• Climate-Induced Community Relocations: Creating An Adaptive Governance Framework Based In Human Rights

      Bronen, Robin; Chapin, F. Stuart III; Kofinas, Gary; Schweitzer, Peter; Trainor, Sarah (2012)
      The specter of millions of people fleeing their homes because of climate change has sparked an international debate about creating human rights protections for climate refugees. Though scholars and journalists have focused on the southern hemisphere, this crisis is occurring with unprecedented rapidity in the Arctic. In Alaska, temperatures have increased at twice the rate of the global average. Arctic sea ice is decreasing and permafrost is thawing, which is accelerating flooding and erosion. These environmental phenomena are threatening dozens of the 200 indigenous tribes that have inhabited the Alaskan Arctic for millennia. The traditional responses of hazard prevention and disaster relief are no longer protecting communities despite millions of dollars spent on erosion control and flood relief. Community relocation is the only feasible solution to permanently protect the inhabitants of these communities. This dissertation describes the steps that federal, state, and tribal governments have taken to relocate Newtok, Shishmaref and Kivalina, three indigenous communities located along the western coast of Alaska, that have chosen to relocate due to climate change. The policy and practical challenges to relocate these communities are enormous and clearly demonstrate that new governance institutions need to be designed and implemented to specifically respond to climate-induced relocation. This dissertation ultimately proposes the creation of Guiding Principles of Climigration outlining key human rights principles that can guide an adaptive governance framework. This framework, in turn, will allow government agencies to dynamically transition their humanitarian response from protection in place to community relocation in these cases.
    • Conditions For Effective Use Of Community Sustainability Indicators And Adaptive Learning

      Powell, James E.; Kofinas, Gary (2012)
      As the number of community sustainability indicator programs (SIPs) increases in many regions of the world, including in the United States, questions continue to arise regarding how decision makers can use sustainability indicators (SIs) to contribute in a meaningful way to their efforts to build resilient and sustainable communities. Through an analysis of the sustainability activities in sample cities from across the U.S. and a case study of one city that adopted SIs but has yet to implement them, this study seeks to uncover the conditions for effective SI implementation and use. The study began with a review of the literature on communities' sustainability efforts and the historical roots of sustainability and resilience theory leading up to today's sustainability indicator projects. A heuristic model for adaptive learning is presented to illustrate the relationships among sustainability, resilience, and administrative concepts, including the goals and domains of sustainability indicators. The study's data collection and analysis began with an Internet-based investigation of 200 U.S. cities. A five-tiered system was devised to categorize findings regarding sustainability patterns and trends in studied cities, ranging from an absence of sustainability activities through fully implemented sustainability indicators. The second phase of data collection employed an electronic survey completed by informants from a 38-city sample of the 200 investigated cities, followed by phone interviews with informants from cities that ranked high for developed sustainability programs. A case study using focus group research was then conducted of one small U.S. city, Juneau, Alaska, where local government adopted sustainability indicators in the 1990s but fell short of implementing them. Most cities in the U.S. have not developed sustainability indicator projects, and, among those that have, few have been able to implement them fully. Among highly ranked cities with sustainability indicators, several approaches, including innovative organizational structures and adaptive learning processes, were found to be present. Recommendations for incorporating such innovations and for grounding sustainability indicator projects in sustainability science, resilience thinking, and public administration theory are offered to help ensure sustainability indicators become fully operational in Juneau, as well as in other communities seeking to establish successful sustainability indicator programs.
    • Feasibility Of Farm-To-School In Alaska: A State-Wide Investigation Of Perspectives From School Food Service Professionals

      Herron, Johanna Ruth; Bersamin, Andrea; Lopez, Ellen; Barry, Ronald; Henry, David (2013)
      Childhood obesity is a significant public health concern and schools are a key setting for prevention. The majority of U.S. children are enrolled in school where they consume a large portion of their daily energy. Farm-to-school programs are a promising strategy for preventing childhood obesity in school-aged children. The overall objective of this study was to conduct a baseline assessment of Alaska school food service professionals' perspectives of using local foods. Specific objectives were to: 1) Assess interest in utilizing local foods, 2) Identify perceived barriers to purchasing local foods, and 3) Determine resources needed to facilitate local food procurement. A survey was administered to all school food service professionals in Alaska (n = 74) who oversee the National School Lunch Program in their program site or district. The survey consisted of open and close-ended questions, comprising six domains: interest, perceived benefits, perceived usefulness, perceived barriers, and future needs. Descriptive statistics were performed on all variables. The majority (80-96%) of school food service professionals reported interest in utilizing local foods in the school meal programs. School food service professional's reported concern with finding a reliable supply (67%) and the cost (46%) of locally sourced foods. Nearly all (92%) school food service professional's agreed that information about what foods are available, where to purchase them, and USDA purchasing regulations would be useful. Farm-to-school strategies are attainable in Alaska. Interest is high, and perceived barriers and challenges are consistent with national findings. The most useful resources identified could be accommodated through increased communication and use of existing resources.
    • Policy And Market Analysis Of World Dogfish Fisheries And An Evaluation Of The Feasibility Of A Dogfish Fishery In Waters Of Alaska, Usa

      Gasper, Jason R.; Kruse, Gordon; Greenberg, Joshua; Fong, Quentin; Miller, Marc (2011)
      Spiny dogfish is a valuable commodity on the world market and has a global capture distribution. There are three chapters evaluating dogfish markets and fisheries in this dissertation; Chapter 2 evaluates the spatial distribution of dogfish in the Gulf of Alaska; Chapter 3 provides an overview of world markets and evaluates conditions that have led to a decline in dogfish product demand in Europe; and Chapter 4 uses the information from the previous 2 chapters to provide and policy and market overview of dogfish fisheries in Alaska. Results from this study provide a comprehensive world overview of the modern dogfish fisheries and market segmentation using an evaluation of trade and price statistics. These results indicate that the dogfish market is adulterated, supplied by both sustainable and non-sustainable dogfish sources. Media attention resulting from overfishing has reduced demand for dogfish products in Europe due to the adulterated market. Overcoming the loss of market share will require eco-labeling to inform consumers about sustainable dogfish stocks. The impact of eco-labeling in Asian countries is less clear due to unknown inter-Asian market channels for fins and meat and little information on consumer attitudes towards labels. Alaska products could leverage either Asian or European consumers, but a profitable fishery will likely require regulatory changes and improved stock assessment to allow a directed fishery. In addition, pending regulatory changes, establishing robust market channels between Alaska and Europe will likely require some form of eco-labeling; especially given current eco-labeling efforts in Canada and the Atlantic US.
    • Ways To Help And Ways To Hinder: Climate, Health, And Food Security In Alaska

      Loring, Philip A.; Gerlach, Craig; Fazzino, David V. II; Murray, Maribeth S.; Chapin, F. Stuart III; Atkinson, David E. (2010)
      This dissertation explores various ecological, socioeconomic, sociopolitical, and biophysical dimensions food security in Alaska. The context for this work is dramatic climatic change and ongoing demographic, socioeconomic and cultural transitions in Alaska's rural and urban communities. The unifying focus of the papers included here are human health. I provide multiple perspectives on how human health relates to community and ecosystem health, and of the roles of managers, policy makers, and researchers can play in supporting positive health outcomes. Topics include methylmercury (MeHg) contamination of wild fish, the impacts of changes to Alaskan landscapes and seascapes on subsistence and commercial activities, and on ways to design sustainable natural resource policies and co-management regimes such that they mimic natural systems. The operating premise of this work is that sustainability is ostensibly a matter of human health; the finding is that human health can provide a powerful point of integration for social and ecological sustainability research.