Slope use the marine waters of the Chukchi Sea for the purposes of subsistence hunting and harvesting. This report discusses marine subsistence uses of two primarily Iñupiat communities located on the North Slope of Alaska.

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Sea Ice Conditions in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

Sea Ice Conditions in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

The Chukchi and Beaufort seas lie north of Alaska and together contain the entire U.S. Arctic domain. Variances in depth, along with the Chukchi’s connection to the Pacific Ocean, play a large role in defining the sea ice conditions in the two seas and how they might respond to ongoing changes in the Arctic climate. These differences represent important considerations for offshore activities in the U.S. Arctic domain.

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An Evaluation of the Science Needs to Inform Decisions on Outer Continental Shelf Energy Development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska

An Evaluation of the Science Needs to Inform Decisions on Outer Continental Shelf Energy Development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska

The Arctic Ocean, within the territorial waters of the United States, holds large quantities of fossil fuels that have contributed and can further contribute to domestic energy needs, and therefore there is intense pressure for their full exploration and development. Currently there are several offshore petroleum production facilities in the Beaufort Sea on gravel islands along Alaska’s North Slope, and there are plans for continued exploration and development. More exploration is proposed for the summer of 2012.

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