Semantic Sea Ice Interoperability Initiative
From November 7 to 9, Heidi McCann, Peter Pulsifer, and Mark Parsons of the ELOKA team participated in a workshop: "Representing and sharing knowledge of sea ice among Indigenous communities, scientists, policy makers, and industry." Members of the Semantic Sea Ice Interoperability and ELOKA sponsored the workshop in Anchorage, Alaska. The two and a half day workshop brought together local sea ice experts from the Alaskan 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: 1) passing knowledge to the next generation, working with the local experts to establish regional terminology related to fall freeze up and spring break up; and 2) determining how the National Weather Service and National Ice Center can provide relevant information to communities. The workshop helped develop relations between local experts and government-service providers, and improved understanding of local Indigenous conceptualizations of sea ice.
Inuit Studies Conference
From October 24 to 28, more than 550 participants attended the 18th Inuit Studies Conference on the on site conference across the Smithsonian Mall in Washington, DC. ELOKA team members 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, "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 Fox, 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, balancing work with other aspects of life, and learning more about research development with Inuit across the circumpolar Arctic.
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 to 2009 International Polar Year. It also describes new approaches to managing community data, and how data management can assist in linking Local and Traditional Knowledge with various sciences to build connections between researcher and communities.
Participants of the 24th Polar Libraries Colloquy at the National Ice Core Laboratory located at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado. 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 at the University of Colorado 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 presented on ELOKA along with many other international presentations focused on the collection, preservation, and dissemination of information dealing with the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 Conference
ELOKA team members Peter Pulsifer and Mark Parsons attended the IPY 2012 Conference held in Montreal, Canada, from April 22 to 27, 2012. More than 3,000 researchers, Arctic residents, policy makers, representatives from industry and NGOs, journalists, and students attended the meeting to share research results and discuss environmental, social, and economic issues under global change.
During the week, principal investigator of ELOKA Peter Pulsifer delivered two presentations on ELOKA. The first focused on the emerging ELOKA community and the second on how technological innovations support the sharing and stewardship of local observations and knowledge of the Arctic. He 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." Parsons also led the coordination of a workshop on Arctic Data Coordination on April 27. A sub-group of workshop participants focused on activities in support of local and traditional knowledge and community-based monitoring activities.
From Left to Right: 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 its 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 openly shares CIRES research and public service. In the afternoon, the poster session allowed for valuable exchange of innovative research and helped foster interdisciplinary connections across CIRES disciplines and centers. Science advisors, NOAA, and CU administrators also attended, able to witness the exciting environmental research at CIRES.
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 to 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 NSF-funded project is 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.
American Geophysical Union annual meeting
On December 9, 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 "Applying agile methods to the development of a community-based sea ice observations database" discussed the software development method used to create a community-based observation system in partnership with researchers and community members from the SIZONet project.
Data management and Local Knowledge: building a network to support community-based research and monitoring workshop
The ELOKA workshop was held University of Colorado Boulder Campus on November 15 to 17. More than 75 participants from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia attended, including 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 also attended. The program included more than 35 presentations with a poster session and a series of working sessions. The workshop 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.
Oral History Association Annual Meeting
The Oral History Association Annual Meeting was held October 12 to 16 in Denver, Colorado, where ELOKA team members Allaina Wallace and Heidi McCann attended. This year's 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 (WCRP) hosted a major international Open Science Conference (OSC) on October 24 to 28 in Denver, Colorado. 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.
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 June 14 to 16 2011. The workshop focused on community-based research and the integration of local knowledge and scientific research. More than twenty participants including seven researchers from aboriginal communities and fifteen 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, Cree from Eeyou Istchee in Quebec, and Saami from Ovre Soppero in Sapmi, Sweden. The list of participants, presentations, and 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, on June 22 to 26, 2011. Shari Fox, 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 to 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 a poster: "Archiving Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) of the Arctic: Managing data and information in partnership with Indigenous communities and Earth scientists." The ELOKA model of data management impressed curators and museum professionals.
From May 24 to 31, ELOKA postdoctoral research fellow Peter Pulsifer visited Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada. While in Clyde River, Peter met with Elders and researchers 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. 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, New Mexico, 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 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 ELOKA is not in a museum environment, it does 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 showing a viable component of collection, preservation, exchange, and use of local observations and knowledge of the Arctic.
On Friday, April 22, 2011, Chris McNeave and Heidi McCann attended the sixth institute-wide symposium held in Boulder, Colorado, at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel. McNeave and McCann presented the ELOKA poster "Archiving Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) of the Arctic: Managing data and information in partnership with Indigenous communities and Earth scientists." The entire afternoon was devoted to posters, an interactive way to present and publicize the variety of research being conducted at CIRES.
The Canadian Geographer's Special Issue
ELOKA principal investigator Shari Fox'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 Indigenous 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 Rendezvous on April 22, 2011 in Boulder, CO; Cosmic Serpent Culminating Conference on May 2 to 5, 2011 in Taos, NM, the International Arctic Social Sciences AssociationMeeting in Akureyri, Iceland from June 22 to 26, 2011; World Archaeological Congress on Indigenous People and Museums, June 22 to 25, 2011 in Indianapolis, IN and the Oral History Association Annual Meeting, October 12 to 16, 2011 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel in Denver, CO.
Check back for updates.
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 (AFE) in Anchorage held at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Over 1,800 people attended 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 Alaskan people. The trip provided exposure for the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and ELOKA to many Alaska Residents not familiar with the organization or project. Many participants received the 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 made introductions. McCann received positive feedback and appreciation for ELOKA from participants.
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 to 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 visit the Alaska Forum on the Environment website.
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.
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.
Inuit Delegation visit Boulder and NSIDC
An Inuit Delegation of six from Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada visited Boulder, Colorado, and the surrounding area in early October accompanied by Shari Fox. The delegation was part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) special lecture series in which it discussed the Arctic from the Inuit perspective since 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.
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, Alaska, 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.
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 working at NSIDC and with the ELOKA project and perhaps meeting the very people who contribute their knowledge, both researchers and northern community members.
ELOKA members will participate in the International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference, both at the Polar Information Commons booth, as well as during the conference sessions:
- Shari Fox will co-convene the session “Polar observing systems”
- Tuesday, June 8, 16:00-17:30: Shari Fox will present “The power of multiple perspectives: The Siku-Inuit-Hila (Sea Ice-People-Weather) project”
- Wednesday, June 9, 11:30: Shari Fox, 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, June 10, 11:15: Shari Fox will present “The Igliniit (Trails) Project: Combining Inuit knowledge and geomatics engineering to create a new observation tool for hunters”
- Thursday, June 10, 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, June 10, 11:30: Peter Pulsifer will present “Creating an online cybercartographic atlas of sea ice: Technical design and implementation”
Residents Peter Kattuk (left) and Johnassie Ippak (right) sit together. They are two of the hunters interviewed for the Sanikiluaq Sea Ice Project. Photo credit: Chris McNeave
Sanikiluaq Sea Ice Project Web site released
ELOKA is pleased to release its first product: the Sanikiluaq Sea Ice Project website. 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 website presents the resulting videos and maps describing each hunter's observations.
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 (LTK) 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.
ELOKA Community Workshop
The ELOKA Community Workshop, Northern Meeting, was held on February 26 to 27 in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik. Attendees conducted community reviews with Sanikiluaq and Narwhal groups, discussed 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 Arctic issues. The Inuit Qaujisarvingat aims to help Canada build on its inherent advantage as the steward of globally important human and natural resources, fulfill its international obligations, and become a leader in the exchange and use of Inuit and scientific knowledge.