Community Monitoring:
A Four-year Summary of the
Arctic Borderlands
Ecological Knowledge Co-op

Based on a poster prepared for the American Association for the Advancement of Science Conference: Crossing Borders, Science and Community, Arctic Science 2000 (Sept 21-24, Whitehorse, Yukon)



The Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op has coordinated a community ecological monitoring program with Aklavik Gwich’in (AG) and Inuvialuit (AI), Fort McPherson Tetlit Gwich’in (FM), and Old Crow Vuntut Gwitchin (OC) for four years (96-97 to 99/00). Community monitors interview ~19 local experts in each community annually to ask what is changing in the environment and why. Hunters, fishers, and berry pickers share their observations and explanations of ecological change, focusing on weather, caribou, fish, berries, other animals, and community socio-cultural conditions. Local experts are selected by community renewable resource councils (e.g., Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee). 298 interviews have been completed. Interviews are coded, noting long-term trends, four-year observations, unusual findings, and interpretations of change and rules of thumb. This poster presents a summary of findings and a sample of illustrative quotes. The community monitoring program is a component of the Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op’s program, which draws on local knowledge and science to document and synthesize findings, and communicate about the effects of climate change, regional industrial development, and contaminants.



Who is Involved

  • Community Monitors: Roberta Alexie (FM; 97/98), Carol Arey (AI; 96/97, 97/98), Ellen Blake (OC; 97/98), Sherri DeBastien (FM; 99/00), Annie B. Gordon (99/00), Richard Gordon (AI; 98/99), Vicky Josie (OC; 99/00), Myrna Nershoo (FM; 96/97), Christine Nukon (OC; 96/97), Dolly Peterson (AG; 96/97, 97/98), Norman Snowshoe (FM & AG; 98/99), Glenna and Joe Tetlichi (OC; 96/97), and Joe Tetlichi (OC; 98/99) gathered the data from community experts.
  • Coding and Analysis: Deborah Robinson (Institute of Arctic Studies, Dartmouth College), Jill Johnstone (Canadian Wildlife Service), Julia Berardinucci (University of British Columbia)
  • Project Coordination: Gary Kofinas (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Univ. of Alaska Anchorage and Institute of Arctic Studies, Dartmouth College), Joan Eamer, (CWS, Environment Canada, Whitehorse), Kent Sinnott (Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op)