News and Events

September 2014

The Association of Pacific Coast Geographers 2014 Conference

This year's conference will be held in Tucson, AZ at the Marriott University Park on September 24th through 27th, 2014. ELOKA is planning on attending and presenting a science poster on the Inuit Observations of Environmental Change data set. 

The Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group (IPSG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) is sponsoring sessions at the 77th Association of Pacific Coast Geographers Annual Meeting.  While the IPSG are specifically looking to increase for graduate, undergraduate, tribal college and community college student participation, they welcome anyone doing research with/for/by Indigenous communities in the following areas

  • Indigenous research and Indigenizing research regulations
  • Indigenous science, climate change, sustainability, and resource management
  • Geographies of hope: Honoring ancestral and innovative relationships to place
  • Indigenous uses of geospatial technologies
  • Representational politics: Indigenous sovereignty, identity, and self-determination
  • Indigenous education and Indigenizing education
  • Applied Indigenous community research

If you want more information about the conference, please visit the home page at http://geography.arizona.edu/apcg-2014-%E2%80%93-tucson-arizona-september-24-27

May/June 2014

The Meaning of Ice: Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities wins the 2014 William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books
This year seventeen books met the qualifications to be nominated for the William Mills prize, the most ever since its inception. In addition to the prize winner, two books were awarded Honorary Mentions:

The Japanese South Polar Expedition 1910-12: a Record of Antarctica
Yupik Transitions: Change and Survival at Bering Strait, 1900-1960

Five other nominations were shortlisted:

Race to the Top of the World: Richard Byrd and the First Flight to the North Pole
The Reindeer Botanist: Alf Erling Porsild, 1901-1977
A Russian American Photographer in Tlingit Country
Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World
Antarctica: Global Science from a Frozen Continent

The prize winner was announced at an awards ceremony on July 3, 2014 in Cambridge, UK, at the Polar Library Colloquy's biannual conference. The book prize honors the best Arctic or Antarctic non-fiction book published throughout the world. The prize includes a $300 US award and was first awarded in 2006.  Contributing editors are:  Shari Fox Gearheard, Lene Kielsen Holm, Henry Huntington, Joe Mello Leavitt, Andrew R. Mahoney, Margaret Opie, Toku Oshima and Joelie Sanguya. Published by the International Polar Institute Press, 2013.

"The Meaning of Ice celebrates Arctic sea ice as it is seen and experienced by the Inuit of Canada, the Iñupiat of Alaska, and the Inughuit of Greenland, who for generations have lived with it and thrived on what it offers. Over forty Inuit, Iñupiat, and Inughuit from three different Arctic communities contributed stories, original artwork, hand-drawn illustrations, maps, family photos, and even recipes to this book. Professional and historical photographs, children’s artwork, and innovative graphics add more to the story. The Meaning of Ice is an important contribution to understanding the Arctic and its people at a time when the region is undergoing profound change, not least in terms of sea ice. It takes readers beyond what sea ice is, to broaden our appreciation of what sea ice means."

The Polar Libraries Colloquy is an international organization of librarians and others interested in the collection, preservation and dissemination of polar information. The William Mills Prize is awarded every two years for the best Arctic or Antarctic non-fiction book published throughout the world and is named in honor of William Mills, a polar librarian and author and a founding member of the Polar Libraries Colloquy. The winning title was selected by a group of Polar Libraries Colloquy members from the United States and Canada.

CIRES on Ice Event
On June 5, 2014 in the Norlin Library join us for an hour with Shari Gearheard as she presents - Spirits of Snow and Ice: Lessons from Inuit Oral History for Understanding Human-Environment relationships in the Changing Arctic.  Dr. Gearheard, a geographer, CU researcher and long time Arctic resident will discuss Inuit culture, language and ways of knowing when it comes to snow and ice.  Please join us in Norlin CBIS, M549 from 3-4PM.

CIRES Rendezevous 2014
May 2, 2014 the ninth institute-wide CIRES Rendezvous will be held in the Glen Miller Ballroom on the CU Boulder campus. The CIRES Members' Council plans this half-day event with posters and presentations to familiarize CIRES employees with the depth, breadth, and quality of the pacesetting science being done by their fellow colleagues. The CIRES Rendezvous encourages collaborations that might result in new interdisciplinary research, and facilitate connections among our many innovative scientists, science support staff, and administrative staff. ELOKA will be presenting the poster - An Infrastructure for the Collection, Preservation and Sharing of Local and Traditional Knowledge - for the event.

April 2014

New Canadian Polar Commission Report Focus on Knowledge Priorities of Northerners
The Canadian Polar Commission's wide-ranging new report on the state of northern knowledge in Canada analyzes the significant gains made since the beginning of International Polar Year 2007 with a view to determining today’s high-level research opportunities. Focussing on the perspectives of northerners, it highlights new knowledge that can be used to address many of the issues northerners have identified as important. Click here to download the report.

