• Perceptions of success: a case study of planning for climate change in Shaktoolik, Alaska

      Tangen, Stefan G. (2017-12)
      Climate change planning is increasingly used in places like northwest Alaska where people are dealing with the effects of global climate change in dramatic and life altering ways. Planning for climate change often involves multiple actors from all levels of government working together with various goals, motivations, and perceptions of success. This research provides a perspective on what compelled the community of Shaktoolik to formally plan for climate change, documenting who they worked with throughout the process, the dynamics involved, and the outcomes created. I used a case study approach and qualitative methods in the form of participant observation, semi-structured interviews (n=26), and document analysis (n=18) to understand the ways in which community and non-community actors perceive successful climate adaptation planning in Shaktoolik, Alaska. I utilized seven dimensions of success from the literature to provide a framework during the data collection process and for data analysis. Due to a history of relocation in the region the community of Shaktoolik is familiar with adapting to the local environment, yet this is becoming more difficult as western infrastructure increases. In climate adaptation planning in Shaktoolik actors agreed on the roles different actors should play in planning for climate change at the community level. Additional findings include the importance of several key concepts such as social learning, social capital, leadership, and relationships among stakeholders. The climate adaptation planning model in Shaktoolik is moving in a positive direction and may be useful for other rural indigenous communities to replicate.