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INSTAAR seminar: Nicole Herman-Mercer - Coupled natural-human systems: Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

Monday, November 16, 2020, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


Nicole Herman-Mercer


Full title

Coupled natural-human systems: Changing water resources in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska


The US Geological Survey – Water Resources Mission Area has been engaged in research and monitoring activities with Indigenous Alaskan Villages throughout the Yukon River Basin for over a decade including water quality and permafrost monitoring.  More recently ethnographic work has been conducted to understand Indigenous observations and perceptions of change using methods such as semi-structured interviews, participatory mapping, community workshops, and surveys primarily in the lower Yukon River and Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region of western Alaska.  This has allowed for an in depth understanding of changes being experienced in this region.  However, impacts of climate change are localized and both the severity of the impacts and the responses to them will depend on the environmental and cultural context in which they are felt. This seminar will present results from work conducted in the Indigenous village of Chevak placed in the broader context of monitoring and research and the socio-political context of vulnerability and adaptation in this region.

Coffee hour

As usual, a half hour "coffee break" will immediately precede the seminar, starting at 11:30 a.m. Nicole has a bit of time immediately following the seminar if anyone would like to chat with her about her research.