Community-Base Monitoring: Observing Alaska's Coast and Oceans workshop
In early April, ELOKA Team Member Heidi McCann attended the Arctic Ocean Observing System (AOOS) and Alaska Sea Grant sponsored Community-Based Monitoring: Observing Alaska's Coasts and Oceans workshop, where she presented ELOKA to a diverse audience of knowledge holders, community members and researchers. Held in Anchorage, AK, April 1-2, 2014 at the Hotel Captain Cook this two-day workshop explored community-based monitoring in Alaska and was the gathering place and launching pad to identify and respond to common issues for CBM in Alaska. Participants heard from model programs, clarified top priorities for funders and community members, developed a set of guidance documents—including Best Practices and Lessons Learned—and networked with others across the state that are interested in or are actively doing this work.

February 2014

The 44th International INSTARR Arctic Workshop will be held on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus, March 14-16, 2014.  ELOKA will be presenting the poster Recording Arctic environmental change: use of technology by Indigenous people.  For more on the workshop visit the webpage at 44th International Arctic Workshop.

September 2013

ELOKA Advisory GroupFront row L to R: Allaina Wallace, Jhon Goes In Center (EAC Member), Henry Huntington, Peter Pulsifer, and Carolina Behe (EAC Member). Back row L to R: Chris McNeave, Colleen Strawhacker, Olga Ulturgasheva (EAC Member), Heidi McCann, Lynn Yarmey and Betsy Sheffield. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

ELOKA Advisory Committee convenes it's first meeting
The first ever ELOKA Advisory Committee (EAC) meeting convened its' first meeting in Boulder, CO at the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. Made up of community knowledge holders, researchers, and other people active in the community-based research or data management domain the EAC will advise the ELOKA management team. The committee is not limited to Arctic residents/researchers. Members not affiliated with Arctic research or the Arctic will be encouraged to serve and offer their unique knowledge and skills, which will complement the other members in order to more effectively direct the ELOKA Project.

Second Plenary of the Research Data Alliance
Julia Collins and NSIDC Software Developer Joe Oldenburg attend the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Second biannual Plenary meeting "Building Global Partnership" held in Washington, DC where they presented the ELOKA poster "An infrastructure for the collection, preservation and sharing of Local and Traditional Knowledge". Data sharing offers important benefits for scientific progress and advancement of knowledge. However, several limitations and barriers in the general adoption of data sharing are still in place. Probably the most important challenge is that data sharing is not yet very common among scholars and is not yet seen as a regular activity among scientists, although important efforts are being invested in promoting data sharing.

June 2013

ELOKA heads to New Mexico
ELOKA Team Members Allaina Wallace and Heidi McCann attended the International Conference of Indigenous, Archives, libraries, and Museums where they presented the poster "Adaptive methods: presenting and preserving local and traditional knowledge of the Arctic". Over 500 participants took part in this annual conference that offered many pre-conference workshops, tours and sessions that ensure cultural resources are protected and that Indigenous philosophies and values are reflected in an appropriate and authentic manner.

HackathonHeidi McCann listens to Simon Spero share his results of 'Uggi' with the group at the OPF Hackathon in Chapel Hill, NC. Photo Credit: Bram Van Der Werf.

"When the Weather is Uggianaqtuq" has successful results at the Open Planets Foundation (OPF) Hackathon
ELOKA Team member Heidi McCann attended the Open Planets Foundation (OPF) Hackathon: "Tackling real-world collection challenges with digital forensics tools and methods." Held in Chapel Hill, NC, she brought the "When the Weather is Uggianaqtuq" or 'Uggi' CD ROM where she left with successful results for rescuing, preserving and restoring the data. In it's current software format 'Uggi' is becoming or will soon be obsolete. The results brought back from this event provide ELOKA the opportunity to honor the original intent (...use of media technology to help communicate Inuit observations and concerns about recent environmental change to students, researchers and decision-makers in Nunavut and beyond) of "Uggi" and to learn about what digital forensics has to offer to the digital preservation community in capturing, understanding and preserving digital collections.

April 2013

Local Observations from the Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONet) Product Released
ELOKA is pleased to announce the release of the Local Observations from the Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network data set. This data set contains observations of sea ice, weather, and wildlife collected by Indigenous Inupiaq and Yup'ik sea ice experts in several communities along the northern and western coasts of Alaska, beginning in 2006. The product is a database of local observations spatially referenced as near or around Alaskan villages and is available via a Web interface. To view the observations in the database, visitors must agree to the Use Agreement and enter as a Guest. Members of the participating Alaskan communities can log in as a Registered User for more robust use of the interface.

