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Coastal Community Ocean Observers

Coastal Community Ocean Observers

Fairbanks (AK), 99775-7220, United States

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(907) 474-7834

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About C2O2 involves residents of Alaskan coastal communities in the collection of oceanographic and other environmental data. Based in SFOS, UAF, Fairbanks, AK.
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Description The Alaskan coast is the region of the country that most lacks modern infrastructure, and yet it is arguably at the greatest social-ecological risk from climate change impacts. This is because of the potential for coastal erosion, flooding, loss of sea ice, loss of economically and culturally important food resources, and even loss of indigenous culture, languages, and dialects. Monitoring provides a reference point for describing and understanding ecosystem conditions and change, and opens the door to community involvement in scientific research that can help deal with the unknowable.

For this reason, we have launched the Coastal Community Ocean Observers (C2O2) program: a cost-efficient means for communities to collect environmental data of local and regional interest. C2O2 will also promote mutually beneficial community-scientific partner engagements which will build relationships for collecting and sharing information. C2O2 is first and foremost designed to help build long-term community-driven monitoring of oceanic environmental variables.

Though we hope this program will grow in time, currently we are focused on the following goals:

* Forming partnerships between the University of Alaska and three Alaskan coastal communities (Kaktovik, St. Paul and Old Harbor)

* Monitoring key environmental parameters of interest to these communities

* Building a two-way bridge that connects larger-scale monitoring of the open oceans with local waters

* Developing frameworks that allow comparison within and along well-defined gradients of climate and environmental stress to serve as a basis for adaptive management strategies
Founded Dr. Peter Winsor
Dr. Seth Danielson
Dr. Courtney Carothers

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