November 2012

Meeting photoWorkshop participants discuss local conceptualizations of sea ice phenomena and processes. Photo Credit: Heidi McCann.

Semantic Sea Ice Interoperability Initiative
From November 7th - 9th, Heidi McCann, Peter Pulsifer, and Mark Parsons of the ELOKA team participated in a workshop entitled Representing and sharing knowledge of sea ice among Indigenous communities, scientists, policy makers, and industry". The workshop, co-sponsered by ELOKA, was organized by members of the Semantic Sea Ice Interoperability. Initiative and took place in Anchorage, Alaska. The vibrant two and a half day workshop brought together local sea ice experts from the Alaska communities of Barrow, Nelson Island and Savoonga, creators of sea ice forecasts from the National Weather Service, National Ice Center, educators, and information scientists. The focus was on two broad areas of interest: i) in the context of passing knowledge along to the next generation, working with the local experts present to establish a correct understanding of concepts and terminology related to fall freeze-up and spring break up from the individual represented regions passing knowledge along to the next generation; ii) working with representatives present to establish how the National Weather Service and National Ice Center can provide information that is relevant to communities. The workshop resulted in the development of new relationships between local experts and government service providers as well as a better understanding of local Indigenous conceptualizations of sea ice.

October 2012

Inuit Studies Conference
From October 24th to 28th, more than 550 participants attended the 18th Inuit Studies Conference on the on site conference across the Smithsonian Mall in Washington, DC. Members of the ELOKA team attended and participated in a number of conference activities. Peter Pulsifer of ELOKA and Noor Johnson of Brown University co-chaired a multi-part session entitled Arctic Change and Knowledge Stewardship. More than fifteen presenters explored the evolution of Inuit knowledge stewardship in the face of a rapidly changing Arctic. Pulsifer and ELOKA Co-Principal Investigator, Shari Gearheard, participated in a panel, Shaping your career in arctic Social Science, sponsored by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS). A range of topics were addressed including starting a career in academia or other professions and balancing work and other aspects of life. To learn more about the diverse research development activities being carried by and with Inuit across the circumpolar Arctic. Many thanks to the organizers for a great conference.

August 2012

Polar Geography Special Issue
A paper on Community Engagement in the International Polar Year has been published online and will appear in a special issue of Polar Geography. ELOKA team members co-authored "The role of data management in engaging communities in Arctic research: overview of the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA)" article. This paper describes the history and activities of ELOKA, which was launched during the 2007-2009 International Polar Year, describes new approaches and special consideration for managing community data, and how data management can assist in linking LTK and various sciences and build connections between researchers, communities and across communities.

June 2012

Group photoParticipants of the 24th Polar Libraries Colloquy at the National Ice Core Labortory located at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, CO. Participants got to experience temperatures at -40 Fahrenheit, which is what is needed to preserve ice cores from Antarctica, Greenland and high mountain glaciers in the Western United States. Photo credit: Allaina Wallace.

Polar Library Colloquy
The 24th Polar Libraries Colloquy was held in Boulder, CO at the Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder campus. The Colloquy brought together librarians, archivists, researchers and others interested in the cold regions of our planet. The Roger G. Barry Resource Office for Cryospheric Studies at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (ROCS at NSIDC) and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) Library hosted the event. ELOKA Team members Chris McNeave, Julia Collins and Heidi McCann attended and made an ELOKA presentation along with many other international presentations from librarians and others concerned with the collection, preservation, and dissemination of information dealing with the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Discussed were issues of mutual interest and promotion of initiatives leading to improved collections and services.

April 2012

International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 Conference
ELOKA Team members Peter Pulsifer and Mark Parsons attended the IPY 2012 Conference held in Montreal, Canada, April 22-27, 2012. The conference was well attended with more than 3,000 researchers, Arctic residents, policy makers, representatives from industry and NGOs, journalists, students and others meeting to share research results and discuss global change and related environmental, social, and economic issues.

During the course of the week, Dr. Pulsifer, principal investigator of ELOKA, delivered two presentations on ELOKA with the first focused on the emerging ELOKA community and the second presenting technological innovations supporting the sharing and stewardship of local observations and knowledge of the Arctic. Peter also spoke as part of a panel session focused on future directions in polar data management.

ELOKA co-investigator, Mark Parsons, co-chaired a session entitled "Accessing, Sharing, and Preserving Data as a Legacy of IPY." Mark also led the coordination of a workshop on Arctic Data Coordination on April 27th. A sub-group of workshop participants focused on activities in support of local and traditional knowledge and community-based monitoring activities. A workshop report will be available soon.

CIRES Rendezvous posterFrom L to R: Miao Liu (NSDIC Software Developer), Heidi McCann, Julia Collins and Joseph Oldenburg (NSIDc Software Developer) at the CIRES 2012 Rendezvous in Boulder, CO. Photo credit: Bard Deluisi.

CIRES Science Rendezvous 2012
ELOKA made it's appearance again at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) seventh Institute-wide Science Symposium in Boulder, CO. Team Member Julia Collins presented her poster "Collecting and Preserving Local and Traditional Climate Knowledge." The symposim is held in response to requests over the years to openly share the research and public service that CIRES does as an institute. The afternoon portion of the symposium was decicated to all submitted posters, which allowed for a valuable opportunity for all to learn about the innovative research done across CIRES divisions and centers, and will hopefully foster the interdisciplinary connections for which CIRES is known. Science advisors and NOAA and CU administrators were invited to the Rendezvous where they got to see both examples of the exciting research in the environmental sciences and the enthusiasm for what CIRES does.

January 2012

Group photoYup'ik Environmental Knowledge Project meeting participants in Bethal, Alaska. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

Calista Elders Council Yup'ik Environmental Knowledge Project meeting
ELOKA Team member Chris McNeave participated in a three-day meeting held in Bethel, Alaska from January 25-27, 2012. The focus of the meeting was planning for documenting the traditional knowledge of the Yup'ik people in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region of Alaska. This project is NSF funded and is being led by the Calista Elders Council and anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan. Approximately 20 participants, including elders from area communities, snow and climate scientists, biologists, and archaeologists discussed plans for data collection and place name mapping for the project. ELOKA will host a public version of the place name data in an interactive online atlas which will include text as well as audio and video content.

December 2011

American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting
On December 9th, 2011, ELOKA PI Peter Pulsifer presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2011, held in San Francisco, USA. Almost 20,000 Earth and Space scientists, educators, students, and policy makers attended the meeting to share discoveries from many disciplines. Members of the ELOKA team have attend the last three AGU meetings to ensure that developments on data management related to local and traditional knowledge of the Arctic are shared with the broader science community. The paper, entitled 'Applying Agile Methods to the Development of a Community-Based Sea Ice Observations Database' reported on the software development method being used to develop a community-based observation system in partnership with researchers and community members from the SIZONet project.

November 2011

Data Management and Local Knowledge: Building a Network to Support Community-Based Research and Monitoring Workshop
The ELOKA Workshop was held in Boulder, CO at the University of Colorado Boulder Campus 15-17 November. It was a huge success with more than 75 participants from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia in attendance. Attendees included members of Indigenous communities from Alaska, Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, and the Boulder area. Local experts, university researchers, federal government representatives, a representative of UNESCO, NGO researchers, students and others attended. The program included more than 35 talks with a poster session and a series of working sessions. The workshop has significantly strengthened links between ELOKA and the broader network of community members and researchers working with Arctic communities. Workshop presentations and abstracts are available online at the ELOKA Workshop webpage.

Group photoELOKA Workshop participants from North America, Greenland, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Photo credit: David Oonk.

Meeting photoELOKA Workshop Participants listen to one of the 35 talks over the 3-Day period. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

Trevor BennettTrevor Bennett (University of Victoria, BC, School of Environmental Studies) enjoys a discussion during the ELOKA Workshop. Photo Credit: Chris McNeave.

Meeting participantsJay Hootch and Earl Alstrom (Yupiit of Andreafski Environmental Program) and Gretta Pecl (The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia) enage in discussions at the ELOKA Workshop. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

Meeting participantsAlaska Community Member Olia Sutton teaches Jeff Braucher (National Snow and Ice Data Center) the "how to's" on operating an Arctic Yo Yo. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

Poster sessionELOKA Workshop Participants at the poster session. The poster session offered participants another avenue to present their projects. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

Meeting participantsSnowChange Cooperative's Tero Mustonen (Selkie Village, Finland), Pyotr Kaurgin (Chukchee Nomadic Community, Turvaurgin, Russia), Russian Interpretor Elena Freeman (Unviersity of Colorado) and Vyacheslav Shadrin (Chief, Council of Yukaghir Elders, Russia) at the ELOKA Workshop. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

Jazz hands photoELOKA PI - Peter Pulsifer, and Co-PIs Shari Gearheard and Henry Huntington having fun at the AISES cultural event "An Indigenous Evening." This event coincided with the ELOKA Workshop. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

October 2011

Oral History Association Annual Meeting
The Oral History Association Annual Meeting was held 12-16 October in Denver, CO and was attended by ELOKA Team Members Allaina Wallace and Heidi McCann. This years theme "Memories of Conflict and Disaster: Oral History and the Politics of Truth, Trauma, and Reconciliation" provided an opportunity for ELOKA to assess the collection of community data recordings and present the collections during the panel session "Putting a Human Face on Science". Environmental History was highlighted during Friday's Plenary Session with the presenters exploring how public lands history, federal agencies, and environmental inquiry can enrich oral history.

World Climate Research Programme
The World Climate Research Programme hosted a major international Open Science Conference (OSC) on 24-28 October 2011 in Denver, Colorado, USA. This conference attracted the world's experts to provide a unique synthesis of current research findings on climate variability and change, to identify the most urgent scientific issues and research challenges, and to ascertain how the WCRP can best facilitate research and develop partnerships critical for progress in the future. ELOKA Team Member Julia Collins presented a poster - "Collecting and preserving local and traditional climate knowledge". The poster abstract is available at the WCRP website.

June 2011

Group photoCommunity and university-based researchers from North Americe and Europe attended the workshop photo credit: Gary Kofinas.

Local and Scientific Knowledge Integration Workshop
Peter Pulsifer of ELOKA participated in a three-day workshop held at the headquarters of the Science Communication Institute, of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, France from 14-16 of June 2011. The workshop focused on community-based research and the integration of local knowledge and scientific research. More than 20 participants including 7 researchers from aboriginal communities and 15 from universities in Canada, the United States, Norway, Sweden and France attended the workshop. Aboriginal researchers were Inuit from Baker Lake, Nunavut, and Kangirsuk, Nunavik, Innu from Schefferville, and Cree from Eeyou Istchee in Quebec, and Saami from Ovre Soppero in Sapmi, Northern Sweden. The list of participants, the presentations, and the main outcomes of the workshop are available online at the Aboriginal Ecotourism webpage.

International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences
The International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) was held in Akureyri, Iceland, June 22-26, 2011. Shari Gearheard, Peter Pulsifer and Peter Schweitzer (University of Alaska, Fairbanks) organized and chaired "Data Management and Knowledge Stewardship: Perspectives and Practice from Communities and Researchers". The session convened with 12 papers on topics that included strategies for establishing individual research centers and a network of communities and researchers focused on data management, further developing principles for northern research, participatory methods, technical advancements, place names and terminology, and the establishment of portals. The session facilitated communication among researchers and community members interested in local knowledge and data management. For more detailed information please see the session program.

ELOKA contributes to the World Archaeological Congress Inter-Congress Conference
An Inter-Congress of the World Archaeological Congress was held June 22-25, 2011, in Indianapolis, IN. The topic of the conference "Indigenous Peoples and Museums: Unraveling the Tensions" was well attended by many museums from around the world, as well as many American Indian/Alaska Native Cultural Centers. ELOKA contributed the "Archiving Local and Traditional Knowledge of the Arctic: Managing Data and Information in Partnership with Indigenous Communities and Earth Scientists" poster. Curators and museum professionals were impressed with the ELOKA model of data management.

May 2011

Clyde RiverThe community of Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada.

Clyde River
From May 24th-31st, ELOKA Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Peter Pulsifer, visited Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada. While in Clyde River, Peter met with the Elders and researcher at the Ittaq Heritage and Research Center to develop a collaborative research project focused on local sea ice terminology. Additionally, the visit involved a trip to examine a weather-monitoring site that is part of the Silalirijiit Project. Dr. Pulsifer has been working with members of the Silalirijiit team to provide access to weather station data through the Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) Weather Station Network.

Cosmic Serpent Culminating Conference
Held in Taos, NM, ELOKA was well received at the Cosmic Serpent Culminating Conference. The goals of this conference were: (1) for Cosmic Serpent Fellows from all three regions (Southwest, Northwest, California-Hawaii) to have an opportunity to share with one another their accomplishments and work related to collaborations between Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science in museum settings; (2) for non-Cosmic Serpent Fellows to have a chance to learn from Cosmic Serpent Fellows and to share their own work related to the collaborations between Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science in educational settings; (3) for all conference attendees to learn more about Indigenous Ways of Knowing through keynote presentations from experts in the field.
Heidi McCann attended and presented ELOKA to a new audience—museum professionals. Although we are not in a 'museum environment' we do fall under the category of 'professionals in the field of Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science.' It was a good opportunity for knowledge exchange, networking and an opportunity to show a very viable component of collection, preservation, exchange, and use of local observations and knowledge of the Arctic.

April 2011

CIRES Rendezvous
On Friday, April 22, 2011, Chris McNeave and Heidi McCann attended the sixth institute-wide symposium held in Boulder, CO, at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel. Chris and Heidi presented the ELOKA poster, "Archiving Local and Traditional Knowledge of the Arctic—Managing Data and Information in Partnership with Indigenous Communities and Earth Scientists." The entire afternoon was devoted to posters, which is the most intere sting and interactive way to present and publicize the variety of research being conducted at CIRES.

March 2011

The Canadian Geographer's Special Issue
ELOKA PI Shari Gearheard's paper "The Igliniit Project: Inuit Hunters Document Life on the Trail to Map and Monitor Arctic Change" and ELOKA Research Associate Peter Pulsifer's paper "Towards an Indigenist Data Management Program: Reflections on Experiences from the Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy Project" have each respectively been accepted for publication in The Canadian Geographer's Special Issue on the Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy Project.

Team Members magnify ELOKA via up-coming conferences
Various ELOKA Team Members will be participating in up-coming conferences in the next few months: CIRES Renedevous on April 22, 2011 in Boulder, CO; Cosmic Serpent Culminating Conference on May 2-5, 2011 in Taos, NM, the International Arctic Social Sciences Association Meeting in Akureyri, Iceland from June 22-26, 2011; World Arachaeological Congress on Indigenous People and Museums, June 22-25, 2011 in Indianapolis, IN and the Oral History Association Annual Meeting, October 12-16, 2011 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel in Denver, CO.
Check back for updates.

February 2011

Meeting participantsFrom L-R Henry Huntington and Heidi McCann at the Alaska Forum on the Environment 2011 in Anchorage, AK. Photo credit: Heidi McCann.

NSIDC/ELOKA make first time appearance at the Alaska Forum on the Environment 2011
ELOKA Co-Principal Investigator, Henry Huntington and ELOKA Knowledge Exchange Coordinator, Heidi McCann, made a first time appearance at the Alaska Forum on the Environment in Anchorage held at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Over 1,800 people attend AFE to learn more about the environment and meet other Alaskans that work in the environmental field. The Forum provides an opportunity for State, Local, Federal, military, private, and Native leaders and professionals to come together and discuss the latest projects, processes, and issues that affect the people of Alaska. The trip was successful in that it provided more exposure for the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and ELOKA to many Alaska Residents not familiar with the organization or project, many brochures (NSIDC and ELOKA) were handed out in addition to the many other keepsake goodies. A popular item with participants was the ELOKA Uggianaqtuq CD-ROM. Staff members Leah Mackey, Carol Thomas, Faon O'Connor and Executive Director Jon Waterhouse of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council came by to say "hello" and make introductions. Heidi received much positive feedback and thanks from participants that a project such as ELOKA exists.

Imam Cimiucia: Our Changing Sea

ELOKA Co-PI, Henry Huntington has a book being released in May 2011 - Imam Cimiucia: Our Changing Sea. This is in collaboration with Anne Salomon and Nick Tanape. A tentative book signing is being planned for May in Victoria, BC.
Stay tuned for more details.

Alaska Forum on the Environment
Two ELOKA Team Members will be attending the Alaska Forum on the Environment 2011 being held at the Anchorage Dena'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, February 7-11, 2011. Co-Principal Investigator, Henry Huntington and Knowledge Exchange Coordinator, Heidi McCann will both be presiding at the NSIDC/ELOKA booth, attending sessions and meeting with potential partners and current collaborators of the ELOKA Project. For more information on the forum, visit the Alaska Forum on the Environment website for more information.

December 2010

AGU 2010 Fall Meeting
ELOKA Team Members Peter Pulsifer and Heidi McCann will be attending the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2010 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA. Peter will be presenting a poster entitled "Using Schema-less Database Technology to Develop a Web Application for Sea Ice Monitoring" on Wednesday, December 14 and will be demonstrating the SIZONet prototype. Heidi will be assisting the User Support Office staff at the NSIDC booth (320 and 322 in the Exhibit Hall) and discussing research and projects underway with colleagues and other interested scientists under the ELOKA project. If you will be attending the AGU Fall Meeting, please stop by and see them and stop by to learn more about ELOKA.

November 2010

Group photoParticipants in the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council Workshop held at NSIDC in Boulder, CO, October 9-11, 2010. Bottom from left to right: Carol Thomas, Nicole Herman-Mercer, Leah Mackey. Second row L to R: Heidi McCann, Victor Tonuchuk, Paul Schuster. Third row L to R: Roberta Murphey, J. Hootch, Peter Pulsifer. Top: Kelly Elder. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

ELOKA and NSIDC host the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council Workshop
ELOKA Team Members Peter Pulsifer and Heidi McCann presented ELOKA to the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council Workshop hosted by NSIDC. Participants included the USGS, USFS and Alaskan Natives representing the communities of Emmonak, Kotlik and Saint Marys, Alaska. These communities are located within the lower part of the Yukon River Basin. The workshop was interactive and brought scientists and community members together for the purpose of building a proposal/project that is directly focused on filling the needs of the local communities within the lower Yukon River Basin.

October 2010

Inuit Delegation visit Boulder and NSIDC
An Inuit Delegation of six from Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada visited Boulder and the surrounding area in early October accompanied by Shari Gearheard. The Delegation were part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) Special Lecture series in which they discussed the Arctic from their perspective as Inuit who's families have lived off the land and sea ice for generations. ELOKA in collaboration with the American Indian Science and Engineering Student Group, Oyate American Indian Student Group, and the Native American Law Student Association of CU Boulder hosted "An Evening with the Inuit". The Inuit were treated to many local foods, local history of the Arapaho and American Indian Plains Style dancing provided by the Seven Falls Indian Dancers.

Meeting photoMembers of the Inuit Delegation and the local American Indian Community at "An Evening with the Inuit" in Boulder, CO, October 4, 2010. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

Esa QillaqInuit Delegation member Esa Qillaq at the CIRES Special Lecture series at the CU Boulder Campus, October 4, 2010. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

September 2010

Launch of the Silalirijiit prototype site
The Silalirijiit Project weather station network web site was launched in September. A major goal of the site is to develop a presentation of weather data that is of most use and interest to the local community. The site is currently in English with an all-Inuktitut version to follow. The site currently provides access to the current weather conditions at Akuliaqattak, Silasiutitalik, and Ailaktalik, located in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River), Nunavut. Meteorological measurements are displayed in near-real time, and include air and ground temperature, wind direction and speed, and humidity.

This web site links Inuit Knowledge and science in regards to weather patterns by bringing Inuit experts and scientists together to study weather patterns, changing weather, and weather forecasting in the Kangiqtugaapik area, as well as with other sciences and numerical models to analyze past, current, and future weather conditions. Data from the stations, in combination with local knowledge, are key to developing a better understanding of Kangiqtugaapik weather patterns and weather changes. The data can also be informative to Kangiqtugaapingmiut and other communities in the region for many purposes, as well as to other researchers and weather watchers. The project is documenting Inuit methods of weather forecasting and Inuit knowledge of changing weather patterns. Knowledge exchange across disciplines and cultures and getting Kangiqtugaapingmiut of all ages involved! Site selection for stations was based on consultation with our local hunters, Elders, and weather forecasters, as well as with other researchers and meteorologists. Installation of four new weather stations in the Kangiqtugaapik area are in the works.

International Arctic Research Center
Co-Principal Investigator Henry Huntington gave a keynote talk at a workshop on community-based monitoring, held at the International Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks on September 20, 2010. He addressed "functions and attributes" of a community-based monitoring network, using ELOKA as an example of providing a suitable data platform for such endeavors. The organizers of the workshop plan to continue working to develop a network along the Alaska coast, complementing a similar network being established in Canada.

August 2010

Heidi McCannHeidi McCann. Photo credit: Lily Roach.

Newest ELOKA Team member
Heidi McCann, the newest ELOKA team member, is the Knowledge Exchange Coordinator for the project. Heidi will be consulting with each community individually to understand the knowledge they have documented, their goals, and what services and resources ELOKA can offer. She brings a diverse educational and professional background with her most recent work as a Cultural Resource Specialist for the Yavapai-Apache Nation and other Western Apache tribes. She looks forward to the many journeys this position brings and to working at NSIDC and working on and contributing to the on-going success of the ELOKA project and perhaps, meeting the very people who contribute their knowledge, both researchers and northern community members.

June 2010

ELOKA members will participate in the IPY Oslo Science Conference, both at the Polar Information Commons booth, as well as during the conference sessions.

  • Shari Gearheard will co-convene the session “Polar observing systems”
  • Tuesday 8 June, 16:00-17:30: Shari Gearheard will present “The power of multiple perspectives: The Siku-Inuit-Hila (Sea Ice-People-Weather) project”
  • Wednesday 9 June, 11:30: Shari Gearheard, Peter Pulsifer, and Mark Parsons will present “The Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA): Data management services for local and traditional knowledge and community-based observations”
  • Thursday 10 June, 11:15: Shari Gearheard will present “The Igliniit (Trails) Project: Combining Inuit knowledge and geomatics engineering to create a new observation tool for hunters”
  • Thursday 10 June, 16:00-17:30: Peter Pulsifer will present “Inuit communities and Knowledge: Data management and knowledge stewardship in the circumpolar flaw lead system study”
  • Thursday 10 June, 11:30: Peter Pulsifer will present “Creating an online cybercartographic atlas of sea ice: Technical design and implementation”

April 2010

Sanikiluaq Sea Ice Project Web site released
ELOKA is pleased to release its first product: the Sanikiluaq Sea Ice Project Web site. Sanikiluaq is one of the southernmost Inuit communities in Nunavut, Canada, and is located on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay. To help document changing sea ice conditions around the islands, members of the Sanikiluaq Sea Ice Project interviewed three hunters. The product Web site presents the resulting videos and maps describing each hunter's observations.

Hunters photoResidents Peter Kattuk (left) and Johnassie Ippak (right) are two of the hunters interviewed for the Sanikiluaq Sea Ice Project. Photo credit: Chris McNeave.

March 2010

In March, ELOKA conducted a short community workshop involving participants from many different scientific domains and Indigenous knowledge research organizations. Participants generally agreed on the need to create a pan-Arctic network supporting community-based monitoring and local and traditional knowledge of the Arctic. A major outcome of the meeting was a white paper submitted to the agency officials who attended the State of the Arctic Conference and the Sustained Arctic Observing Network steering group. View a PDF version of the resulting ELOKA White Paper

January 2010

ELOKA Community Workshop
The ELOKA Community Workshop, Northern Meeting, will be held on 26-27 February in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik. Attendees will conduct community reviews with Sanikiluaq and Narwhal groups; discuss community needs and feedback for ELOKA; and hold an ELOKA open house-type meeting with local community members. The Southern Meeting will be on March 1 in Ottawa, and attendees will discuss Northern Meeting results and future directions for ELOKA.

Inuit Knowledge Centre launched
Inuit Qaujisarvingat: the Inuit Knowledge Centre, was launched to address the gap between western science and Inuit knowledge, as well as to provide a way for Inuit to respond to a growing interest in the Arctic and Arctic issues. The aim of Inuit Qaujisarvingat will be to help Canada build on its inherent advantage as the steward of remarkable human and natural resources that are of vital global importance, help Canada fulfill its international obligations, and help Canada become a leader in the exchange and use of Inuit and scientific knowledge.

December 2009

ELOKA and the Sustained Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) have begun collaborating on an inventory of Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) projects in the Arctic. This inventory will be used in the development of a map-based, searchable directory of Arctic LTK-related projects.

August 2009

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded funds to NSIDC for the continued development of ELOKA. This new award will move ELOKA into a fully operational mode that will help data providers and communities acquire, manage, and preserve their data, and to provide user-friendly tools for searching, browsing, and accessing data through the ELOKA Web site or the data providers' sites as a means of access to all partner projects. The funding is part of a contribution to the NSF Arctic Observing Network.

June 2009

The ELOKA project team is working to complete the first two examples of data management for two ELOKA collaborators. These are expected for release later this year.

November 2008

Over 20 people representing Northern communities, organizations, and research projects met in Anchorage, Alaska, 11 and 12 November for the second ELOKA project workshop. The group discussed shared challenges and goals for data management of local and traditional knowledge, and worked together to create future priorities for ELOKA.

Group photoGroup photo from Anchorage, Alaska.

September 2008

ELOKA launches new Web site. Our new Web site lays the foundation to develop ELOKA tools and services, such as the up and coming searchable database tool, where users will be able to find information about LTK and community-based monitoring projects throughout the Arctic.

July 2008

Isuma TV is a new internet video portal for Indigenous filmmakers that features unique, Indigenous-language content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

April 2008

The "Silavut: Inuit Voices in a Changing World" exhibit opened April 15, 2008 at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History in Boulder, Colorado. A collaboration of CIRES' National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the museum, and the community of Clyde River in Nunavut, Canada, the exhibit relates the story of climate change through Inuit eyes. It will show through March 15, 2009.

January 2008

Sanikiluaq, Nunavut Canada - ELOKA Project Manager Chris McNeave traveled to Sanikiluaq to act as an advisor to members of a planning committee developing a strategy and approach for a proposed regional environmental study combining scientific observations with LTK from surrounding Inuit and Cree communities.

Abisko, Sweden - ELOKA Co-Principal Investigator Henry Huntington traveled to Abisko to meet with project collaborators, discuss ELOKA and partner status, and collaborate with the Abisko Scientific Research Station and the Saami community.

December 2007

ELOKA began working with Dr. Martin Nweeia of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Nweeia is working with narwhal hunters from Greenland and Baffin Island studying narwhal migration and their salinity-sensitive tusks.

ELOKA Principal Investigator Shari Gearheard presented a poster on ELOKA at the Annual Scientific Meeting of ArcticNet in Collingwood, Ontario.

November 2007

Sanikiluaq, Nunavut Canada - ELOKA Project Manager Chris McNeave met with community members and representatives from the Hudson Bay Bioregion Community-based Monitoring Network and System (HUBB) to develop ELOKA and community relationships, and to identify ELOKA-related tasks.

October 2007

Anchorage, Alaska - ELOKA Co-Principal Investigator Henry Huntington and Project Manager Chris McNeave met with partners and collaborators from ANSC, ABR, and BSSN to review the projects and discuss partner status and needs from ELOKA.

March 2007

ELOKA approved for funding by the NSF IPY program.

May 2006

First ELOKA proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation Program Solicitation: NSF 06-534, International Polar Year.

November 2005

ICSU/WMO Joint Committee for the International Polar Year 2007-2008 endorses the full ELOKA proposal on the IPY Web site.